Originally posted Monday, November 9, 2009
Michelle Moran is, pure and simple, an excellent author. Cleopatra's Daughter is historical fiction that brings the history to life. Wonderful writing and characterizations based on real history, I found this book both entertaining and educational. The book begins with the final days of C(K)leopatra's reign in Egypt, the taking of three of her children to Rome, the youngest dying en route.
From this point, the story centers mainly around the twins, Kleopatra and Alexander, growing up in the home of Octavia, sister to ruling Octavian in Rome, and what the future may or may not hold for them when they turn 15, the age of adulthood.
The characters are well-rounded and historical, they are fleshed out with research and interact entirely believably. Many terms are in Latin and Greek, mostly easy to guess but there is also a glossary for all these words in the back. This is the first novel by Michelle Moran I have read and I will certainly recommend her as an author deserving of being read!
There is so much history woven into this book, and the characters feel so real that I wish history were taught in this manner. I was surprised first of all by how much I did recall, but even more how much I did not know. I found the Historical Notes in the back of the book very illuminating. Though beautifully written, the book does not gloss over the very real dangers of the times, but at the same time the personalities of the main characters deal with growing, loving, everyday lives of the upper classes and slaves. I loved this book and recommend both author and "Cleopatra's Daughter". 5 stars definitely.
Thank you Michelle!