by Michelle Moran
The Heretic Queen is the story of Nefertari, famed wife of Ramesses the Great and niece of the reviled Nefertiti. With romance and royal intrigue enough to rival any Tudor tale, we follow Nefertari from her childhood at the Egyptian court as an all-but-forgotten orphan princess through her trials and triumphs to overcome the taint of her background to win the love the Egyptian people and the loyal heart of her greatest desire -- Ramesses.
I very much enjoyed the entire book, but one of the aspects I found most interesting was the minor sub-story of Moses and the Hebrews. (Named in this book as "Ahmoses" and the "Habiru".) After all, I can't hear the name "Ramesses" without thinking of the Exodus. They are forever entwined in my television-addled brain. In the author's notes, Ms. Moran writes that those looking for the biblical Moses will be sorely disappointed. That is true. But what they will find is a most surprising take on those events. Possibly anti-climatic for those wishing for plagues and passover and parting seas and "So let it be written, so let it be done", but very interesting nonetheless.
The amount of research done for this book draws you in to every page. It's easy to lose yourself in the grandiosity of it all. But with deep respect for all the work Michelle Moran has done, this is what my mind will always see when I hear the names of Nefertari and Ramesses:
Big sigh. And just for the sake of self-indulgence, I'll include this one too:
Bigger sigh . . . They just don't make pharaohs like they used to. ;-)
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!