Title: Cleopatra’s Daughter
Author: Michelle Moran
Genre: Historical Fiction
Set in: Rome
Source: Review Copy
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (September 15, 2009)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Cleopatra’s Daughter is the story of Selene, who after the death of her parents, Cleopatra and Mark Antony, had to travel to Rome from Alexandra as War Prisoner along with her 2 brothers Alexander and Ptolemy. Ptolemy died in the ship on the way to Rome. When they reached Rome, Octavian paraded them in chains as his conquests. Later he appointed Octavia as their caretaker. Octavia was his sister and Mark Antony’s ex-wife. But Augusta was a kind woman and never held anything against Selene or Alexander in spite of the fact that Mark Antony had abandoned her and her children to marry their mother. Cleopatra’s Daughter is the story of Selene seemingly interspersed with the political background of Rome.
Selene is such a strong character and Ms. Moran brings forth her trepidation, anxiousness, fear, determination and strength of character very well. And then there are other characters too who are equally if not more enchanting. There is Octavian who would do anything to have power over Rome, Octavia who took care of the children as if they were her own, Marcellus, Alexander, Julia and of course Juba. He was someone I paid the most attention to right from the beginning although I didn’t know anything about Selene’s history. I have to admit that these very characters confused me in the beginning for the only reason of having to remember their names and these eventually were the same people I came to love and understand.
And then above all this is the way Michelle Moran brings ancient Rome to life. She does it with the same skill that was evident in Nefertiti and The Heretics Daughter. It made me want to visit Rome just to see the places these people lived in once upon a time.
What more can I say about Michelle Moran that hasn’t already been said before? When I went to a bookstore back in India once, the sales person told me that Michelle Moran books sell like hotcakes. That’s because Michelle Moran writes historical fiction in a way that makes you want to flip the pages like you would do for a thriller. She knows how to make history accessible to all kinds of readers. There is something for everyone in this book. Highly Recommended.
Note: Another news I am very excited about is Michelle Moran’s next book called ‘Madame Tussaud‘ is coming out in April 2011. Long wait but so worth it.