Cleopatra’s Daughter – Michelle Moran

Title: Cleopatra’s Daughter
Author: Michelle Moran
ISBN: 9780307409126
Pages: 448
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Publisher: Crown
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Author
Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:

Cleopatra’s Daughter is the story of Kleopatra Selene, the daughter of the famed Queen of Egypt and her husband, Marc Anthony.  After her mother’s death, Selene and her twin brother Alexander are taken to Rome by Octavian.  There, they will take part in Octavian’s Triumph, in which they will be paraded through the streets of Rome as prisoners.  But what will happen to Selene and Alexander after it’s over?  After all, royal prisoners usually aren’t allowed to live once a Triumph is completed. 

Review:

Michelle Moran has proven herself a master of historical fiction with Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen.  Now, in Cleopatra’s Daughter, she shows us that Egyptian history isn’t the only period of time she can write about effectively.  Cleopatra’s Daughter takes us to Ancient Rome – to the Circus Maximus, the Pantheon, and the steps of the Roman Senate. 

Kleopatra Selene is a wonderfully written character.  She’s so young when the novel begins, yet throughout it she seems older than her years.  This is not to say that she’s poorly written, but that, as Moran points out in her author’s note, she is one of the best educated children of her time.  This makes her incredibly easy to like and identify with, regardless of what age the reader is.  However, her intelligence and precociousness doesn’t make her less vulnerable or less human.  She is worried for her brother and has been torn from all she knows at the beginning of the book.  She is concerned for her future and doesn’t know who she can trust.  She definitely makes some poor choices through the novel, but it’s never annoying.  It’s part of growing up and understanding her situation.

Because of Kleopatra Selene’s age, this novel will appeal to both fans of YA and adult fiction.  With the ubiquitousness and popularity of YA novels these days, Moran did an ingenious thing in making her main character so accessible to different ages.  This is a book that anyone of almost any age can enjoy.

As Moran has demonstrated previously in her novels, she is an avid researcher who is meticulous with her historical details.  She really creates an amazing atmosphere for the reader.  I could smell the horrible stenches of Ancient Rome, feel the silks Selene was wearing on my skin, and hear the anguish in the air of slaves being mistreated.  I love how vivid the entire novel was in my mind because of Moran’s attention to those little details that are so easy to overlook.  And as always, there is an author’s note in the back of Cleopatra’s Daughter if you want to separate what was real from what Moran chose to embellish.

I also enjoyed the subplot in Cleopatra’s Daughter involving slavery.  Michelle Moran takes on a lot of ethical issues in this novel, and she does it incredibly well.  She is never preachy, and never hits the reader over her head with her interpretation of these issues.  Instead, she uses Selene as her voice, discussing these problems through her main character’s eyes.

I absolutely adored Cleopatra’s Daughter and simply cannot wait for Michelle Moran’s next historical fiction novel (I would love a sequel to this one, if possible!).  She has become one of my favorite authors and I cannot praise her novels highly enough!

Comments

  1. So glad you loved it!! Moran is one of my favorite authors now too. Her books are just wonderful. I can’t wait for the next.

  2. So glad you loved it!! Moran is one of my favorite authors now too. Her books are just wonderful. I can’t wait for the next.

  3. I haven’t picked this up, yet, but I keep reading great reviews. It’s wonderful that she’s able to write to such a wide audience.

  4. I haven’t picked this up, yet, but I keep reading great reviews. It’s wonderful that she’s able to write to such a wide audience.

  5. I really liked this one too.

  6. I really liked this one too.

  7. Glad to read such a glowing review- I won this book recently but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  8. Glad to read such a glowing review- I won this book recently but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  9. I just took this out of the library and can’t WAIT to get to it, although I’m being slightly thwarted by your Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge.

  10. I just took this out of the library and can’t WAIT to get to it, although I’m being slightly thwarted by your Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge.

  11. Sounds totally engrossing — just my kind of book! I’ve gotten more into historical fiction lately, just to switch it up from so much chick lit and YA… I’ll definitely look for this one! 🙂

  12. Sounds totally engrossing — just my kind of book! I’ve gotten more into historical fiction lately, just to switch it up from so much chick lit and YA… I’ll definitely look for this one! 🙂

  13. I loved this one as well (of course, Michelle Moran is one of my favorite authors so I didn’t doubt that I would.) I want a sequel too. It seems like she could because not a lot is known about the characters!

  14. I loved this one as well (of course, Michelle Moran is one of my favorite authors so I didn’t doubt that I would.) I want a sequel too. It seems like she could because not a lot is known about the characters!

  15. There is so much buzz about this one going around right now. It seems I must get my hands on it. I was just lamenting my iffy reading year on my blog, so maybe this is the thing to pull me out of the iffy.

  16. There is so much buzz about this one going around right now. It seems I must get my hands on it. I was just lamenting my iffy reading year on my blog, so maybe this is the thing to pull me out of the iffy.

  17. I’m embarrassed to say that I have all 3 of Moran’s books and haven’t read any of them yet. Julie keeps telling me I need to, but I just haven’t found the time. Oh, to be able to read as fast as you do!

  18. I’m embarrassed to say that I have all 3 of Moran’s books and haven’t read any of them yet. Julie keeps telling me I need to, but I just haven’t found the time. Oh, to be able to read as fast as you do!

  19. This has been one of my favorite books recently.

  20. This has been one of my favorite books recently.

  21. Wow, this book has gotten such rave reviews! I really need to get my hands on it. Thanks for a great review- it is definitely on my radar.

  22. Wow, this book has gotten such rave reviews! I really need to get my hands on it. Thanks for a great review- it is definitely on my radar.

  23. I simply LOVED this one!Michelle’s latest is Madame Tassaud and the UK book cover is launched.. did u see it?! – here is the link – http://www.passagestothepast.com/2009/10/michelle-moran-unveils-uk-cover-of.html

  24. I simply LOVED this one!Michelle’s latest is Madame Tassaud and the UK book cover is launched.. did u see it?! – here is the link – http://www.passagestothepast.com/2009/10/michelle-moran-unveils-uk-cover-of.html

  25. I simply LOVED this one!Michelle’s latest is Madame Tassaud and the UK book cover is launched.. did u see it?! – here is the link – http://www.passagestothepast.com/2009/10/michelle-moran-unveils-uk-cover-of.html

  26. I simply LOVED this one!Michelle’s latest is Madame Tassaud and the UK book cover is launched.. did u see it?! – here is the link – http://www.passagestothepast.com/2009/10/michelle-moran-unveils-uk-cover-of.html

  27. I loved this book. Glad you did, too!

  28. I loved this book. Glad you did, too!

  29. I must the be close to the only person on earth who hasn’t read her books. So glad this one was great too.

  30. I must the be close to the only person on earth who hasn’t read her books. So glad this one was great too.

  31. Don’t worry Beth you aren’t the only one! I do, however, have this book to read so I’ll be doing so sooner rather than later if I can. I’ve heard great things from just about everyone who’s read it.

  32. Don’t worry Beth you aren’t the only one! I do, however, have this book to read so I’ll be doing so sooner rather than later if I can. I’ve heard great things from just about everyone who’s read it.

  33. I loved this one, too. It’s my favorite book of the year so far.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  34. I loved this one, too. It’s my favorite book of the year so far.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  35. Great review! I enjoyed this book immensely although I did put it aside for a while..I have linked your review with mine. Here is my review of Cleopatra’s Daughter.

  36. Great review! I enjoyed this book immensely although I did put it aside for a while..I have linked your review with mine. Here is my review of Cleopatra’s Daughter.

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