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A Look at Queen Nefertiti - an Editorial Review of "Feather of Ma'at"



Book Blurb:


The recently murdered Queen Nefertiti of Egypt stands before the gods in the Underworld. To be granted eternal life, she must convince them her life has been worthy. Should she fail, she will be consigned to oblivion.


To prove her worthiness, she undertakes a review of her life – from the moment when, as a child, the gods assigned her the task of maintaining cosmic balance, to her turbulent forced marriage to Akhenaten, the one Pharaoh in Egypt’s long history who set out to tear that balance apart.


Her marriage becomes steadily more difficult as Akhenaten’s obsession to legitimize the worship of only one god throws society into chaos. Nefertiti assumes more and more of his duties, at a time when simply having a woman in charge is itself viewed as an upset of the cosmic balance. But Nefertiti’s greatest challenge arises as she fails to produce a male heir to preserve the dynasty. As Akhenaten turns in desperation towards Nefertiti’s beautiful young daughters to birth him a son, Nefertiti must balance the future of Egypt and the weight of her royal responsibilities against her love for her daughters.


Book Buy Link: https://geni.us/qmJMu


Author Bio:



I was born in Toronto, Ontario and have lived my entire life in the surrounding area. During my brief university career, I studied languages at York U. At various times, I have been an actor, professional belly dancer, holistic nutritionist and entrepreneur. I retired from my day job in early 2023 to pursue my passion for writing, languages, investing and travel. I currently live north of Toronto with my family.


Editorial Review:


I spin around to confront my assailant, but he is not there. I am not in my apartments. How he spirited me away, I do not know, but I shall not let it pass. I call for my bodyguard, but my voice is swallowed by the great chamber. No one answers.

A chill washes over me as I take in my surroundings. The ceiling is painted black with white stars, the walls with spells to help me pass through the gates of the Duat. The pillars are painted with my own image beside those of the gods. A sarcophagus dominates the room. Shaking my head, I step back. My breath is rapid, my heart pounds inside my chest. I cannot be here.


From the first lines, this story draws us in. I also love the first person POV for this particular type of story. It places us in the driver’s seat, experiencing it all first-hand as she does. The novel opens with an engaging line that immediately plunges the reader into the mystical and turbulent world of ancient Egypt, setting a tone of cultural and historical richness.


In "The Feather of Ma'at," Lisa Llamrei revives the ancient world of Egypt through the narrative of Queen Nefertiti. Blending historical fiction with fantasy elements, the book not only explores her life but also her journey in the afterlife, where she stands before the gods to justify her life's actions. This is what really made the book unique and special to me.


Llamrei's narrative is both educational and entertaining, traversing Nefertiti's childhood, her challenging marriage to Akhenaten, and her struggle to uphold cosmic balance in a society resistant to change. The inclusion of Egyptian gods and the concept of the afterlife adds a fantastical layer to the historical context. I was also fascinated with Egyptian history and lore as a child and teen and this book took me back to those days, which I found very refreshing and nostalgic for me personally.


Father looked from me to the lioness, who by this time was on her feet. She walked to me and rubbed one temple against my forehead, then the other. I could see the boatmen readying their weapons and Father gesturing for them to hold back. When the lioness was done, she gave one last look to Father, flicked her tail at him, and bounded back out into the desert.

As she left, all three men fell to their knees and touched their foreheads to the ground. I did the same, without understanding why.

When the lioness was out of sight, Father stood and handed off his bow and quiver of arrows to one of the boatmen. The other went to retrieve the spent arrow. Father hoisted me onto his back and set off back for camp, with me giggling all the way.

When we returned, camp had already been struck, and so we boarded the skiff to take us back to the boat. When father handed me up onto the deck, the first person I saw was Tey. She stared, open-mouthed.

Father jumped up onto the deck, breathless. “You’ll never guess where we found her,” he said.


The book is well-edited and formatted, enhancing the reading experience and I found the dialogue to be really well done, as well. It gives you more insight into the characters and their personalities and it’s written well, so as not to pull you out of the story.


The layout complements the immersive storytelling, allowing readers to effortlessly journey through Nefertiti's life. Each paragraph and chapter seemed to flow perfectly.


Nefertiti is portrayed with depth and nuance, evolving from a historical figure to a multi-dimensional character. Her growth, wisdom, strategic thinking, and resilience are palpable, and the portrayal of Akhenaten as a complex antagonist adds layers to their interactions. The story maintains excellent continuity, integrating historical events with fictional elements seamlessly. Each chapter logically flows into the next, keeping the reader engaged.


If it was his intention to erase the memory of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, Horemheb made one serious error. In dismantling the temples, he reused their blocks as filler in some of his own constructions, leaving them for archaeologists to discover. He also either failed or decided not to completely eradicate the failed city of Akhetaten. Beginning in the eighteenth century, fortune hunters and archaeologists began to uncover tombs, temples, and artifacts, slowly putting together the story of the heretic king and his queen. In the early 1900s, the now iconic bust was discovered in a sculptor’s workshop (not Bek’s, unfortunately), turning the name Nefertiti into a household word.

Ironically, it was this obliteration that led the ancients themselves to forget the existence of King Tut, especially after one of the region’s rare flash floods covered all trace of Tut’s tomb, allowing it alone of all the tombs in the Valley of the Kings (at least, of those so far), to remain undisturbed for three thousand years. The discovery of Tut’s tomb by Howard Carter in 1922 unleashed on the world a madness for all things Egyptian that, for some of us at least, is not one bit diminished a century later.

If the Ancient Egyptians were right, and to speak the name of the dead is to cause them to live again, then Nefertiti is with us still.


Without spoiling anything, the ending is both satisfying and thought-provoking, summarizing Nefertiti's journey and offering a fitting conclusion to her story. She is still with us, because we speak of her and read of her.


The novel's uniqueness lies in its blend of history and fantasy, particularly in the portrayal of Nefertiti's journey through the afterlife. Llamrei demonstrates masterful storytelling with vivid descriptions and authentic dialogue that transport readers to ancient Egypt. The narrative arc is well-constructed, with each phase of Nefertiti's life given ample space to develop, ensuring a complete and well-rounded story.


"The Feather of Ma'at" is a captivating and beautifully written novel that offers a new perspective on a well-known historical figure. Llamrei's combination of meticulous research and imaginative storytelling results in a book that is a pleasure to read and leaves a lasting impact. It's a must-read for fans of historical fiction and anyone interested in ancient Egyptian culture.


*****


“The Feather of Ma'at” by Lisa Llamrei receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company


Award:



 

To have your historical novel editorially reviewed and/or enter the HFC Book of the Year contest, please visit www.thehistoricalfictioncompany.com/book-awards/award-submission



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