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Lily of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  2,848 ratings  ·  337 reviews
Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers...

To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped
Paperback, 351 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Berkley
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Madame Tussaud by Michelle MoranLily of the Nile by Stephanie DrayElizabeth I by Margaret GeorgeThe Second Duchess by Elizabeth LoupasDaughters of Rome by Kate Quinn
Historical Fiction 2011
2nd out of 114 books — 647 voters
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Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
I can't imagine how hard it would be to create a fictional novel using real historical characters and events. Stephanie Dray did it and was able to create a great book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

The book begins with Cleopatra losing Alexandria. Cleopatra's children, Prince Alexander and Princess Selene (twins) and their younger brother, Ptolomy, are then taken by the Roman army (lead by Octavian) back to Rome.

Selene is the star of the book. While she comes across as a pampered, spoiled p
I received a full pre-release copy of the book from the author and was spellbound. Fans of HBO's Rome or Herbert's Dune will largely be engrossed by the political dealings between Augustus and Selene. I found the troubles and lengths which Selene had to execute for, not only her survival, but her brothers' as well to be far more defining than the softer choices which Michelle Moran's version took. What's even more satisfying is that readers could be pleased by both books and not feel either lack ...more
I suppose many of us know Cleopatra's story. An Egyptian queen who seduced two Roman generals in order to keep Egypt an independent kingdom. Antony, the second Roman general, becomes infatuated with Cleopatra until the point where he recklessly hands out Roman territory to Cleopatra, such as Syria and Libya etc, and names Cleopatra's son as the true heir of Caesar. All of this makes Octavian (Caesar's adopted son) displeased and furious being challenged. He declares war on Cleopatra, but it's re ...more
After the defeat and death of Cleopatra, her three youngest children were taken to Rome and paraded as spoils of war, then adopted into the household of the victorious emperor, Octavian. Of the three, the one who went on to make a mark on history was Cleopatra’s daughter, Cleopatra Selene. In Lily of the Nile, Stephanie Dray tells the story of Selene’s coming of age in Rome, with a magical element added.

Selene is a fully-rounded character. We feel for her as she experiences her sudden fall from
Anne Osterlund
Selene carried the fig basket with the asp that killed her mother, sending Queen Cleopatra into the afterlife. And leaving Selene and her brothers alone.
To face the burdens of a lost Egypt.
The hopes of the Isiac religion.
And the ultimate enemy.
Octavian. Leader of Rome. Conqueror of Selene’s homeland. Architect of her parents’ fall.
And the man who expects Antony and Cleopatra’s children to call him . . .

A fascinating look into the life of an Egyptian princess raised by the family of the ma

While Lily of the Nile is well-written, with generally well-developed characters and a clear storyline, I preferred Moran's Cleopatra's daughter. I just didn't like Dray's Selene very much and unless I stumble over the sequel and it looks very interesting, I probably won't read the next book in Dray's series.

While Dray and Moran both wrote a novel focusing on Cleopatra Selene they told very different stories. So don't hesitate to read both if you're interested in the time period. Dray and Moran'
Any author who thinks that making jokes about slavery and rape is "HILARIOUS" is an author I don't need to waste my time with.

“50 Shades of Grey/Jefferson Mashup we’ve got in mind.”

Really??? So the ownership, dehumanization and rape of a 14 year old girl is just so side-splittingly funny.

Then to issue some fauxpology claiming butthurt and how much one "cares" about social justice is unacceptable. I love ancient Egypt but I'll spend my money with authors w
This account of Cleopatra's daughter was laughable. I have had a fascination with Cleopatra, Egypt and Rome since I was a child so I have read too many things to count about these topics. But while not all books on the topic are well written or entertaining, Lily of the Nile was probably the worst I've read to date. I did not realize how deeply entwined "magic" would be in this telling and had I known I would have wisely avoided the tale. Dray mixes minimal historical fact with major fantasy ele ...more
After the deaths of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, Princess Selene and her two brothers are brought to Rome as high-profile hostages and installed in the household of the emperor. What follows in this first of a planned trilogy are Selene's plots with twin Helios trying to escape their confinement, the battle of wills they wage with the emperor, as well as the mysterious *writings* from Isis that appear and disappear on Selene's hands.

Yep, there's a lot more to it than that, but plenty of other re
Kate Quinn
I missed an opportunity to blurb this book thanks to some mixups with the US Postal Service, but was delighted to buy and review it later. "Lily of the Nile" is the second book I have recently read about Cleopatra's daughter Selene; reading it so close on the heels of Michelle Moran's "Cleopatra's Daughter," I was initially dubious about similarity of plot. Happily, Stephanie Dray presents the same story in new and fresh ways. Her Selene is a poised and intelligent heroine, navigating the snake ...more
This book was always going to attract comparison with Michelle Moran’s Cleopatra’s Daughter, featuring the same characters, the children of Kleopatra VII and Marcus Antonius, during the same period of their lives, the years after they were brought to Rome to be raised by Octavia with their half-siblings. Author Stephanie Dray even mentions Moran’s novel in the acknowledgements of this book, so comparison between the two novels was always going to be inevitable. Fortunately, Stephanie Dray’s Lily ...more
Kai Pollard
Lily of the Nile brings back the beauty of a forgotten era.

