It is the 14th century BC and the search is on for a wife for Pharoah - the young ambitious Pharoah who wants to just "get rid" of the elder his father in fact and rule on his own. His brother has also died in suspicious circumstances. He wants the shortcut method not the wait and see one and he finds his soulmate in the equally ambitious family of Nefertiti and Nefertiti herself who supports and encourages her husband in his quest to be an immortal human being - almost a god on earth.
The story centred around not just Nefertiti but her equally clever sister Mutny - the healer, the more rational one in the family but one nevertheless who will support her sister and the family against all odds and against all others.
An impetuous girl Nefertiti has also got a bad temper and Mutny is sent along to be the saner counsel and the eyes and ears for the family who know that Nefertiti tenure as a favourite wife is only as long as she can control the young Pharoah Amunhotep - a law unto himself. Wanting to be an all supreme being he discards the old gods, creates temples to the new one and his visage and that of his wife (who he also declares as Pharoah) on all temple walls. His increasingly erratic behaviour seems to indicate trouble ahead not just for his own family but for the entire country whom he bankrupts as a result of the constant building he undertakes. At the installation of himself and his wife as Pharoah a plague descends on the city and decimates the population. The people themselves revolt against a King who has said he is God but one who cannot protect his own. The destruction of the temples and the poverty stricken state of the population bring down the downfall of both the Pharoah and his wife in extremely tragic conditions.
The serene life of Mutny who achieves this after a heart breaking incident caused by her own family is the joyful part of the story. Her happiness as a wife and a mother are complete and a complete contrast to her sister who seemed to have everything and ended up with nothing.
As usual Michelle Moran has spun a tale of fantasy and fact into a beautiful whole.