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