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 hearts 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's aunt takes Nefertari 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 recognise her worth and overcome her connection to the dark, heretical days of the past.
Ramesses will face challenges from all sides: war, drought, conquest and the determination of a man named Ahmoses will all threaten his reign. Could Egypt's rulers, and more importantly her people, ever allow him to marry the woman he loves, let alone make her his Queen?
The intricacies of the ancient Egyptian court are brought to life in Moran's fascinating tale of a princess's rise to power. Nefertari, niece of the famed "heretic queen" Nefertiti, becomes part of the court of Pharaoh Seti I after her family is deposed, and she befriends Ramesses II, the young crown prince. When Ramesses is made co-monarch, he weds Iset, the granddaughter of a harem girl backed by Seti's conniving sister, Henuttawy, the priestess of Isis. As Nefertari's position in the court becomes tenuous, she realizes that she, too, wants to marry Ramesses and enlists the help of Seti's other sister, Woserit. But when Nefertari succeeds in wedding Ramesses, power struggles and court intrigues threaten her security, and it is questionable whether the Egyptian people will accept a heretic descendant as their ruler or if civil war will erupt. Moran (Nefertiti) brings her characters to life, especially Nefertari, who helped Ramesses II become one of the most famous of Egyptian pharaohs. Nefertari's struggles to be accepted as a ruler loved as a leader and to secure her family's position throughout eternity are sure to appeal to fans of historical fiction.