Customer Reviews for

Cleopatra's Daughter

Average Rating 4.5
( 471 )
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(279)

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(118)

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(47)

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(19)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

A wonderful tale of the Roman Empire

In this third novel by author, Michelle Moran, the reader is swept from the pyramids of Egypt into the glory of Rome. Cleopatra's daughter, Selene, is the narrative voice of the novel as she journeys into the year 30 B.C. and the decadence of the Eternal City.

The...
In this third novel by author, Michelle Moran, the reader is swept from the pyramids of Egypt into the glory of Rome. Cleopatra's daughter, Selene, is the narrative voice of the novel as she journeys into the year 30 B.C. and the decadence of the Eternal City.

The novel is geared to appeal to a wider audience, which includes young adults. Thus most readers will find this novel a smooth, comfortable read. Nevertheless, it packs a mighty punch. The strength of this novel is not only found in its intricate details of architecture, art, sport, fashions, and politics of the time, but is also rich with court intrigues and brutalities of the Roman Empire when it was at its peak.

For lovers of historical fiction, Michelle Moran's books never disappoint, and this novel is no exception. Filled with grand details and numerous emotional scenes, the reader is immersed in the times, so accurately and confidently portrayed. A hgihly recommended read.

posted by Mirella on October 13, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

OK, But Not Without Some Flaws This was a rather interesting his

OK, But Not Without Some Flaws
This was a rather interesting historical fiction look at Cleopatra Selene, the only one of the famous Cleopatra's
children with Marc Antony that we know for sure survived into adulthood after Rome's conquest of Egypt -
although it's not w...
OK, But Not Without Some Flaws
This was a rather interesting historical fiction look at Cleopatra Selene, the only one of the famous Cleopatra's
children with Marc Antony that we know for sure survived into adulthood after Rome's conquest of Egypt -
although it's not without some flaws.

Michelle Moran relates how Selene and her brothers are taken to Rome after the fall of Egypt; how they are forced
to participate in Octavian's Triumph celebrating his conquest; how they live for a while in his sister's household
as royal hostages; and how Selene is eventually married off to Prince Juba of Numidia - all events that we know
from the historical sources actually happened.

Everything else -Selene's reactions and ways of coping with the cataclysmic changes in her life; her interactions
with the people she meets in Rome; the deaths of her brothers (they eventually disappear from the historical
sources, although no one is quite sure how or when they died), and especially her interactions with Juba - is
all necessarily from Ms. Moran's imagination.

So was it plausible? On the whole, yes. At first I thought Selene's reaction to slavery in Rome was a naïve
concession on the author's part to try to make her character more in tune with today's politically correct attitudes.
(She grew up as royalty in ancient Egypt, which also had slavery, so why would she be so shocked to encounter
it in Rome?) But then I realized that I wasn't considering how Selene's changed status in Rome - she was
essentially a prisoner who was kept alive only for her political value - could have made her more sympathetic to
anyone else whose freedom had been taken away from them.

(Although the whole idea of a "masked crusader" agitating for slave revolt in first-century Rome, which Moran
also invents, is rather far-fetched.)

I also think that the author's way of handling Selene's relationship with Juba was a little too forced. Selene
spends the whole book engaging in antagonistic exchanges with him and mooning after another man, then in
the last chapter finds out that Juba actually loved her all along and realizes that - guess what? - she loves him
too. Not that it couldn't have happened, but it was all just a little too abrupt to be realistic.

This simplistic ending, the one-dimensional aspect of some of the secondary characters, and the
"info-dumping" style of writing (trying to cram as much historical information as possible into the dialogue and
exposition) are the book's main flaws. It almost has the tone of a young adult novel. Even if the author wasn't
specifically aiming toward that market, it's entirely appropriate for that age group, since the main characters
range in age from 12 to 15 throughout the story.

I also wish the author had spent some time relating Selene's life with Juba after they married and ruled the
kingdom of Mauretania together, which is also another fascinating historical subject. But I guess that's a topic
big enough for a whole additional book.

If you take the book's flaws into account and just concentrate on the factual information about ancient Rome
and the interesting historical figures, this can be an enjoyable read.

posted by 11134112 on October 16, 2013

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful tale of the Roman Empire

    In this third novel by author, Michelle Moran, the reader is swept from the pyramids of Egypt into the glory of Rome. Cleopatra's daughter, Selene, is the narrative voice of the novel as she journeys into the year 30 B.C. and the decadence of the Eternal City.

    The novel is geared to appeal to a wider audience, which includes young adults. Thus most readers will find this novel a smooth, comfortable read. Nevertheless, it packs a mighty punch. The strength of this novel is not only found in its intricate details of architecture, art, sport, fashions, and politics of the time, but is also rich with court intrigues and brutalities of the Roman Empire when it was at its peak.

