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This is the third book I have read recently about Cleopatra Selene. As previously mentioned in another review the other two books were Cleopatra’s Daughter and Lily of the Nile. I enjoyed both but this one is for a teen audience. However, I think it is well written and adults may enjoy it as well. The narrator is very young which could turn off older readers.
The story opens with Selene being sixteen and heading to her new life. Her brother has died and Selene is upset. In the second chapter the reader is transported to Egypt when Selene was nine and her mother was still ruling Egypt. The author does a good job of giving the reader a flavor for what Egypt was like. Egypt is portrayed as perfect. However the story is narrated through Selene’s eyes, so that is to be expected. As we all know Cleopatra kills herself and Selene along with her two brothers are brought to Rome.
The transition to a Roman life and living in her enemy’s house is hard at times. People are trying to plot against them, she cannot embrace her religion and people treat her cruelly. Julia, in particular seems to find great pleasure in vexing poor Selene. Meanwhile, as Cleopatra Selene grows and matures she secretly plots to go back to Egypt so she can rule.
I did enjoy the story, but I think my main issue with the novel is that the Roman people were one dimensional. The Roman soldiers are all evil. Every soldier was out to get Selene. I just thought it was a bit much.
The story is written in first person, which helps to draw the reader in. I enjoyed it and I think teens who enjoy historical fiction will as well.