Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: Cleopatra's Daughter - Michelle Moran

Cleopatra's Daughter
Michelle Moran
Series: Egyptian Royals Collection (No particular order)
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Stunning.
On Goodreads

THIS WAS AWESOME. STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING, AND READ THIS. It was short and sweet and oh my god, absolutely beautiful (I’ll explain the .5 lacking from the stars in a bit). I’m a huge fan of historical fiction and words cannot express how hard it is to find the good stuff. Mhm mhm good.

Now that I have fangirled, I shall explain. Cleopatra’s Daughter is told by Selene, (who, as can be inferred, is Cleopatra’s Daughter) who is smart and fabulous and so so strong. She tells her epic story and conveys her relationship with her twin brother, Alexander, and her little brother, Ptolemy. Can I take a minute to be really pleased with Selene. She is scholarly and kind and very charitable and is even talented and can draw brilliant architecture – these traits attract Marcellus, the air to Octavian’s throne. I SHIP IT SO HARD. Not only are the sparks between Marcellus and Selene super adorable, so was Selene's relationship with Alex. It’s so hard to find a book that accurately portrays a sibling relationship in a way that makes sense for their situation. Think about this: two scared 11-year-olds have lost their parents and have been moved to a new place, and have to watch over their little brother. The twins are playful and affectionate with one another, mostly because of their super close relationship (which can probably be attributed to their suffering and loss).

This review seems not very put together, but honestly, that’s how I felt about the story. The feels. The criticism I have about the story comes here. Though there were so many tragedies that these kids faced, I don’t believe they were explained in a way that made me truly feel for them. Selene seemed a bit idealistic for her situation, although I admired her for making it through such a tough time. I almost wish that this story would exist between both her and Alexander’s point of views, so that both of their personalities would be exemplified.

Even though there was that minor problem with the story, I really really loved it. The story is both historical and modern, in that Moran stuck to the truth (only straying from real life to create one rebellion that flowed well in the book) and also created a world that I completely empathized with. Selene grows up far from home, with people she doesn’t connect with, and honestly, I get what that feels like. However, she is also placed in a situation where she needs to be able to prove to Octavian, her caretaker, that she is worth keeping around after she enters adulthood. Selene is an appealing and realistic heroine, and I found myself running to the end of the book to find out what happens to her.

I especially love historical fiction because I love two things - history and books - and Moran does a fantastic job of making history come to life in this beyond exciting story - the romance and intrigue in it makes this a great read for anybody.

- Amrutha

How do you like your historical fiction: by the book or more fiction than fact?
Let us know in the comments!

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