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Cleopatra's daughter : a novel
2009
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  Library Journal Review

Thanks to William Shakespeare, Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor, nearly everyone in the Western world is familiar with the tragic tale of Marc Antony and Cleopatra. But the story of their children is less well known. In Moran's third historical novel (after Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen), narrator Kleopatra Selene and her twin brother, Alexander, are just ten years old when Egypt falls to the armies of Octavian and their parents commit suicide rather than submit to the humiliation of Roman rule. The surviving three children, Selene, Alexander, and Ptolemy, are taken to Rome to prevent them from ever rising to power and challenging Rome. Though Ptolemy doesn't survive the sea voyage, his older siblings are adopted into the household of Octavia, Octavian's sister. Here, amid the turmoil of Rome torn apart by external warfare and internal conflict and living under the cloud of their parentage, the children learn to navigate the political and societal eddies into which they have been tossed. Verdict Dramatic, engrossing, and beautifully written, this is essential reading, and Moran is definitely an author to watch.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage P.L., AK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Moran's latest foray into the world of classical history (after The Heretic Queen) centers upon the children of Marc Antony and Cleopatra. After the death of their parents, twins Alexander and Selene and younger brother Ptolemy are in a dangerous position, left to the mercy of their father's greatest rival, Octavian Caesar. However, Caesar does not kill them as expected, but takes the trio to Rome to be paraded as part of his triumphant return and to demonstrate his solidified power. As the twins adapt to life in Rome in the inner circle of Caesar's family, they grow into adulthood ensconced in a web of secrecy, intrigue and constant danger. Told from Selene's perspective, the tale draws readers into the fascinating world of ancient Rome and into the court of Rome's first and most famous emperor. Deftly encompassing enough political history to provide context, Moran never clutters her narrative with extraneous facts. Readers may be frustrated that Selene is more observer than actor, despite the action taking place around her, but historical fiction enthusiasts will delight in this solid installment from a talented name in the genre. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony's revengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome; only two-- the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander-- survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian's sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian's family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts. The fateful tale of Selene and Alexander is brought brilliantly to life in Cleopatra's Daughter. Recounted in Selene's youthful and engaging voice, it introduces a compelling cast of historical characters: Octavia, the emperor Octavian's kind and compassionate sister, abandoned by Marc Antony for Cleopatra; Livia, Octavian's bitter and jealous wife; Marcellus, Octavian's handsome, flirtatious nephew and heir apparent; Tiberius, Livia's sardonic son and Marcellus's great rival for power; and Juba, Octavian's watchful aide, whose honored position at court has far-reaching effects on the lives of the young Egyptian royals. Selene's narrative is animated by the concerns of a young girl in any time and place-- the possibility of finding love, the pull of friendship and family, and the pursuit of her unique interests and talents. While coping with the loss of both her family and her ancestral kingdom, Selene must find a path around the dangers of a foreign land. Her accounts of life in Rome are filled with historical details that vividly capture both the glories and horrors of the times. She dines with the empire's most illustrious poets and politicians, witnesses the creation of the Pantheon, and navigates the colorful, crowded marketplaces of the city where Roman-style justice is meted out with merciless authority. Based on meticulous research, Cleopatra's Daughter is a fascinating portrait of imperial Rome and of the people and events of this glorious and most tumultuous period in human history. Emerging from the shadows of the past, Selene, a young woman of irresistible charm and preternatural intelligence, will capture your heart.
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