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Cleopatra's Daughter

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  24,573 ratings  ·  2,379 reviews
At the dawn of the Roman Empire, when tyranny ruled, a daughter of Egypt and a son of Rome found each other...

Selene's legendary parents are gone. Her country taken, she has been brought to the city of Rome in chains, with only her twin brother, Alexander, to remind her of home and all she once had.

Living under the watchful eyes of the ruling family, Selene and her
Hardcover, First Edition, 431 pages
Published 2009 by Random House Crown
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Dawn Basically, the timeline went something like this (I hope I am remembering this accurately): Marc Antony was married to a woman named Fulvia. She was…moreBasically, the timeline went something like this (I hope I am remembering this accurately): Marc Antony was married to a woman named Fulvia. She was part of a plot to overthrow Octavian and was killed. While away at war, Marc Antony began a political and romantic relationship with Cleopatra, who was alone after the assassination of Julius Caesar. In order to mend fences with Octavian, Marc Antony married Octavia, Octavian's sister. It was mainly a political move, which obviously didn't work all that well, and despite being married to Octavia, continued his relationship with Cleopatra. That is why he has children of overlapping ages with both women: he was in relationships with them both at the same time, one in Egypt, the other in Rome.(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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This book was chosen for the May/June 2010 group read in the historical fiction group that I moderate here on Goodreads, and I couldn't wait to read it, so I started a teensy bit early. *blush* I'd been wanting to read one of Michelle Moran's books for a while, since I hear so much praise for them, and I'd planned on starting with "Nefertiti" with a friend, but that kind of fell apart due to other obligations. So I was thrilled when "Cleopatra's Daughter" was chosen, as it gave me the perfect ...more
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Early Teens Aged 10 - 15
Recommended to Iset by: No one
In terms of the recommendation to those who love historical fiction and ancient Egypt, as a voracious reader and someone so interested in history that I've made a career out of it, I've got to say that my response was more of a mixed bag to this book.

There were good and bad things to say about this book. I didn't like the blatant name-dropping, especially as it served little to no purpose and seemed to be added in purely for the "Ooooh, look, there's Ovid! And this is Vercingetorix's
Aug 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I loved this book! 'Cleopatra's Daughter' is one of the best books I have read for a long time! Cleopatra Selene, her twin brother, Alexander, and their young brother Ptolemy suffer the loss of their parents, Cleopatra and Marc Antony, when Romans invade Egypt. As the children of the King and Queen of Egypt, Selene and her brothers are forcibly taken to Rome, essentially as prizes of the war. The story takes flight after their arrival in Rome and the twins adjust to a vastly different ...more
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of Roman material: fiction, history, contemporary letters, etc. So when an author's view of Rome significantly departs from what is known about the period, it yanks me out of the story. My wife and I had recently finished Colleen McCullough's masterful multi-volume series on Rome, which ended with the event at which this book begins. The contrast was jarring. Perhaps it says more about the quality of writing, but I think it says more about the comparative depth of research. ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book. Fast easy read! Read all Michelle Moran's other book's as a result! All great!
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction.
I'm not staring. I'm observing. . . . And what do you observe? . . . A brave young woman who has always fought for what was right, even when it was unpopular.
Michelle Moran, Cleopatra's Daughter

