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Review: Cleopatra's Daughter, by Michelle Moran

Selene is one of the children of Cleopatra and Antony. After her parents’ deaths, Selene and her brothers are sent to Rome, where they become a part of the court of Octavian (later Augustus). It’s a brutal and unmerciful world in which Selene finds herself, and our narrator finds herself adapting to Roman culture in order to survive.

In this novel, Michelle Moran does for ancient Rome what she did for ancient Egypt; she brings the time period and place alive for her readers. I always know with Moran’s novels that I can get a lot of historical accuracy; and while I don’t know much about ancient Rome, I could definitely tell that the author has researched the heck out of her subject matter. In comparison with Moran’s other two novels, I enjoyed Cleopatra’s Daughter more than The Heretic Queen, but not quite as much as Nefertiti. Moran’s writing really sucks her reader into her characters’ story, and Cleopatra’s Daughter is a fine example of this.

What I didn’t particularly care for was the narrator when she was younger; Selene’s “voice” at the beginning of the novel is a little too mature for a ten year old girl. Also, I’m a little puzzled as to why this is being marketed as YA, though; although Selene is a teenager for most of the book, the story is definitely an adult one. But aside from these qualms, I definitely enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more from Michelle Moran in the future.

Also reviewed by: Medieval Bookworm, Becky's Book Reviews, A Reader's Journal, She Read a Book, Caribou's Mom, Everything Distills Into Reading, Historical Tapestry, S. Krishna's Books, So Many Precious Books, So Little Time


I love books set in Ancient Rome. I studied lots of Latin literature when I was at school and...Guess what! I've just won a copy of this novel, autographed by Michelle Moran, at Enchanted by Josephine! I've read your review with great interest...longing for having the book in my hands!
Meghan said…
I think it's being marketed as YA under the definition that YA = teenage protagonist. At least, that's what I'm generally told when I'm curious as to why a book is YA. I have another author whose publisher decided one of his novels was to be marketed in a more YA direction because the main character was teen, even though it was really about the same as his adult work. I definitely would have still loved this book as a teen, so it didn't bother me all that much.

Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm
Lezlie said…
I was unsure about the YA tag also, but I know I sure enjoyed is as an adult! :-)

Marg said…
Another questioning of the YA tag here. The puzzling thing for me is that we are told that it is YA but I don't see that being particularly pushed in the marketing like it is for some other books. YA is so hot right now. Maybe that is another reason to call it YA.

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