Monday, October 26, 2009

Julie's Review: Cleopatra's Daughter

Summary: Moran's latest foray into the world of classical history (after The Heretic Queen) centers upon the children of Marc Antony and Cleopatra . After the death of their parents, twins Alexander and Selene and younger brother Ptolemy are in a dangerous position, left to the mercy of their father's greatest rival, Octavian Caesar. However, Caesar does not kill them as expected, but takes the trio to Rome to be paraded as part of his triumphant return and to demonstrate his solidified power. As the twins adapt to life in Rome in the inner circle of Caesar's family, they grow into adulthood ensconced in a web of secrecy, intrigue and constant danger. Told from Selene's perspective, the tale draws readers into the fascinating world of ancient Rome and into the court of Rome's first and most famous emperor. Deftly encompassing enough political history to provide context, Moran never clutters her narrative with extraneous facts. Readers may be frustrated that Selene is more observer than actor, despite the action taking place around her, but historical fiction enthusiasts will delight in this solid installment from a talented name in the genre. ~amazon.com

Review: Cleopatra's Daughter is another excellent novel of historical fiction by Michelle Moran. While this book is mainly aimed at young adults, adults who read it will find it interesting and intriguing. That being said, this was my least favorite of the 3. I much prefer Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen: A Novel. I think that's because Mutny and Nefertari's voices were stronger for me than Selene. I like Selene but did grow tired of the pity party. Although I do think that young adults will identify more with Selene than I did.

I really enjoyed the rest of the characters, with Octavia being my favorite. For having Marc Anthony leave her for Queen Cleopatra, she was extremely good and loving to Alexander and Selene. At times it was hard for me to believe that Selene was 12 when they came to live in Rome, she just seemed extremely mature. I know that girls and boys needed to grow up quickly in ancient times but at times I felt that she was a lot older. I will say that the descriptions of Ancient Rome are vivid and make the place come alive. The characters are well developed and interesting.

I thought that the pace of the book was excellent and definitely held my interest. I like how the book spanned over 3-4 years and we got to see both Alexander and Selene grow into young adults. There were 2 twists that I didn't see coming. I also thoroughly enjoyed the end of the book and thought that it was fantastic that Ms. Moran stayed true to history instead of creating her own ending.

Perhaps that is the most intriguing part of this whole book, the fact that these people truly existed and are a real part of history.

If your teen is interested in history then I would definitely have them read this book. If not, this would be a fantastic book to get them interested in history. To think that people their age were kings and queens will pique their interest.

Final Take: 4.25/5

2 comments :

A Bookshelf Monstrosity October 26, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

I recently won this book in a contest and am looking forward to reading it. I also want to read her other novels. Thanks for your insightful review!

Amy October 29, 2009 at 6:09 PM  

Your review is great, Julie! I haven't read the book yet but I really want to and your review confirmed for me that I should get to it sooner rather than later!

Thank you!
~Amy

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