By Michelle Moran
Published on Sept 15th, 2009
Hardcover, 431 Pages
The death of Cleopatra was only the beginning…
Follows the incredible life of Cleopatra’s surviving children with Marc Antony — twins, named Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, and a younger son named Ptolemy. All three were taken to Rome and paraded through the streets, then sent off to be raised by Octavia (the wife whom Marc Antony left for Cleopatra). Raised in one of the most fascinating courts of all time, Cleopatra’s children would have met Ovid, Seneca, Vitruvius (who inspired the Vitruvian man), Agrippa (who built the Pantheon), Herod, his sister Salome, the poets Virgil, Horace, Maecenas and so many others!
I am so glad that I got to read this one! Michelle Moran’s 3rd book is as lovely as her 1st one! In this we are first taken to ancient Egypt where Cleopatra and her 3 children and waiitng anxiously for news about her husband, Marc Anthony who is at war with Cesar. As the news comes of his defeat, both Anthony and Cleopatra take their lives leaving their 2 twins Kleopatra Selene and Alexander and their youngest brother Ptolemy to battle it alone. They are taken back to Rome, and only the twins make it till the end to see Rome!
With virtually all of there family gone, they are the only one left to take forward the names of there ancestors.
This book is narrated by Kleopatra Selene and you definitely feel for her. At 12, losing everyone in her family, living in constant fear of her brother’s and her life and dreaming of returning to Alexandria some day is what Selen’s life in Rome is all about. But born to one of the most educated women, Selene showcases her intelligence and knowledge whenever a chance is there. The twins live with Octavia, Caesar’s sister and Marc Anthony’s wife before Cleopatra! She also takes up Architecture in a way to prove useful to Octavian and do something she is passionate about!
In midst of all this there is a love story that’s woven and it’s as if I knew all along who Selene really loved, it is wonderful to see a happy ending through a tearful and fearful time! The one thing that the book showcases is the stark contrast in the way Egyptian Ptolemy ruled and how Rome’s Caesar ruled. There was also lot of difference in the way people lived, ate and great difference in the culture! It was interesting to see a circus, races, betting in Rome so many years back! There is a lot of detail about the architecture in those times which is interesting and also interesting is the fact that ancient Roman’s were Antique Collectors, now who knew that?
I loved this one and would highly recommend it to all Historical Fiction lovers! Also this most definitely will appeal to YA readers as well!