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#255 ~ Cleopatra’s Daughter

Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran

Published by: Crown Publishing Group

Published on: September, 2009

Page Count: 448

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Reading Format: audio book purchased through Audible.com.

Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, audio book, eBook ~ Note: Apaperback version to be released on July 13, 2010

Book Trailer: See the end of this review for a trailer of Cleopatra’s Daugther.


Synopsis from the Publisher

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; 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.

My Review

Rome and Greece are not places that interest me when it comes to historical fiction.  I can’t really say why, but it has always been that way.  As foundational as those societies were to the modern western world, I would much rather pick up a historical novel about just about any place else first.  I used to feel that way about ancient Eygpt.  However, after reading Michelle Moran’s Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen, I found myself engrossed in it’s stories and enchanted by that place in time.  So, when Moran’s third novel, Cleopatra’s Daughter, was published dealing with ancient Rome I decided to overlook my apathy about the setting because Moran tells such wonderful and vivid stories.  When the Historical Fiction Lover’s book club clamored to read it, I readily agreed.  While I didn’t leave this book any more interested in Ancient Rome than I was beforehand, Michelle Moran did not disappoint.  Once again, she told a winning story that kept me interested throughout.

  • My favorite parts of this book pertain to the differences between life in Egypt versus life in Rome.  Seeing this through Selene’s eyes was a great way to highlight the role of women in the two countries.  If you would expect Rome to be more progressive in its treatment of women and children, you’d be wrong.
  • It was an interesting experience reading this novel by audio book.  I read hard copies of Moran’s first two novels and the pages flew by.  I have no real concept of whether Cleopatra’s Daughter was the same way because you cannot read the book any faster that it is read by the narrator.   The narrator did a good job, although it took me a little time to get used to her accent.  It also sounded like she had a cold from time to time.
  • Toward the end of the novel, a revelation is made about Alexander.  I don’t want to give away any of the details, but it didn’t necessarily work for me.  While it’s certainly plausible, I don’t know if that was something that really needed to be in this novel.  I don’t know that it felt forced, just unnecessary.
  • I enjoyed the mystery of the Red Eagle.  That put a different twist into Moran’s storytelling and it worked very well.  It reminded me of how much I really like whodunits.

My Final Thoughts

When is Michell Moran’s fourth book going to be published? How much longer do we have to wait?

Other Voices

At Home with Books
Caribousmom
Medieval Bookworm
Booking Mama
Fyrefly’s Book Blog
Life is a Patchwork Quilt
Kay’s Bookshelf
Peeking Between the Pages
S. Krishna’s Books

Book Trailer

Finally, here is a book trailer for Cleopatra’s Daughter:

13 Comments

  • At 2010.05.24 08:59, Stephanie said:

    I feel bad about not reading this one as I got a copy of it for review back in September. I really need to crack down and read it because I have no doubt that I’ll enjoy it.

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    • At 2010.05.24 09:28, Fyrefly said:

      I understand how you feel about Greece & Rome – I’m the exact same way when it comes to books set in India, they just usually do nothing for me. So, you’re probably not looking for more Greece/Rome/Egypt recommendations, but I’m not going to let that stop me; I think you might like Jo Graham’s books… Hand of Isis, in particular, makes a nice companion to Cleopatra’s Daughter.

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      • At 2010.05.24 10:57, kay @ Infiniteshelf said:

        Haha! I’m the exact oppostite when it come to books set in historical Greece or Rome : they’re my absolute favorite and I can’t resist them. I’m glad to know you still enjoyed this one thought! I have yet to read Moran’s books, but I have them sitting on my shelf and I should probably get to them.

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        • At 2010.05.24 10:57, Amy said:

          I loved this book as well, such a great read. I haven’t read others by Michelle Moran but I need to! Great review.

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          • At 2010.05.24 11:45, Jo-Jo said:

            I loved both the mystery and romance in this novel. This was the first book I have read by Moran although I have her other books at home. I will be reading Nefertiti with my book group next year and I’m looking forward to that.

            • At 2010.05.24 12:20, rhapsodyinbooks said:

              I’m with Stephanie. I wanted a copy so much, and then it sort of got lost in my TBR stack. But you have reminded me why I wanted to read it in the first place!

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              • At 2010.05.24 18:35, Valerie said:

                I really enjoyed “Cleopatra’s Daughter”. The thing you mention about Alexander — there were some hints dropped here and there while I was reading the book, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise for me. I think it was introduced in the book because that type of thing was commonplace in their society back then.

                I also enjoyed Nefertiti, but still have yet to pick up “The Heretic Queen”. I’d like to do that soon. Maybe for a good summer read!

                • At 2010.05.25 00:03, Marg said:

                  I have really enjoyed all of Michelle’s books, and I too am waiting eagerly for her next book. This one is going to be a complete change of pace for her I think!

                  • At 2010.05.25 00:16, Lisa said:

                    Mark of a great writer when she can get you to read books outside of your comfort zone.

                    • At 2010.05.25 13:48, Beth Nolan Conners said:

                      Ooh – I loved this book!! In fact, I’ve loved all of Michelle’s books! When I read her books I feel like I’ve really been to Egypt (or Ancient Rome in this case)! 🙂

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                      • At 2010.05.28 14:05, Meghan said:

                        My final thoughts on this book were exactly the same, LOL – I can’t wait for Michelle Moran’s next book! So glad you liked this one too. =)

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                        • At 2010.06.01 13:59, Anna said:

                          I really enjoyed this book. Moran’s portrayal of Rome was so interesting, and I also liked the Red Eagle twist.

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                          • At 2010.06.12 16:57, Heather said:

                            Thanks for this review. I loved reading No Fear Shakespeare Antony and Cleopatra, so I think I may enjoy this one too.
                            Heather

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