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Monday, September 14, 2009

Review : Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Title : Cleopatra's Daughter
Author : Michelle Moran
Publisher : Crown Publishing Group
Genre : Young Adult - Historial Fiction
ISBN : 978-0307409126
Series : No
Rating : 5

From Author Website :

The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s vengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome, but only two—the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander—survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian’s sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.

The fateful tale of Selene and Alexander is brought brilliantly to life in Cleopatra’s Daughter. Recounted in Selene’s youthful and engaging voice, it introduces a compelling cast of historical characters:

Octavia: the emperor Octavian’s kind and compassionate sister, abandoned by Marc Antony for Cleopatra
Livia: Octavian’s bitter and jealous wife
Marcellus: Octavian’s handsome, flirtatious nephew and heir-apparent
Tiberius: Livia’s sardonic son and Marcellus’s great rival for power
Juba: Octavian’s ever-watchful aide, whose honored position at court has far-reaching effects on the lives of the young Egyptian royals

Selene’s narrative is animated by the concerns of a young girl in any time and place —the possibility of finding love, the pull of friendship and family, and the pursuit of her unique interests and talents. While coping with the loss of both her family and her ancestral kingdom, Selene must find a path around the dangers of a foreign land. Her accounts of life in Rome are filled with historical details that vividly capture both the glories and horrors of the time. She dines with the empire’s most illustrious poets and politicians, witnesses the creation of the Pantheon, and navigates the colorful, crowded marketplaces of the city where Roman-style justice is meted out with merciless authority.

Based on meticulous research, Cleopatra’s Daughter is a fascinating portrait of Imperial Rome and of the people and events of this glorious and tumultuous period in human history. Emerging from the shadows of history, Selene, a young woman of irresistible charm and preternatural intelligence, will capture your heart.

Review :

Princess Kleopatra Selene is mourning both the loss of her parents and her kingdom of Egypt. The only person she now has in the world to call family is her twin brother, Prince Alexander Helios. At the age of 12, they must now live as Romans, in the home of Octavian's sister Octavia in Rome. Although they live like royalty, they are nothing more than beautiful slaves, unsure of their future or if they will even have one once they hit the age of 15.

It is mercy to allow the children of Queen Kleopatra IIV to live until they are considered adults. In the Roman age, adulthood is proclaimed at the age of 15. Selene and her brother Alexander are promised that at their arrival into adulthood they will be arranged marriages, but they hope to be useful enough to be returned to their rightful thrones in Egypt.

The story of Cleopatra's Daughter created a vivid image of Imperial Rome, and brought out both it's wonders and horrors. It was a beautiful story of love, loss, and even revenge. I was gripped from the very first page, and didn't want to put it down even during my most tired moments.

Moran wrote this novel so it flowed beautiful, and was easy to read. This wonderful story of Princess Cleopatra Selene can be read by both young adults and adults alike as it tells a story of a young girl coming of age. You will be able to feel her pain, rage, and those bittersweet moments of happiness that she experiences throughout her years.

Throughout all of this, Moran paints a picture of a Rome that will both enrage and captivate you. I would be more than pleased if this was to be created into a movie, as I would love to see it portrayed on the big screen. I would like to give a special thanks to Michelle Moran for being so kind as to allow me to review this novel. She is truly a wonderful person, and I look forward to seeing where her imagination will take her next. I will be sure to pick up her other two novels, The Heretic Queen, and Nefertiti soon.


kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Wow, this sounds great! I have yet to see a negative of this one - makes me looking forward to reading it!

Ellz said...

Great review. I really want to read this one.

Lana said...

I was impressed with how well Moran portrayed the complications of being a captive princess like Selene - the need to make yourself indispensable to someone you hate. The friendships and betrayals and disappointments. I was utterly fascinated!

I enjoyed your review! I've linked to you here, and would love to hear from you there!