Mimi Smith's Reviews > Cleopatra's Daughter

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
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Aug 15, 14

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from February 01 to 03, 2012

4 stars

You probably know who Kleopatra(apparently, it wasn't really spelled with a C) was.You might also know about her relationships with Marc Anthony and Caesar. What you probably don't know is what happens after Kleopatra, with her children. As the book's title says, it deals with those who come after, her children, Alexander and Selene.

Thebes, the city of Living...

Actually, it's Alexandria, but this was The Mummy reference(an internal joke). Anyway, the book begins in Alexandria, 31 BC, with the Roman attack and the death of Kleopatra and Marc Anthony. Selene and Alexander, who are only eleven, have seen their parents die and are now forced to leave their homeland. All this was taken away from them by Octavian, the current leader of Rome. And that is where they're heading, Rome....

When in Rome...

Selene and Alexander arrive in Rome and are paraded through the streets. Eventually they learn they will be kept alive and become citizens of Rome. They are staying at Octavia's(Octavian's sister, obviously) home. There they meet all the characters that are important in this book...

Octavia, kind and charitable
Tiberius, kind of a jerk
Juba, the loyal and mysterious general
Julia, Octavian's daughter, shallow and pretty,
Marcellus, handsome and charismatic boy
Livia, Octavian's cruel mother


And many others...

...Do as the Romans do

Pretty soon, Selene and Alexander are absorbed into the Roman life. They are always aware of their heritage, but they make friends, laugh, go to school. We follow their life for several years. Selene starts her apprenticeship, she is becoming an architect. We see, through Selene's eyes: the society, the culture, the cruelties, the beautiful things... I had to remind myself often, throughout the book, that they are only 11, 12, etc. They act much older and more serious. They are already discussing and witnessing war, slavery, politics, imminent marriage... I theoretically know everything started much sooner then, but it was hard to accept it here, when I constantly got the impression they were way over 18.

The politic of the time was very present here. The Senate, the wars, the notion of slavery and the problems it caused, political marriages...One extra detail is the existence of the Red Eagle, a rebel who fought against slavery. I have to admit I guessed who he was pretty much from the start, it wasn't much of a mystery.

It's better to light a candle, than curse the darkness

In the end, I thought this was a principle these characters lived by and i admired them for it. Yes, they regretted what has been lost and aspired toward reclaiming it, but they really gave their all and dealt with the tragedies, of which there were many.

I was kind of surprised by how much I liked this novel. This is the first book with the Egypt theme that I've read(not counting History books and myths) and I'm definitely not disappointed.

Only two things bothered me. One was the obviousness of the Red Eagle thing. And the other is the ending. I think the matter of Selene's wedding, Alexander's situation and the issue of Juba were all too rushed. Juba wasn't such a dominating character and all of the sudden he's so important. Really? Tell me more about it. And Selene's change of heart was too sudden, too. It felt unrealistic, after all that's happened.

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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Ana (new)

Ana Thebes, the city of Living...

crown jewel of pharaoh Seti I, birthplace of Anck-su-Namun, pharaoh's mistress, no other man was allowed to touch her. Home of Imhotep, pharaoh's priest, keeper of the dead.... :D :D


Mimi Smith Ana wrote: "Thebes, the city of Living...

crown jewel of pharaoh Seti I, birthplace of Anck-su-Namun, pharaoh's mistress, no other man was allowed to touch her. Home of Imhotep, pharaoh's priest, keeper of t..."


You totally cheated. You wouldn't have known the spelling otherwise:).


message 3: by Ana (new)

Ana The sad thing is, I only checked the spelling, I recalled the lines.

And I do not CHEAT!


message 4: by Ana (new)

Ana BTW, what made you read the book? Not something you usually read.


message 5: by Mimi (last edited Feb 04, 2012 05:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Smith Ana wrote: "BTW, what made you read the book? Not something you usually read."

It was a group read for the Outlander group. I'll read all of my groups' ones. I, surprisingly, liked it. It has a good story, lots of history and falling in love drama,more serious overtones(politics) and a HEA. An one for all book, yes?

She's the one who wrote Madame Tussaud  A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran. I think I'll check it out, later.


Mimi Smith Ana wrote: "The sad thing is, I only checked the spelling, I recalled the lines.

And I do not CHEAT!"


Fine...But it was suspicious.

And I knew you'd remember, even if I didn't say where it's from. And that is sad. Why couldn't have the 1st been Notthing Hill or something. We were traumatized...


message 7: by Ana (new)

Ana It does have everything. ;-)

I noticed Madame Tussaud book, mostly because of the cover. I'll see what you think of it.


message 8: by Ana (new)

Ana Mimi wrote: "Ana wrote: "The sad thing is, I only checked the spelling, I recalled the lines.

And I do not CHEAT!"

Fine...But it was suspicious.

And I knew you'd remember, even if I didn't say where it's fr..."


What, we just saw it, 50 times or so. *grin*


Mimi Smith Ana wrote: "Mimi wrote: "Ana wrote: "The sad thing is, I only checked the spelling, I recalled the lines.

And I do not CHEAT!"

Fine...But it was suspicious.

And I knew you'd remember, even if I didn't say ..."


Exactly! I still remember all the flesh-eating bugs....Ugh, it was awful. And we were too young to watch that movie so many times we learned the beginning by heart. As I said, it should've been something like Notthing Hill or Home Alone.


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