We all know of Antony and Cleopatra and the historical rule of Julius Caesar. Stephanie Dray's book brings us to the next generation. Lily of the Nile is about the time of Cleopatra’s daughter, Cleopatra Selene, as she is taken hostage by Augustus Caesar after her mother’s death.

The author weaves magic into the life of Selene as she struggles to uphold not only her mother's legacy, but to keep herself and her brothers safe from death at
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Jan 05, 2011 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jennifer , Niecole, Kate, Aly,
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Stephanie Dray
So - Historical fiction and historical figures are my forte. In fact, I am one of the mods of a group called History of Royals, so when Stephanie Dray approached me with an offer to read a ARC of this book I jumped at the chance. Although I have not read a lot about the Ptolomies so far, I find them and Egypt fascinating. I have always been fascinated by their gods, rituals, etc. This particular book focuses on Cleopatra's daughter, Cleopatra Selene. It begins with Cleopatra's death, and follows ...more
Okay, I have to admit. I despised the book. I hated the heroine with a fiery passion in the first 300 pages of the novel. In fact I had several battles inside myself to finish or not finish this dreadful monstrosity of a novel. Selene seemed to me as an indecisive,overly-opinionated, whiny little girl who took others for granted. The other characters weren't too likable either. In fact, my favourite person would have been Octavian because he actually got things done. He was clever and cunning an ...more
Tara Chevrestt
This is very similar to Moran's starting with Selene being forced to go to Rome, continues with childhood in Rome, ends with similar situation regarding Juba. (No spoilers here.) However, it was more entertaining and I liked the author's writing style better. There is the same intrigue involving Julia and forbidden romance and all that, but a bonus is lots of politics and religious history regarding Rome and their hatred of Isis as Augustus attempts to oppress the religion that Selene wants to " ...more
Aly is so frigging bored
Apr 16, 2011 Aly is so frigging bored rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I loved it! Stephanie Dray has written a compelling book. Everyone who loves history, Cleopatra and Egypt should read it.
I adored this new historical YA by Stephanie Dray. She takes the era of Cleopatra from dusty old roman tomes to a world full of intrigue and sensation that anyone can read, understand, and digest. Ms. Dray has the ability to pull you into a story like very few authors out today, she also can make an inherently YA read feel adult and full of sensuality. With her ability to roll a story across your palette and tether you to the pages of her books I see wonderful things coming from Ms. Dray.

So, mor
Tamora Pierce
Selene, her twin brother Helios, and their younger brother Philadelphius, are taken prisoners by Octavian, soon to be renamed Caesar Augustus, in the wake of the suicides of their famous parents, Cleopatra and Marc Anthony, and the murder of their older half-brother Caesarion. They are abruptly removed from their home in Egypt to be marched as trophies of war in Octavian's triumph, then swept into his household, made up of his daughter Julia, Anthony's other son, Octavia (the wife spurned by Mar ...more
Originally posted on

Lily of the Nile is Stephanie Dray’s first novel in the trilogy following Princess Selene. Selene, daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, loses both her parents in the war between Egypt and Rome. Not only does Egypt lose its rulers, but it also loses any chance of hope when Selene and her twin brother, Helios – the rightful heirs to the throne – are taken to Rome as prisoners of war and the emperor’s hostages. While Helios schemes and plots escape, Sele
First of all, I have to tell you, I was unbelievably THRILLED to win this in the Giveaway. I never win things. And it was a book. About Egypt. I was psyched.

The book was AWESOME. I adored it. I’ve recommended it to the school librarian, spread the word through school about the author’s writing competition, The Cleopatra Literary Contest for Young Women, and basically told everyone they should read it.

I loved the book. I found it to be extremely well written and well researched. The
Apr 27, 2011 Susan added it
I thought that this novel about Selene, daughter of Cleopatra, was well written, and I enjoyed it, although I would have enjoyed it more if the supernatural element had been missing. I would have liked to have seen how Selene coped with her situation as an unwilling guest in Augustus's household and stood up for her religious beliefs without the help of hieroglyphics magically appearing on her body at sundry times.

One thing I did appreciate about this novel was the three-dimensional characteriz
Becky Wilson
Take the decadence, the gritty intrigue of HBO's Rome. Add in a dash of GRRM's moral ambiguity and impossibly difficult choices. Throw in the exaultation and strength of the divine feminine in The Mists of Avalon. Distill it in intricate historical accuracy and painstaking research. Sprinkle with magic.

Read for hours.

That's Lily of the Nile.

Characters grow, change, morph and each one makes you feel something. The most minor of characters add depth to the major players. You cannot read this book
Blodeuedd Finland
My thoughts:

This is book one about Princess Selene, but it is a novel that easily can stand on its own. One aspect of her life ends when the book ends, and it's a good solid ending. But she has more to experience, and that will come later.

