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The Heretic Queen

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  23,014 ratings  ·  1,702 reviews
In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past and remake history.

The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the Eighteenth Dynasty’s royal family–with the exception of Nefertari, the niece of the reviled former queen, Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt w
Paperback, 370 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Broadway Books (first published August 7th 2008)
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Popular Answered Questions
Danielle Gonzalez Yes. Michelle Moran’s books are not a series. Each day s an individual story.
Danielle Gonzalez No. There is enough backstory explanation that it’s not necessary to read Nerferti first.

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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  23,014 ratings  ·  1,702 reviews

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Nov 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All but especially lovers of Egyptian history
Loved it, loved it, loved it. I don't normally gush about a novel but I enjoyed this even more than 'Nefertiti' & I really didn't want it to end. It was a vivid, captivating page-turner and I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in the Ancient Egyptian world.
I have been interested in Ancient Egypt since my own school years then helping my sons with assignments on Ancient Egypt; the pharoahs, the Gods, their customs and burial practices, I have always found their highly advanced civilisation fascin
Moran also wrote Nefertiti and Cleopatra's Daughter, but I only read this one. Set in ancient Egypt, The Heretic Queen is an odd mixture, because it felt sometimes exactly like a romance (and a sexy one) and other times like a historical narrative (with some liberally embellished and possibly fabricated history). For romance readers, it might be a nice cross-genre piece, since it bridges both worlds. For those who like more history, and only the straight dope, this will disappoint.

Setting: Anci
Oct 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in ancient history
Recommended to Annie by: Everyone on my blog!
Soak it up - this is entertainment at its best! Michelle Moran's second novel is an enthralling read that will have you frantically turning pages, completely absorbed in the world she has created for you.

Moran's Egypt is a backdrop for all the guilty pleasure plot points you know you love - sex, power, violence and true love. And her cast of characters are fabulously self-serving and deceitful in a way that makes you keep reading just to find out what they will do to each other next. Some are mo
Feb 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children Aged 8 - 12
Recommended to Iset by: No one

There are plenty of issues to raise here, a few good but also plenty of bad. The coherence of the plot is noticeably better than in Moran's first effort, "Nefertiti", which felt like a force of nature carried the helpless characters along a raging torrent without rhyme or reason to the conclusion of the novel. This book at least has an objective in mind, and the plot revolves around whether or not Nefertari will succeed or fail in achieving this objective - becoming Chief Wife and exposing the p
Teodora Paslaru
I struggled how to rate this book. In the end I opted for 4.5* rounded at 5 because a book that keeps me as entertained as it did deserved it, even if there were some issues.

I must confess, after the first few pages I wanted to put this book down and never pick it up again. I'm glad I didn't. I suppose it happened because at first I was under the impression this book is solely a romance, and the romance aspect of this book was the worst part of it. Nothing seemed natural, the chemistry between c
Colleen Martin
Oct 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful, awful, awful. This ranks way up on my list of Worst Books Ever Written. The author didn't know if she was supposed to be writing historical fiction, soft-core (and very unerotic) porn, or chick lit (with all the name-calling and backstabbing and gossiping). There wasn't a single sympathetic character in the bunch, and I especially hated her depiction of Ramesses. Here's a guy who's supposedly head-over-heels in love with Nefertari and he can clearly see what an amazing diplomat she is, an ...more
Nov 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Egypt, historical fiction, romance
Maybe more like a 3.75 out of 5. The author does a good job of capturing what we know from the archeaological record about the culture and lifestyle of ancient Egypt and the 19th dynasty. And the book certainly peaks my interest in the relationship between Ramesses II and Nefertari, whose love was well-documented in poetry and on the walls of monuments and shrines. The basic plot involves the rise of Nefertari -- an outcast princess shunned because of her relationship to Nefertiti -- to the thro ...more
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I love historical fiction, especially reading about women rulers. Though I am mostly addicted to reading about the Tudors, I wanted to read something different.
The Heretic Queen is the first Michelle Moran novel I read. Looking at her other books, Michelle seems to have a penchant for Egyptian women rulers.
The Heretic Queen focuses on one of the lesser known queens of Egypt, Nefertari, who was Queen Nefertiti's niece . She is called "The Heretic Queen" since Nefertiti had abandoned the Gods Egyp
I saw a short film on the discovery of Ramesses's tomb on vacation and of course I was intrigued by the mention of the love story and wasted MORE. (I've also been meaning to read Moran forever.)

