SPOILERS for Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

NefertitiNefertiti by Michelle Moran

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

historical fiction, audio


Not much is known about the life of Nefertiti. Her most famous image is this bust that is in a German museum.

No one knows much about her life because she was erased from history when the city she and Akhenaten built was abandoned. It does look like Akhenaten ruled for longer than in the book and he probably didn’t die of plague.

To get an idea of how confusing the historical record is look at this paragraph from Wikipedia:

“Similarly, although it is accepted that Akhenaten himself died in Year 17 of his reign, the question of whether Smenkhkare became co-regent perhaps two or three years earlier or enjoyed a brief independent reign is unclear.[50] If Smenkhkare outlived Akhenaten, and became sole Pharaoh, he likely ruled Egypt for less than a year. The next successor was Neferneferuaten, a female Pharaoh who reigned in Egypt for two years and one month.[51] She was, in turn, probably succeeded by Tutankhaten (later, Tutankhamun), with the country being administered by the chief vizier, and future Pharaoh, Ay. Tutankhamun was believed to be a younger brother of Smenkhkare and a son of Akhenaten, and possibly Kiya although one scholar has suggested that Tutankhamun may have been a son of Smenkhkare instead. DNA tests in 2010 indicated Tutankhamun was indeed the son of Akhenaten.[13] It has been suggested that after the death of Akhenaten, Nefertiti reigned with the name of Neferneferuaten[52] but other scholars believe this female ruler was rather Meritaten. The so-called Coregency Stela, found in a tomb in Amarna possibly shows his queen Nefertiti as his coregent, ruling alongside him, but this is not certain as the names have been removed and recarved to show Ankhesenpaaten and Neferneferuaten.”

It was previously assumed the Nefertiti was gone from the historical record long before Akhenaten died but in 2012 a new record was found about her in the year prior to his death. No tomb for Nefertiti has ever been found.


Recently her name is thought to be Mutbenret instead. Apparently those are easily mistaken in hieroglyphs. It is possible that she is same woman who was married to Horemheb when he was Pharaoh. This possibility is discussed in the story. There is no historical record of her ever having been married to Nakhtmin, who was a real general.

For more info on her see this page. She seems to have run around with dwarfs.