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Betsy R. (Gig Harbor, WA)
If you selected this book because you love reading about ancient Egypt, you might be a little disappointed because it is primarily about ancient Rome during the time of Octavian Caesar. The story is so engaging, however, that you will soon not be able to put it down. All of the details of life in ancient Rome are woven into a fascinating story told from the point of view of Selene, Cleopatra's daughter. As a high school librarian, I will recommend this book to my students who love Phillipa Gregory and other historical novelists.
Jodie A. (Corpus Christi, TX)
I loved this book! It was entertaining and educational. I really enjoyed her explanations of the Roman words and customs. The characters were very interesting. I did not want to put it down!
Alice W. (Sacramento, CA)
Michele Moran brings us a wonderfully colorful picture of Rome through Cleopatra's daughter's eyes. Serena and her twin brother were taken by Octavian from Egypt to the Roman Empire shortly after their mother Cleopatra's suicide. His motives were clearly not in the children's best interest. The children now have no living parents and are confronted with adapting to a strange country that they perceive as far less genteel than their own. One of their biggest dilemmas was determining whom they could trust.
Joyce W. (Rochester, MN)
A Good Love Story
While all the descriptions from the mouth of Serena were fascinating, I found it difficult to imagine that a twelve year old girl could be so articulate. I tossed that reading difficulty aside and let myself enjoy her story. It was clear that no one could really know the facts of her life, however Michelle brought enough substance to the pages I am convinced that the young girl was very bright and clever.
The cast of characters was a bit overwhelming and I found myself referring often to the list of names and their relationships to one another. Believe me this is complicated.
This book was not quite up to Nefertiti, but with Nefertiti there was more documented fact for Moran to work with.
The best part of the book may be the Afterward where we are given an update on the rest of Selene's life....this bit of information was no doubt well documented and included a happy ending to her troubled younger years.
Michelle Moran tells a good story even though it slowed down for awhile. I was going to give it a 3 star, but the last 50 pages kept your interest. The historical research was done well but it definitely fits into the "entertainment" category. It is not Book Club material. Joyce
Sheila D. (Brainerd, MN)
One of the must reads yet this year!
Michelle Moran has written a book that has left me with that feeling I have when I know I have read something wonderful. Well written… I entered at the point that Cleopatra and Marc Anthony are taking their own lives in order to resist captivity and learn of their three children who are left in the enemies hands. Three children, I am ashamed to say, that I did not know existed until this book.
Irene M. (Ashland, OR)
And from that point on I am feasting on pages filled with the adventures of Alexander and Selene… historical fiction at a very fine level. I am in awe of the twins voices… as they speak I had to remind myself again and again of their age. The voices to me seamed older but I forget how much faster children grew up then. While they were 11, they spoke as though they were 15 or 16…
Vivid characters – I appreciated the list of who they were in the front of the book and I used that a lot as I became used to so any new names coming in at once, Octavian (Emperor and keeper of the children once he conquered their home), Octavia, his sister – a gentle soul who I grew to like. And so many more from the handsome Marcellus, to the puzzling Julia who drove me nuts, then I felt bad for her, then I was mad again… and oh – you have to love the characters that make you FEEL.
I adored this book. This is the first of Michelle’s work that I have read and I am ready for more. A fantastic read that I highly recommend to history lovers and historical fiction loves alike.
Cleopatra's Daughter was an enjoyable book. Selene's story was new to me and most interesting. As she adjusts to a new life in Rome, the reader is drawn into the lives of the elite, the common man and the many slaves who live, or just exist, in this historical city. This would be an excellent book for a young adult who is interested in history and literature.
Cheryl D. (Angola, NY)
Enjoyable historical novel
I find this an interesting era of history, but it is one I know little about. Michelle Moran managed to bring the characters alive for me and sent me to various reference books to do further research. I am aware that conversations and even actions are based on fact but often contain a great deal of conjecture. Moran makes things appear true. I can accept them as being real and that makes this an enjoyable and satisfying read.
Pamela F. (Grants Pass, OR)
The only reason I did not give this 5 stars is because it took me 100 pages to get into the book. I don't know why...but it did. I loved this book. I always enjoy a historical novel that teaches me something and this one does and has a compelling story as well. I had a hard time leaving the characters and I would advise going to the author's website to read more about the book so that you get some further insight to the time & the characters. She also has pictures of ancient Rome that connect you more to the people and the times. This book has made me interested in reading about the times ..and I will re-view "I, Claudius" as a result...to me THAT is a good read, one that makes me thirstier for more information of the times.