My mother bowed to no god.
Some say she was a rebel, overturning the world to establish the true religion. This isn't so. My mother believed in nothing but power; the only deity she followed was named Control. Oh, not over us, of course. Over the land. Over Egypt.
She was no trophy queen.
Her name meant "The Beautiful One Has Come," and she indeed was called the most beautiful woman in the world (we, her daughters, were reflections of her beauty, her face in an obsidian mirror replicated sixfold), but of course she was more than just beautiful. She was perfect.
The Aten was her idea. The priests of Amun have too much sway over us, she had said. We need to regain our rightful influence. So we will abolish the old gods of Egypt and put in place one supreme being, the Aten, the sun-disk, who sees everything and speaks through the mouths of the Pharaoh and his Queen. The old gods will be illegal. We will destroy their images; we will execute their worshippers; we will burn their temples in the name of the one true god.
My five sisters were not yet born, and I was only an infant, so we all grew up in the midst of this revolution, thinking that the path of the rebel Pharaoh was the way life should be, had always been. We'd never known the old gods. Not that it would have mattered.
What happened to my heretic father, to my perfect and godless mother, to the obedient six of us, and to the twin kingdoms of Egypt was unstoppable.
This is the story of our doom, a fate not even my mother could save us from.
And now it is forbidden to speak my mother's name, but I will tell you anyway. There is not much time. Soon I will be murdered, and the secret must not perish with me.
My mother's name was Nefertiti.