I really enjoyed reading this book! At first, I was a bit trepidatious about the Egyptian theme as it's not a genre that I've ever really explored. I really shouldn't have been worried! This novel is more of a fill-in-the-blank historical fiction. With everything that we know about Egypt, Ms. Dray fills in the numerous holes with a charming (and deceitful, lying, loving, whimsical, etc.) tale about the daughter and sons of Cleopatra (Selene, Helios and Philedelphus) from the time before their capture by Octavius (the Roman) and beyond.
I guess the best part about this novel is that I actually got to learn a bit of history along with the fictional in-betweens. For every historical fact that may only say "they were captured and taken in as wards by Octavian" and move on to another tidbit from there, Ms. Dray has woven her own tale about what happened while they were in captivity. There are many magical aspects of the story as well, filling the spaces that history books leave blank.
I loved that Selene was depicted as a caring and loving person with a bit of fire. She is outwardly submissive, but truly a spitfire in her heart. Helios seems quite the opposite with his open defiance. They both, however, are fervent Egyptians that only want the best for their people and try in the best ways they can to get back home. Honestly, it probably took a bit of magic to get me to enjoy this story as I was only mildly interested at first. The author certainly knows how to tell a story in ways that make you want to continue reading on. Her characters really come to life.