Thursday, 15 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Cleopatra's Moon

Title: Cleopatra's Moon
Author: Vicky Alvear Shecter
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Rating: PG
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Pages: 353
Source: Purchased Finished Copy
My Rating: 5*

[Goodreads | Amazon]


"The Luxe" meets the ancient world in the extraordinary story of Cleopatra's daughter.

Selene has grown up in a palace on the Nile with her parents, Cleopatra & Mark Antony—the most brilliant, powerful rulers on earth. But the jealous Roman Emperor Octavianus wants Egypt for himself, & when war finally comes, Selene faces the loss of all she's ever loved. Forced to build a new life in Octavianus's household in Rome, she finds herself torn between two young men and two possible destinies—until she reaches out to claim her own.

This stunning novel brings to life the personalities & passions of one of the greatest dramas in history, & offers a wonderful new heroine in Selene.


 Octavianus squatted once more, facing Ptolly eye to eye.  "Now.  Where did Caesarion go?"
Do not answer him, Ptolly.  Please!
Ptolly jutted his jaw.  "I told you already!  To the desert!"
Octavianus gritted his teeth.  "Which desert?"
Tell him you don't know.  Tell him you don't know.  But I could feel Ptolly's emotional storm gathering like thick black clouds, crackling with vicious bolts of lightning.  And I knew it was too late.
"The desert on the other side!" he roared.  "The one that goes to India!"

My Thoughts

     I loved this book.

     I, being a lover of historical fiction and all things Ancient Egypt, have read my fair share of books on Cleopatra Selene and her mother Cleopatra, the last Queen of Egypt.  Like all books, some are better than others and one usually becomes the standard by which all other books on that same topic are measured.  Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter is that standard.

     Told from the view point of Cleopatra Selene, the book follows the children as they are forced to leave Egypt by Octavianus, known to history as Augusts, and watch as they try to navigate and make sense of their new lives and circumstances.  Living in Octavianus's household, the children, more specifically Cleopatra Selene, attempt to figure out just who to trust while trying to maintain both their faith and ideals.

     What I really liked about this book is the role reversal of two of the characters.  In every other book I have read or movie I have watched about this period and instance, these particular characters have been portrayed in the opposite fashion.  It was really refreshing to see that character reversal, whether it was true or not.  I also liked the fact that even though you know the basic premise of the story, you never find yourself thinking 'well that certainly didn't happen' or 'that's not realistic at all'.  You are able to immerse yourself in the story and simply enjoy it for what it is.

   In Cleopatra's Moon, Shecter has managed to create dynamic, engaging and flawed characters that bring to life one of history's most fascinating time periods.  Weaving the tale of the little known story of what happened to the children of Cleopatra once Egypt finally fell into complete control of the Roman empire, the story contains both mystical elements and a love story that leaves you questioning just what is fact and what is fiction.


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