I have now read several of Michelle Moran's books and this is one of my favorites. Being a real enthusiastic reader of Cleopatra I wanted to read this because it is about her daughter. I have now read two books on Cleopatra Selene, this one and Cleopatra's Moon". But this was the first book I read on
While an interesting take on the children of Cleopatra and Marc Antony, there is very little imagination or even characterization going on here. You don't feel attached to the characters, there is little to no reason to keep reading, and even the plot is a play-by-play account and not a real story. The ending feels more like a sop to keep the reader happy than an ending, and even the more intriguing characters seem flat and uncaring. I enjoyed the background because I like historical fiction, ...more
Jun 20, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
so I gave up after 120 pages. The perspective was from a 10 year old in 27BC who sounds like a 25 year old in 2010 AD. very Dawson's Creek, but not is a good way.
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Where to start? When I first started this a month ago I was really disappointed in it. In fact, so disappointed that I put it down for 2-3 weeks. I ordered it because I was in the mood for a historical novel that would teach me things through a fantastic story. A story like one by Follett, Gable, Gordon. Those authors make me feel like I just had the best history lecture ever, without it ever feeling like one. Cleopatra's daughter felt like I was reading a middle grade historical novel. Imagine ...more
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! As with her previous books, Moran has a knack for bringing the ancient world alive. Following the defeat and death of her parents, Cleopatra Selene (along with her two brothers) are taken to Rome by Octavian where they will be raised by his sister Octavia (the wife Marc Antony left for Cleopatra - the woman must have been a saint). The book covers about a 3 year period as Selene grows up under the watchful eye of Octavia and learns about life and love. If you don't know much ...more
Laura Cleveland
Sep 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
What a waste of timber! The plot in this "novel" is paper-thin and the dialogue is perfectly puerile. I am astounded that others have given this punishing volume fine ratings. The breadth of this subject would have been better left to more finely chiseled authors.
The engaging tale of Cleopatra's surviving children attempting to survive in Ancient Rome under the eye of Emperor Augustus and his family. Still young they have to worry what happens when they reach the age of 15 and become a possible threat to the stability of Rome. Can they curry the favor of the imperial family and their lackeys or will they face execution in later years?

This tale is told from the perspective of Selene, a child when captured who has to come with terms that her Egyptian life
Many of us know the story of Cleopatra, the beautiful and famed Egyptian queen who wedded Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony and who killed herself after Octavian conquered Egypt. But how many know what happened to her children? Cleopatra's Daughter (ironic, really, that the story persists in snobbishly spelling her name Kleopatra when the title spells it with a C) tells the story of Kleopatra Selene, Cleopatra's daughter who was brought to Rome in chains after her parents' defeat. The story follows ...more
Jun 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
I went into CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER with almost no idea at all about her children by Marc Antony. This isn't to say I had no idea who they were, but I didn't know their fates beyond that they didn't die with Cleopatra. Moran is careful to note any historical changes she made in the Historical Notes section, although she stayed as true to what is factually known as possible, in as much as possible.

There are smaller details that are interesting and noteworthysuch as Livia's (Octavian's obsequious,
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say that Michelle Moran is a master story teller and if it's possible her third book is even better than the previous two. This book swept me into a world I had never imagined, it is filled with tragedy and yet has an ending that will take your breath away. Selene and Alexander (twins) are the last remaining children of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra who die by suicide when Egypt is conquered by Caesar. Selene and Alexander are taken to Rome to be raised by Octavia, Caesar's sister. While ...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
This book was fascinating. The book, while a work of fiction, is based on real people in history. While I was somewhat familiar with the actual historical figures, my knowledge is limited to college courses.

The book is a semi-fictional account of Cleopatra's children with Marc Antony- twins Alexander and Cleopatra Selene. Selene and Alexander are taken to Rome against their will after Octavian, the ruler of Rome, defeats their parents, the rulers of Egypt.

The story begins when Selene and
Elisha Condie
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-clubs
This book was ok, just fine, pretty good . . . so it was nice, but not great. I liked the historical details about the day to day life of Romans under the rule of Augustus. I liked the descriptions of building interiors and places that made them come to life.

The characters I didn't like quite so much. Even Selene, the cool headed 12 year old daughter this book is about was just a little too cool - she's so mature that Vitruvius takes her on to help design a mausoleum. Really? A 12 year old?
Liza Fireman
Jun 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Cleopatra's daughter, a 10 year old, telling a story when she is 10, in a really unbelievable way (same issue bothered me in A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers lately). And, when her father committed suicide and her mother is devastated and worried about her life, children and crown, she is talking about what people are wearing and their faces, and how many languages her mother speaks, and in what accent. Terrible, in addition to boring.
Very flat, almost no characterization
Doreen Petersen
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction
This book just blew me away! I'm not really into historical fiction but this book was soo good to the point I got to the last 275 pgs and just couldn't put it down until I finished. The author did a phenomenal job. A must read!
Margaret Chind
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
Recommended to Margaret by: Michelle Moran

Originally posted on Creative Madness Mama.

