After their parents death, Cleopatra Selene and her brother Alexander Helios, son and daughter of Queen Cleopatra and Mark Anthony are taken captive to Rome, where they are brought up in a Roman household. Meanwhile Rome is going through a turbulent time as the ‘Red Eagle’ is calling for an end to slavery.
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran is one of the best novels I have read so far. Set in ancient Egypt and Rome, it follows the life of Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios, the twin children of Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and Mark Anthony. The story is written from the viewpoint of Cleopatra Selene.
First of all I have to say that the author has written the book in a beautiful descriptive way, while reading you can imagine the beautiful skyline of Alexandria and the bustling roads of Rome as if you were really there. While reading the novel I kept on being transported back to Rome. I could feel with the characters. It is very interesting. It captures the reader and I could not put this book down even for a minute. Michelle gives us an inside look into the lives of a Roman household. Their various outlooks towards slavery and justice.
The story also is about the growing Selene and we get to know her emotions while she is growing up. We get a look into the various emotions and feelings of an adolescent. Love, hatred, jealousy are a few of d feelings that are brought up.
The book has got two maps in the beginning, one of the Roman Empire and the other of Rome at the time of Emperor Augustus. It also includes a timeline which the readers can refer to. The book has a glossary at the back explaining all the terms, words and phrases used in the book. The author also takes her time in pointing out the true historical facts that have been included in the book and those which are fiction.
A few of the main characters are :
1) Cleopatra Selene : Known as Selene in the story. She is the only daughter of Queen Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. The entire story is written in her viewpoint. She is compassionate and feels for others. Selene has a love for drawing and loves architecture.
2) Alexander Helios : He is know as Alexander in the story. Named after Alexander the Great, Alexander is the eldest son of Queen Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. He is the twin brother of Selene. He and his sister are taken captive to Rome when there father is defeated in the ‘Battle of Actium’. He has a love for horses.
3) Octavian : The Emperor of Rome. He is referred to as Augustus later in the book. He defeats Mark Anthony in the battle of Actium and takes Selene and Alexander captive to Rome. He is the father of Julia and the husband of Livia.
The story is historical fiction. If you are an avid history lover then you would find this book amazing.