Kidlets! I just read the greatest book and it’s called The Other Boleyn Girl and is set in England and is about this vivacious, ambitious young girl who goes on to marry the king and then she’s TOTALLY STRESSED OUT by how exhausting it is to keep the king’s attention all the time when there are ladies everywhere and also to try and subtly rule in his stead because he’s a bit of a ditz, and it’s told from the point of view of her younger, less-vivacious sister who just wants to have a quiet life but who keeps getting swept up into the INTRIGUE and I totally lied and it’s actually set in Egypt and called Nefertiti but the rest of it is true.
And I know, have this thing where sometimes I exaggerate to make a point and I PROMISE I am not doing that here. Sub out taffeta gowns and French hoods for sheer robes and be-cobra’d crowns et PRESTO! I give you The Nef. I AM NOT COMPLAINING, I am just stating a fact. Truth be told, I wish all of my favorite novels would be re-set in Egypt. Janehetmaktun Eyreapten. It would be awesome.
And if we accept Premise A: that Moran is the P.Greggory of Egyptian royals, along with Premise B: that Greggory isn’t precisely good but she is certainly engaging, then we are led uncomplainingly to Conclusion X: that Nefertiti is nothing stunning, but will totally while away some spare hours if you happen to have them.
And Moran isn’t at all subtle (and here is the General who will be trouble later, and this here is the General whom Mutnodjmet will fall in love with later, and this particular enterprise isn’t going to end well, and if we are barring the doors so that The Plague does not enter the castle, YOU HAD BETTER BELIEVE THAT THE PLAGUE WILL ENTER THE CASTLE) and she does that thing that most historical fiction writers do where they latch on to a particularly archaic way of saying something that they think sounds really authentic, or a certain set of descriptors or something and then they FLOG it into the GROUND until it’s all you can SEE anymore. Which sort of chaps my ass.
But where she really let me down was in the romance angle, because there’s this general, see, and he kind of glances at Nefertiti’s sister Mutnodjmet one time, and then a few chapters later he chats her up for maybe two lines, and then she invites him to her tent one night and he shows up and they clasp hands and then I do not joke it is a month later and they are discussing politics. POLITICS! Where is all the, you know, nervousness and awesomeness and tingling!?! I do not need to see them getting it on, and I don’t necessarily need all of P.Gregg’s heaving bosoms and slender waists, but when Mut shows up pregnant a few chapters later I do not want to feel shocked because I HAD NO IDEA.
So. I will probably read more Moran, but only when I need something brainless. And I mean that in the best possible way.
Also, thanks to TY for recommending this one as part of the Wonderful Dare Challenge.