Saturday, November 10, 2007

Christmas Gifts - Historical Fiction

Since the Christmas season will soon be upon us, I thought I would divide some of my reading this year into categories and list some possible gift ideas for people that might need some recommendations. This will include three interviews (hopefully) and hopefully a give away or two. I buy books for my grandmother and while she will read a lot of what I will read, she also reads authors that I have no interest in. I am hoping there are other people out there in a similar situation looking for some recommendations.

My two favourite historical fiction reads of the year:

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped by all that her strong personality will temper the young Amunhotep’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods, overthrow the priests of Amun, and introduce a new sun god for all to worship.

From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people. Her charisma is matched only by her husband’s perceived generosity: Amunhotep showers his subjects with lofty promises. The love of the commoners will not be enough, however, if the royal couple is not able to conceive an heir, and as Nefertiti turns her attention to producing a son, she fails to see that the powerful priests, along with the military, are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person wise enough to recognize the shift in political winds—and brave enough to tell the queen—is her younger sister, Mutnodjmet.

Observant and contemplative, Mutnodjmet has never shared her sister’s desire for power. She yearns for a quiet existence away from family duty and the intrigues of court. Her greatest hope is to share her life with the general who has won her heart. But as Nefertiti learns of the precariousness of her reign, she declares that her sister must remain at court and marry for political gain, not love. To achieve her independence, Mutnodjmet must defy her sister, the most powerful woman in Egypt—while also remaining loyal to the needs of her family.

Love, betrayal, political unrest, plague, and religious conflict—Nefertiti brings ancient Egypt to life in vivid detail. Fast-paced and historically accurate, it is the dramatic story of two unforgettable women living through a remarkable period in history.
To read my review of this book, click here.

My other favourite historical fiction read of 2007 was Wolf of the Plains by Conn Iggulden.
'I am the land and the bones of the hills. I am the winter.'

Temujin, the second son of the khan of the Wolves tribe, was only eleven when his father died in an ambush. His family were thrown out of the tribe and left alone, without food or shelter, to starve to death on the harsh Mongolian plains.

It was a rough introduction to his life, to a sudden adult world, but Temujin survived, learning to combat natural and human threats. A man, a small family, without a tribe was always at risk but he gathered other outsiders to him, creating a new tribal identity. It was during some of his worst times that the image of uniting the warring tribes and bringing the silver people together came to him. He will become the khan of the sea of grass, Genghis.
To read my review of this book click here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reminding me about Nefertiti! I remember your review, and I decided then that I really wanted to read it, but in the meantime I'd forgotten about it. I think I'll show this post to my boyfriend as a subtle hint :P


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