The Heretic Queen – Michelle Moran

Title: The Heretic Queen
Author: Michelle Moran
ISBN: 0307381757
Pages: 400
Release Date: September 16, 2008
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Sequel to Nefertiti
Rating: ***** (out of 5)

From the dust jacket:

When Nefertari’s entire family is killed in a fire, she’s left to grow up alone, a spare princess in the palace of the new Pharaoh. Her young life is overshadowed by the past – the name of her infamous aunt, Nefertiti, the Heretic Queen, still strikes terror into the souls of Egyptians. So, when she finds herself falling in love with the young Pharaoh, Ramesses, she knows it’s not going to be easy to win his heart.

But when the Pharaoh’ aunt takes Nefertiti under her wing and begins to educate her in the ways to gain a man’s attention – and hold it – marriage to him seems within her reach. Yet, even as Ramesses declares his love for her, she knows there’s more work to be done. If she’s to be Queen, all of Egypt must recognize her worth and overcome her connection to the dark, heretical days of her past.

Ramesses will face challenges from all sides: war, drought, conquest, and the determination of a man named Ahmoses will all threaten his right. Could Egypt’s rulers, and more importantly her people, ever allow him to marry the womean he loves, let alone make her his Queen?

Michelle Moran is my newest favorite author. Her books are well crafted and meticulously researched. The historical part of her work is amazingly vivid; she really brings ancient Egypt to life. But this can be a problem for some authors; while they excel at research and writing a historical scene, their characters are flat. The fiction part of their novels are left wanting. Thankfully, Michelle is just as talented at writing her characters as she is at researching them – her novels really are not to be missed.

I would really recommend reading Nefertiti before The Heretic Queen. It’s not necessary; they are written as stand alone novels and function well as such. But in order to understand the hurdles that Nefertari must clear, it is helpful to have read an account of her aunt’s tumultuous reign.

Nefertari herself is a wonderful character. She is smart and rational, but at the same time, she is very vulnerable. Her mother, Mutny, was the narrator of Nefertiti, and was definitely the most sympathetic character in the book. Nefertari is the same way, though I do like seeing the book through her eyes, rather than the eyes of someone watching on the sidelines. Moran made a wise choice in narrators, making her voice clear and strong.

Moran’s next novel, Cleopatra’s Daughter, will be about the surviving children of Cleopatra and Marc Antony. It sounds like it will be an amazing read, and I can’t wait for its release next year.


  1. I have Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen in my TBR pile and I’ve got to make time to get to them.

  2. Interesting blog. I love reading. i look forward to reading this blog more often.

  3. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I really enjoyed Nefertiti and am looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the great review!

  4. Great blog

  5. Sorry, I hit post before I meant to! You have a great blog…very interesting. I look forward to looking around more and reading your thoughts on some of my favorite books and others that I would love to read.

  6. I LOVED Nefertiti! I agree that Moran does an excellent job with the historical details and the characters. I’ve never loved historical fiction more. The Heretic Queen is on my shelf, and I hope to read it soon. I’m so glad that it’s getting such good reviews!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  7. This book sounds intriguing. I am going to put it on TBR list! Thanks for the review.

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