This didn't totally scratch the itch because it's more about Nefertari's quest to become Chief Wife. I really wish more time had been focused on her and Ramesses's relationship, especially the transformation from childhood friends to lovers. It came very close to just "oh look, she got hot." And at times
The simplicity of Moran’s writing style and storytelling grasps your attention. The story becomes addictive in small, measured steps and your imagination gets the better of you, that said, I found this to be a credible, fascinating look into this era of history. You can read full review on my blog: ...more
I was not very impressed with Nefertiti and the follow-up book The Heretic Queen disappointed me even more. While the first half of Nefertiti was largely disappointing, The Heretic Queen suffered from it from start to finish. This novel suffered terribly from first-person point of view. Nefertiti was also first-person but it was Nefertiti's sister, which gave some much-needed distance.

First of all the book, much like it's counterpart Nefertiti, did not capture the essence of Ancient Egypt. Sure
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some would call the Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti visionaries. They ended the polytheistic religion of Egypt and destroyed the greedy and corrupt temples of Amun. They instituted a revolutionary monotheistic system, worshipping one God, the Aten. Unfortunately, thousands of years of religious belief could not be erased so easily. Their reign ended in disaster and the old religious order was restored, ending a line of kings stretching back over a hundred years.

Michelle Moran starts th
Rebecca Huston
Jul 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one!
I had thought Nefertiti was bad. I didn't think that it couldn't get worse. It did. This fluffy, stupid, tale of Rameses II's great love, Nefertari, is reduced into a tawdry romance full of plotting priests, high-heeled sandals, tolling bells, never ending meals of pomegranate sauced ducks, and other improbabilities. Nefertari is supposedly the niece of Queen Nefertiti, and goes through the novel fearing that someone is gonna find out. Right. And she wants to find out the truth of her 'murdered' ...more
Margaret Chind
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Margaret by: Michelle Moran

Originally posted on Creative Madness Mama.

*This post has been updated with my new format as of January 27, 2016
with the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin.*
The Heretic Queen book review
Oh, what a novel! I wish it had not come to an end. Every time I picked up the book to settle in for a read, I was swept into the world of Egypt with Pharaoh's and Warrior Queen's. I was impressed by Nefertiti, Michelle Moran's debut, but The Heretic Queen surpasses my admiration by far.

Our story is told from a first person perspective straight fr

3.5 stars
When I first started this book, I initially thought I’d already read a bit too much about Ancient Egypt, having just finished The Visitors, but I think this was just a slow start. Once I got into it, I quite enjoyed it. I did feel that at times it seemed a bit too contemporary in the way people spoke, and while I don’t suppose we have very much to go on to know just how the ancient Egyptians spoke, and if we did have the information, it mightn’t be the easiest to read (even old English
Apr 24, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I just wasn't that impressed. Nefer wasn't a strong female to me and their "romance" was incredibly unrealistic to me. Character development was really lacking and I didn't like any of her characters. I doubt I'll read anything else by this author.

Following on from my re-reading of Moran's Nefertiti , I also re-read the sequel, The Heretic Queen, and this is my revised rating from three to two stars.

In this book, Moran gives us the love story of Nefertari and Ramesses, weaving into it opposition on the basis that Nefertari (fictionally) was the niece of Nefertiti, and the competition between Nefertari and Ramesses' other wife, Istnofret (dubbed "Iset" in the book), in the race to become queen.

I enjoy this book more, partly because Mora
As the niece of the former Heretic Queen, Nefertari is hated by all of Egypt apart from a few allies, but they are powerful allies that include the Pharaoh, the High Priestess, and the Crown Prince, Ramesses the Great. Nerfertari has to prove that she is a valuable queen for him after spending a whole year being groomed for the position of Chief Wife.

Moran always knows how to craft an enjoyable story and this one is no exception. However, I did have some criticisms. The characters were a little
Amy Bruno
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever since I was a little girl I have had a fascination with Egypt. My mom would buy me books with pictures of Egypt; the pyramids and artifacts and I would just eat it up! I'm not sure what's behind all the fascination, but I like to think that maybe I was there in another life.

