Mutny’s family were living uneventful lives in the countryside, until her sister Nefertiti married the Crown Prince of Egypt and whisked the entire family into Malkata Palace in Thebes. Thrust into the public eye, the naturally shy Mutny finds herself in rooms more ornate than any she could have imagined; taken to the baths to be washed and dressed by her body-slaves and transformed by their art, even she becomes a beauty. But the effects on Mutny are nothing to those on the already radiant Nefertiti. Instantly, all eyes are on her and she is able to manipulate her way further into her husband’s confidence and deeper into her people’s affection.
Whilst Nefertiti’s beauty takes her far with Egypt’s rulers and her people alike, it has no effect on the sister who has known her since birth. Mutny becomes more and more disillusioned with her willful sister and is soon the only person in the kingdom whom Nefertiti cannot manipulate to do her will. Finally, Nefertiti’s actions see Mutny’s world and all her dreams destroyed. She retreats to her beloved countryside and leaves Nefertiti alone to face her downfall.
Cracks begin to show as the celebrity couple’s plans to create a legacy for themselves start to spiral out of control. As the army is used to build a new city in their names, neighbouring nations encroach on Egypt’s borders and nothing can be done. It is not until disease strikes Thebes that Nefertiti is forced to act to save not just her dynasty, but her nation.
With a sister’s honesty and affection, Mutny paints a vivid portrait of an ambitious, headstrong and remarkable figure