Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Michelle Moran's third novel tells the story of Kleopatra (Cleopatra) and Marc Antony's sun and moon twins--Alexander Helios and Kleopatra Selene (Cleopatra VIII). Ten years old at the time of their parents' deaths and Rome's conquest of Egypt, they are taken to Rome as Octavian's prisoners/guests. Too young to pose any real threat, they are adopted by Octavian's kind sister, Octavia, the wife Marc Antony spurned for the Queen of Egypt, to be raised and educated alongside her children while they await their monumental fifteenth birthday, the age at which they will be considered adults, and when Octavian will decide their fate--will they live or die?

Although the characters are interesting, this novel lacked a certain something, to me the pace felt somewhat slow and the emotion and drama lacked the necessary depth and emphasis to make the story truly sparkle. For example, although it is mentioned repeatedly that Selene suffers the pangs of unrequited love for Octavian's nephew and heir apparent, charming, generous, handsome Marcellus, I never truly felt the angst of a teenage girl in the throes of her first love. And the siblings' transition from Egyptian royalty to Roman citizens went a little too smoothly, in my opinion, to be completely believable. Though the young are adaptable and said to heal quickly, I think the twins would have suffered more through their various ordeals and life-altering changes. Nonetheless, though not of the same caliber as Ms. Moran's previous novels, "Cleopatra's Daughter" is still an engaging and enjoyable read especially for fans of Ancient Egypt and those who are fascinated by its most famous queen and have wondered what fate befell her offspring.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with the above statement. I loved this book and thought it was a page turner!