Michelle Moran brings me back home in The Heretic Queen. It is a tale of Nefertari, who was hailed as the Warrior Queen by the people in Egypt and was known for her knowledge of 8 languages. Nefertari was the Chief Wife
Mar 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-author
I loved this book from the start. The writing style is right up my alley, appropriately descriptive without being excessive, with lots of dialogue. This was my first novel from the Egyptian culture and the days of the great rulers. I wondered what I would think of such a storyline. I found I loved it!

This is the story of Princess Nefertari, most of the storyline taking place before she became queen. The author took a lot of liberties with the storyline, since there are so many gaps in Egyptian h
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings for this one...
1. If Nefer and Rameses (I'll never get the correct number of s) really had this 'beautiful understanding trusting' relationship, why does she hesitate to tell him the scandals going on in his own court ?? And why does she stop those who want to tell them to him instead, saying "He'll think I sent you out of jealousy." What ?
2. The protagonist somehow came across as PERFECT. No matter what happened, it was NEVER Nefer's
Sep 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing. One of the things I enjoy most about reading historical fiction is being immersed in worlds of the past. Moran fails completely at this, she was never able to bring Ancient Egypt alive.

After thinking on this for a little bit, I think was really bothered me was the theme of the book - you are never good enough for the man you love, you have to change into something you aren't. The main character starts out beautiful, smart, speaks 6 or 7 languages, and is best friends with the
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
A vast improvement over the author's earlier Egyptian historical fiction novel, Nefertiti. I admit that I had low expectations for this going in, but the plot, the character's struggles (especially Nefertari's for identity and recognition, as opposed to her "aunt"'s for just power/a man) were handled much more maturely and wholly.

This foray into the fascinating world of Egypt's past has a lot more to recommend it than Nefertiti. The characters are more accessible and rounded; the similarities (b
Ariana Fae
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The HERETIC QUEEN at its heart is a love story told from the view point of Nefertari. It is also a tale about two queens vying of the heart of Pharaoh Ramesses and who will be his ruling queen.

Michelle Moran does a wonderful job of transporting the reader to the intricacies of ancient Egypt, with its court politics, palaces, and the way royalty lived. I did find it slow in the beginning but it still held my interest enough to keep reading on. Nefertari is a sympathetic character who was smart, d
Tara Chevrestt
90210 goes to Egypt!! That about sums it up. I found this novel to be juvenile. The entire novel is a cat fight between Nefertari (the daughter of Mutny, Nefertiti's sister) and a harem girl named Iset. Both Nefertari and Iset become wives of Ramses II and they are constantly fighting to be Chief Wife. While Ramses jumps bed to bed impregnating one or the other, the women resort to poision, lies, and use all their charms to lure the pharoah. There is some war thrown in here and there for good me ...more
Oct 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-paced, beautifully drawn and compelling look at the neice of the heretic queen Nefertiti; orphaned and relegated to a minor role at court, the young Nefertari's struggle to overcome the shadows of her past and win the right to become queen, won her the heart of Pharoah Ramseess and the adoration of Egypt. ...more
I found this to be a surprisingly engaging read. The story sped by and kept me absorbed in the fate of the heroine.
It's a tale of Nefertari and her quest to become Chief Wife to Ramsses the Great. With a little bit of war, some political intrigue, an interesting version of history and a lot of romance, the author has created a good story with a charming character.
Kayla Edwards
Yep, still just as much in love with this book as I was the last time I read it. This is one of my repeat reads - I just keep coming back to it! A wonderfully woven tale of historical fiction about Egyptian princess Nefertari. A must read!
Carol Hubbard
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I hadn't come to the end of the book, as I had become part of the story. And
I have now read this book three times.
Oct 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am crazy for anything Egypt and this book did not let me down. I've read Michelle's previous novel, Nefertiti, and this was just as good. More to come....I am at work right now ;) ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Michelle Moran is the international bestselling author of six historical novels, including Madame Tussaud, which was optioned for a mini-series in 2011. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

A native of southern California, Michelle attended Pomona

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