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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Genre: Historical Fiction/Crossover YA Historical Fiction

Copyright: 2009

Pages: 414


Rating 5 Crowns

Michelle Moran has written another explosive novel that will redefine the way you see the story of Mark Antony and Cleopatra - through the eyes of their children. When a book begins with the kind of explosive bang that kick-starts Cleopatra's Daughter it really does setup a promise to the reader that they will be in for one heck of a read. For me, this was a promise that the author well and truly fulfilled.

This book felt so meticulously researched and is full of so much historical detail that in the hands of a less skill full writer, it could've been overwhelming. However, Michelle Moran weaves this information like a master, submerging you in Rome until you feel like you're really there (*cliche but it's true - I promise*). Because the author has chosen a protagonist (Selene) who is herself an outsider, it really does allow the reader to slip easily into her skin and view Rome with the horror and bewilderment of a foreigner.

Cleopatra's Daughter strings you from one scene to the next with suspense and fascination by the use of a few key plots. The suspense of the Red Eagle will have you guessing and speculating about the identity and fate of this brave rebel. I did not guess who it was right up until the moment it was revealed! So not only will you be wondering if Selene and Alexander will survive, you also spend a great deal of the novel questioning the fate of the courageous Red Eagle.

There were quite a few points in this novel that had me choked up with emotion (if you've read the book, I'm thinking of a very powerful scene featuring the trial of a young slave girl). I finished this book thinking that I am so very,very lucky to be born a free woman in the 21st century. While I loved visiting Ancient Rome with Cleopatra's Daughter, the reality is that I would never have wanted to be born in that time. It's in reading a book like this that you realise as women, how far we've actually come. I loved that this novel gave me a deeper appreciation of my life; it allowed me to celebrate the courage of Selene to face life and love in those turbulent times.
All in all, this is a novel that discusses some very heavy themes but still manages to be hopeful and thoroughly entertaining. I agree with marketing this book also as a YA - I would definitely recommend it to teens and adults alike. The other great part about Cleopatra's Daughter is that Michelle Moran's website has a visual glossary of terms and items frequently referred to in the book. She's literally provided a historical reference to help your imagination recreate this time and place!

Honestly, Michelle Moran is one of my all-time favourite authors and I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who thinks they even have a 'slight' interest in Anceint Rome.

Princess of the Past

Visit Annie @ her blog Reading, Writing & Ranting


ibeeeg said...

I completely agree with your review Annie! Love your review!!!

I agree that the story does subemerg "you in Rome until you feel like you're really there". And the story does this amazingly well.

elnice said...

Great review. I am so excited to read this book. I can't wait to be transported to another time!

Mishel said...

Excellent review Annie. You've made me that much more excited to read this =) Thank you!