Ancient Egypt is one of the most fascinating places in both time and geography. Whether it comes to the pyramids, the pharaohs back in the day or perhaps the unique culture, I often ask myself what it was like living back then.
There are ancient Egypt historical fiction books that feel so real you almost experience the place as if you lived there. With these ideas in mind, here are some amazing books I’ve been through lately. Get ready to be blown away.
What Are The Top Ancient Egypt Historical Fiction Books?
Temple in the Sand, by Marjorie Vernelle (2023)
There’s a bit of reality in this book, as well as a bit of fiction. It’s the type of book that makes you wonder, what if? Anyway, Seti I was one of the greatest pharaohs of Egypt, despite ruling for 11 years only. He was a warrior, an artist, a person who was aware of his people’s needs and requirements.
Perhaps that’s why his tomb in the Valley of the Kings is one of the most attractive ones. And here comes the myth, that fine line between reality and fiction. The legend says Seti I had a diary, and that diary is hidden somewhere in the temple. It has not been found yet, despite numerous attempts.
This book recreates ancient Egypt, and it’s written from the pharaoh’s point of view. The modern world may not have access to his journal yet, but that’s probably what we would read about if we did find it.
It’s the type of book that makes you wonder what the king would think about at the end of the day, what his concerns were and what made him happy, definitely a must-read if you’re into Egypt historical fiction.
Nefertiti, by Michelle Moran (2007)
Nefertiti is a legendary beauty, one of the most sophisticated figures in Egypt’s history and not just because of her looks. She married Amunhotep when she was 15 years old only, and that’s when her ascension to fame and fortune began.
Nefertiti soon became a prolific figure in Egypt, as well as her husband’s best friend. But things are likely to change when her husband decides to defy everything for an idea. And at that point, it’s all up to Nefertiti to keep Egypt from falling apart.
This book is seen through Nefertiti’s sister’s eyes, Mutnodjmet, who’s very close to being sacrificed for Nefertiti to strengthen her position. I won’t give you too many spoilers, but get ready for a story of love, ambition, drama and loss.
The Memoirs of Cleopatra, by Margaret George (2007)
This is pure ancient Egypt historical fiction written so well that it almost feels like an actual memoir. It tells Cleopatra VII’s story and covers everything, from her early life and her ascension to power at 17 to her eventual suicide.
The story covers some aspects most people may not be aware of, many of them actually true. For example, while not proven, Cleopatra had to hide in a rug to escape her brother’s wrath and start an alliance with Julius Caesar. Eventually, she fell in love with him.
There’s a lot of drama in this Egypt historical fiction book, as well as love and an unusual definition of what power means. There are plenty of real facts from history books, as well as things and ideas the author has imagined.
The Egyptian, by Mika Waltari (2021)
This is a classic. I know, it was released nearly a century ago, but trust me, it’s one of the best and most detailed Egypt historical fiction books out there. It was originally published in 1940, and it was only available in Finnish, but it was translated into more languages as it gained notoriety.
The story follows Sinuhe, a physician who tells a story while being in exile, soon after Akhenaten’s death. Many of the incidents that took place in Egypt back then are real. However, the book also covers the protagonist’s travels around Syria, Babylon and other areas.
Historical characters you may be familiar with include Nefertiti, Tiy, Tutankhamun and Ay, among many others. It’s a book based on real events, but with a more detailed story written from a personal point of view. And that’s where the fiction kicks in, as it feels like you’re there, along with the protagonist.