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The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Postby Divia » Sun September 7th, 2008, 12:02 am

As we all know the Heretic Queen is Ms. Moran’s second book. Once again she explores the ancient world of Egypt, something very few historical fiction authors have done.

The novel is about Nefetari who is well versed in various languages, doesn’t shy away from warfare and is a very intelligent young woman. However, she is niece of Nefertiti and with that comes a lot of baggage. Since her aunt is called the “heretic queen” Nefertari is seen as an unimportant princess. Nefetari is dislike by the people, those at court don’t want her around, and people shun her. Nefetari’s family name has been tarnished and their sins cast a shadow over everything she wants to accomplish in life. How can she become the wife of Ramesses when everyone around Nefetari hates her? Iset, Ramesses first wife, seeks to become his Chief Wife and keep Nefetari at bay. Determined to have the world remember her family’s name she seeks to win Ramesses heart and become Chief Wife while those around her try to destroy her.

For those looking for Mosses in the novel, he’s not in it, and Ms. Moran explains why she left him out in her historical note. Personally, I’m not a fan of biblical stories so I didn’t miss Moses in the novel.

I know nothing about Egypt. I think most of us have studied it in high school, and maybe took a course in college. I don’t remember much, and when I read The Heretic Queen I was pleased to see Ms. Moran gives sufficient details in her novel without it becoming longwinded or like a history lecture. There is a fine line to be walked, and I think she did it wonderfully. As a reader I felt immersed in Egyptian culture.

At the back of the novel there is also a glossary of terms and a religious calendar to help readers. Also, there is an essay in the back about how Ms. Moran used historical facts, but when needed she bridged those facts with some creative writing.

Those who who enjoyed Nefertiti they will enjoy The Heretic Queen because it has the same blend of interesting characters, back stabbing plots and great historical detail. I look forward to Cleopatra’s Daughter!
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LCW
Compulsive Reader
Location: Southern California

Postby LCW » Sun September 7th, 2008, 12:08 am

Great review! I can't wait to get my copy. I'm not supposed to get it until the 17th though!

I have a question: Why is the title called The Heretic Queen if the book is about the heretic queen's (Nefertiti) niece?
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

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Kailana
Reader
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

Postby Kailana » Sun September 7th, 2008, 2:00 am

I am still waiting for my copy of this book! Mail to Canada is soooo slow!

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Spitfire
Reader
Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Sun September 7th, 2008, 2:07 am

"Kailana" wrote:I am still waiting for my copy of this book! Mail to Canada is soooo slow!

Yes, I hear you, being from Canada too! I think we always get the tail end of everything up here! Still waiting for a copy myself!
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Sun September 7th, 2008, 3:05 am

"1lila1" wrote:Great review! I can't wait to get my copy. I'm not supposed to get it until the 17th though!

I have a question: Why is the title called The Heretic Queen if the book is about the heretic queen's (Nefertiti) niece?



Well "heretic queen" is thrown around a lot in the novel. I think it plays such a huge influence on Nefetari and almost defines her as a person. Plus I also believe the people of Egypt called Nefetari the heretic queen too. It really does overshadow her character and Nefetari has to win the people's trust and love, which is something she struggles with.
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Telynor
Bibliophile
Location: On the Banks of the Hudson

Postby Telynor » Fri September 12th, 2008, 9:15 pm

Nefertari is a rather interesting figure in Egyptian history. I've studied a bit about her, and always found her rather skipped in most of the books about Ramses II that I've read -- what I can say with certainty is that she was important enough to him that she had a temple at Abu Simbel, she had a tomb to herself in the VQ, and that she was one of his favourite wives. I've got this one on preorder, and it should be landing on my doorstep sometime next week.

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amyb
Reader
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Postby amyb » Thu September 25th, 2008, 6:07 pm

Here is a link to my review if anyone is interested...

http://passagestothepast.blogspot.com/2008/09/heretic-queen.html

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LCW
Compulsive Reader
Location: Southern California

Postby LCW » Sat September 27th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Here's my review

"Having read and enjoyed Nefertiti, I was really looking forward to reading this novel. I admit it was with a little trepidation as so often a much anticipated novel fails to live up to expectations, at least mine anyway!! I'm happy to report that this novel not only lived up to its hype but it exceeded it by far.

This is the story of Nefertari, niece of Nefertiti, the "Heretic Queen" and Ramses II. There is a beautiful love story between Ramses and Nefertarti, plenty of palace intrigue and plotting and scheming, battles, wars, pirates, evil priests, loyal friends, grand palaces, and even grander tombs. The author does such a good job of describing ancient Egypt that even though I know next to nothing about it, it came alive for me as I read. I could smell the figs wafting on the breeze, hear the roar of crowds, and practically see the grandeur of Egypt's Nineteenth dynasty.

Nefertari was a far more likeable heroine than Nefertiti and Rameses was a real hero as opposed to the self absorbed slightly psychotic Akhenaten from the author's first novel. The love story between Rameses and Nefertari was all the more special because it is real. Declarations of such as: "My love is unique--no one can rival her, for she is the most beautiful woman alive. Just by passing, she has stolen away my heart" have stood for centuries as testament to Rameses great love for Nefertiti. How cool is that!!

If you liked Nefertiti, you will love The Heretic Queen. I highly recommend it!"


I still don't get the title though! Nefertiti was "the heretic queen" and this novel wasn't about her so what's up??? It was a great novel though and due to the days of enjoyment it gave me I'm willing to overlook this tiny flaw! :D :p :D
Books to the ceiling,

Books to the sky,

My pile of books is a mile high.

How I love them! How I need them!

I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

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Tanzanite
Bibliophile
Location: Northern Virginia
Contact:

Postby Tanzanite » Sun September 28th, 2008, 4:33 pm

I thought the titled made reference to the whispers that went on about Nefertari (and not even behind her back) and people referring to her as "the heretic queen" as derogatory (sp?) namecalling and a slam against her for her relationship to Nefertiti. I could easily be wrong though...

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Sun September 28th, 2008, 5:50 pm

Yeah thats what I thought too. Since she was related to Nefertiti she was also viewed as heretic Queen. ButI could be wrong on that.
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