June 7, 2010

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Michelle Moran is now cemented as one of my favorite authors.

First, I fell in love with her story of Nefertari in The Heretic Queen and now I have fallen in love with the tale of Kleopatra Selene in Cleopatra's Daughter.

Moran's writing skills are so remarkable. I was swept up into the story the moment I began reading. She puts you right in the middle of Kleopatra's Egypt and Augustus' Rome without bogging you down with a million details. She creates multi-dimensional characters that are completely relatable, even though they live in 27 BC.

Selene is an amazing character. Moran shows us Selene's strength and her vulnerability, her ability to make herself useful to Caesar Augustus (Octavian) and also her empathy when she gives away her most beloved keepsake from her mother because it could buy freedom for a slave woman whom she has come to know and befriend. She challenges the status quo while also trying to get in favor of Caesar so hopefully he will send her and her twin, Alexander, to rule over Egypt once more. But there is always the looming timeline hanging over the twins' heads- their fifteenth birthday, which is when they are considered adults. They don't know if they can convince Caesar to send them back home to Egypt or if he will marry them off to whomever he feels like at the time, or, worse yet, Alexander becomes a threat to Caesar's position of power and be killed just because he will be fifteen.

The story is full of all the elements that make a wonderful story- hope, despair, tragedy, love, mystery, scandal, adventure, social injustice. It's all there. And the way Moran pulls the reader into the story, even a reader with ADHD like myself didn't notice how 411 pages flew by as I read. I can't wait to read more from Moran. Her first novel, Nefertiti, is next on my list to pick up!

BOOK #: 36
RATING: 5 Stars
7 CHALLENGES: Year of the Historical, RYOB, Take Another Chance, TwentyTen Challenge, Countdown Challenge, A to Z Titles, 100+ in 2010
GENRE: Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing of Random House
FORMAT/PAGES: Hardcover/411
HEY, FCC!: I won this book in a giveaway from the author.


  1. I'm really anxious to read more about Egypt after seeing the King Tut exhibit. This sounds fantastic!

  2. This is a timely review--I was just thinking yesterday that I wished I had a book set in Ancient Egypt to read. :)

  3. I also loved this book! I'm excited to be able to read Nefertiti in the near future with my book club.

  4. Everyone is gushing about her books, and I still haven't read them. Thanks for reminding and reiterating!


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