The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antonys revengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome; only two the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexandersurvive the
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
TW: suicide, rape, murder, infanticide

I wasnt expecting much from this book to be completely honest. I have a tendency to fact check basically everything when reading historical fiction. I guess this comes with being a history major. The bad thing about constantly fact checking is when I find out something is extremely inaccurate, I start to dislike what Im reading. That didnt happen with Cleopatras Daughter and Im so happy!

This novel was fantastic! I havent read any fiction novels about this
Ashley Owens
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not expect to like this as much as I did! But I ended up pleasantly surprised! A great combination of history, action, and angst. I enjoyed Selene as a main character - she was compassionate, lovely, fierce, and loving. The author did a great job of making me feel like I was learning about ancient Egypt and the intricacies of Rome. If all Historical Fiction were written like this, I would read it from any era. I highly recommend this, even if some bits of it were predictable!
Ashley Marsh
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, 2017
I really enjoyed this. Selene was a fantastic narrator, and the story was beautifully written. The pacing was perfect, in my opinion. It was great getting to know all these characters. My historical fiction reading is generally limited to British, French, and German stories, so I went into this knowing little and expecting less. I'm glad I finally picked this up, though. It's definitely worth a read.
Mimi Smith
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Because I have a short reading attention span, reading Cleopatra: A Life reminded me that I had this book on my mental to-read list. And today I decided to take a detour into reading Cleopatra's Daughter before resuming that one. I wasn't super impressed with Nefertiti; in presentation, it struck me as a warmed over The Other Boleyn Girl... this time in Egypt! (And with a more interesting main character, to be fair.) Still, I have been curious about Cleopatra Selene for some time now and ...more
I don't usually feel the need for half stars, but this book really deserves 2 1/2 stars. I really liked some parts, but others fell far short of the mark.

This book is historical fiction, but it often didn't feel historical. It read like a middle-grade history essay crossed with a reality TV series; blatant fact dropping held together with drama. The endnotes explain the author's choices, but much of the story still felt out of place. For example:
"And where do you think we would go?" she
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it

I love when I pick up historical fiction that gives so much detail about the particular time in history the book is about without it becoming dull and reading like a textbook. Moran knows how to make the characters come alive. And she knows how to bring you into an ancient world and become so entranced by it. Her descriptions are phenomenal. I can't even imagine the amount of research she put into this book! I love when I can read historical fiction and pick up some knowledge in a fun way. I

I sort of waffled between 4 or 5 stars on this book. It's really well written and engrossing in my opinion. It's sometimes shelved as YA, and while the main characters start around 12 and age to 15 in the book I wouldn't say that it's meant for a YA audience. The narrator of the story has a mature voice and the subject matter is more adult at times. I think my main problem is the romantic element sort of threw me. I read this without doing any research into the history of the characters and was ...more
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this novel. Moran's attention to historical detail was absolutely top-notch. It's one of the best historical fiction books I think I've encountered in a long time - great balance of history and entertainment. There was one plot element that really bugged me -- something not historically accurate, something included simply to move the plot along -- that I thought was unnecessary and detracted from the overall high quality of the book, but other than that I loved ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
This is a beautiful rendition of the life of Cleopatra Selene, the last descendant of the Ptolemy Empire. It follows the journey of Selene and her twin, Alexander, after losing their parents and later their little brother, into Rome, what they understand to be an enemy territory. A story filled with loss and alienation as well as finding compassion and understanding from the most unexpected sources.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Michelle Moran is the international bestselling author of six historical novels, including Madame Tussaud, which was optioned for a mini-series in 2011. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

A native of southern California, Michelle attended Pomona

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