This is then the story of Selene, daughter of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. A girl who managed to stay more in the shadows of time than her famous mother. She, her twin Helios, and their younger brother was brought to Rome as prisoners and were taken in by Octavi
Jessica B

Lily of the Nile is far from my normal read, but it ended up fascinating me more than I would've expected.

Selene is a smart and strong heroine, and she is sure to empower girl readers everywhere. There's no romance in this book, which was an interesting, nice change from YA's overly-used love triangles and mysterious sulky boys.

The book was sometimes a little too easy for me to put down, but that's pretty much my only complaint. There isn't much of a fantasy elem
After the death of their parents, Selene, Helios and Philadelphus are shipped off to Rome as political prisoners of Octavian. It is only by the grace of Octavian that they are not killed but taken in to live with Octavia as part of her household. Both Selene and Helios yearn for Egypt but the two siblings ultimately take different paths as both try to get back what they’ve lost to Rome.

At first Selene is compliant, she listens to Octavian and agrees to what he wants from her. As years pass havi
I will admit right away that I never even realized that Cleopatra had a daughter. Much less that she had four children. Including a set of twins. In every story or history account that I have read, I do not recall mention of Cleopatra's children.

Stephanie Dray has woven a wonderful account of the children of Cleopatra and the amazing things that they lived through. The story of Selene and Helios is a gripping, emotional ride. The pain, suffering, courage, and yes, humor, is well written. The po
Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
Historical Romance – Jan 4th, 2011
3 1/2 stars

Princess Selene, the last Princess of the Ptolemies, and daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. After the death of her parents and the ransack of Alexandria, Selene and her brothers Helios and Philadelphus are captured by the Romans and send to Rome to learn to live like Romans under the watchful eye of the Emperor Octavius. Unbeknown to the Romans, they are no ordinary Egyptian royalty, for they are blessed with magi
LILY OF THE NILE is so vivid and lyrical I felt like I was standing beside Princess Cleopatra Selene throughout her inspirational journey. Stephanie Dray's historical debut is meticulously researched and sets the bar for Cleopatra novels.

LILY OF THE NILE is a fiction based account of daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony called Cleopatra "Selene". The story held my interest and I often had to remind myself that it was, in fact, fiction. Once I began reading the novel, I stepped into Selene's wor
2.5 stars. "Lily of the Nile" was interesting, but there was a little too much emphasis on magic for my taste --- too much for a work of historical fiction, at least. Perhaps it wouldn't have bothered me so much if this had been a fantasy book. Also, I never really warmed to the main character, Selene, and many of the other characters weren't drawn very well (they just stayed kinda flat).

Another thing --- I wasn't aware when I started reading this book that it's only the first one in a planned s
I've been wanting to read Stephanie Dray's debut novel Lily of the Nile for months. Ever since it popped up in my recommendations on Amazon, the gorgeous cover and engaging plot summary pulled me in and wouldn't let me go until I experienced the book. I've always been interested in historical fiction, and the ancient world was always a favorite topic of exploration.

Lily of the Nile tells the tale of Selene, the daughter of Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt, and Marc Antony of Rome. The novel
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 21, 2014 06:18AM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 2 Oct 22, 2014 03:05PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 1 Jul 07, 2014 05:23PM  
Historical Fiction/Romance/Fantasy/YA? 1 12 Sep 18, 2013 08:20AM  
The Readers Society: Lily of the Nile 8 23 Dec 15, 2011 10:03PM  
  • Daughters of Rome (The Empress of Rome, #2)
  • Cleopatra's Secret: Keepers of the Light
  • Cleopatra's Moon
  • Hand of Isis (Numinous World, #3)
  • When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra
  • The Second Duchess
  • Cleopatra Confesses
  • The Sekhmet Bed (The She-King, #1)
  • Kleopatra (Kleopatra, #1)
  • Child of the Morning
  • Sphinx's Princess (Sphinx's Princess, #1)
  • Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt
  • Poison (The Poisoner Mysteries, #1)
  • Queen of Kings
  • Cleopatra's Daughter
  • To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Pale Rose of England
  • Penelope's Daughter
Stephanie Dray writes historical fiction and fantasy. Using the transformative power of magic realism, she illuminates the stories of women in history so as to inspire the young women of today. She remains fascinated by all things Egyptian and has–to the consternation of her devoted husband–collected a house full of cats and ancient artifacts.
More about Stephanie Dray...

Other Books in the Series

Cleopatra's Daughter (3 books)
  • Song of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter, #2)
  • Daughters of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter, # 3)
Song of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter, #2) Daughters of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter, # 3) The Princess of Egypt Must Die A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii Eternal Spring

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“Selene’s life is a lesson to us that the trajectory of women’s equality hasn’t always been a forward march. In some ways the ancients were more advanced than we are today; there have been setbacks before and may be more in the future.” 24 likes
“Kings and queens cry with family. Hide your grief from subjects and strangers.” 21 likes
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