    For lovers of historical fiction, Michelle Moran's books never disappoint, and this novel is no exception. Filled with grand details and numerous emotional scenes, the reader is immersed in the times, so accurately and confidently portrayed. A hgihly recommended read.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for TeensReadToo.com

    I absolutely loved reading CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER by Michelle Moran. The novel is about Marc Anthony and Kleopatra's children and told from the point of view of their daughter, Selene.

    The novel starts in 30 BC, after two years of fighting between Marc Anthony and Octavian for control of Rome. Things go from bad to worse when Octavian captures Alexandria, the capital of Egypt, and effectively ends the war. After their parents commit suicide, the royal children - twins named Alexander and Selene and their younger brother, Ptolemy - are exiled from their home and sent to Rome.

    While I found the history familiar and fascinating, Selene's story is also compelling. At the start of the novel, she is a precocious eleven-year-old who loves to draw. Though the recent war has made her grow up quickly, she is still hopeful, idealistic, and quickly befriends several members of Octavian's household, including Octavian's heir, Marcellus, and Gallia, a proud enslaved princess.

    However, even with allies, there is also plenty of court intrigue as Selene struggles to prove that she's useful enough to keep alive to a ruthless and murderous Octavian. Livia, Octavian's wife, hates her and tries to humiliate her at every opportunity. Juba, the prince of Numidia, watches her every move. Moran also does a great job of interpreting historical figures such as a teenage Ovid, the author of Metamorphoses, and a child Tiberius, forty years before his reign as the second Roman emperor.

    CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER achieves a lovely balance between a survey of early Imperial Rome and the story of a young girl growing up far from home. Though Moran show us gladiator games and court trials through Selene's eyes, her main character is much more than a camera lens. I had a hard time putting this book down! Moran creates a world that is both exotic and familiar. Julia, Octavian's daughter, and Selene's shopping sprees are evidence that some things haven't changed in two thousand years!

    While history lovers are sure to be pleased, readers of romance and mystery should also check this book out. Five Stars!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Even better than the last Michelle Moran

    What does it say when you can finish reading a book in three days from receiving it with a five week old baby causing a hiatus every two to four hours for food, changes, or just plain attention. Well... I would say that means it is a really good book!

    Michelle Moran does not disappoint with her third novel, and I am excited for the four. She is one of those authors who writes a good book and as a reader you assume that was it, but each next novel is full of such entertainment that you are excited and cannot decide if it was better than the last.

    Through the words of these pages, a reader gets to travel from Egypt to Rome and become immersed in the lives of historical figures in a way intangible before. The characters and people are brought to life on the pages and their emotions and causes are strongly felt as if a reader was a participant in their day to day lives.

    This is a general market novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and would easily say it could be meant for any audience, young adult or adult. The only caution with a young adult I would say is for maturity. Be forewarned of the historically accurate references to the indulgences that the Romans participated in that may be distasteful. Each page brings to light the good and the bad of history and makes me want to delve a bit deeper and just go get a textbook and read. (Yet this is so much more entertaining!)

    My favorite part is basically a Roman version of a Robin Hood wanting to bring out the very best. With issues of slavery, indiscretion, betrayal, kidnapping, murder, suicide, illness, birth, adventure, travel, romance, secrets, true love, and long lasting truth every page keeps a reader on their toes. I highly recommend this and every other novel by author Michelle Moran.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2009

    History IS Exciting

    The combination of history with love and imagination brings the story of Cleopatra's children to life. Moran sets up scenes that make you feel as if you are standing in the crowds gathered to watch as Cleopatra's son and daughter enter Rome, not as royalty as would be their right but as Caesar's captives. Selene will capture your heart with her will to live, her gentleness and compassion, and hope for a life filled with love in a country where trust is a word to be taken lightly.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    OK, But Not Without Some Flaws This was a rather interesting his

    OK, But Not Without Some Flaws
    This was a rather interesting historical fiction look at Cleopatra Selene, the only one of the famous Cleopatra's
    children with Marc Antony that we know for sure survived into adulthood after Rome's conquest of Egypt -
    although it's not without some flaws.

    Michelle Moran relates how Selene and her brothers are taken to Rome after the fall of Egypt; how they are forced
    to participate in Octavian's Triumph celebrating his conquest; how they live for a while in his sister's household
    as royal hostages; and how Selene is eventually married off to Prince Juba of Numidia - all events that we know
    from the historical sources actually happened.

    Everything else -Selene's reactions and ways of coping with the cataclysmic changes in her life; her interactions
    with the people she meets in Rome; the deaths of her brothers (they eventually disappear from the historical
    sources, although no one is quite sure how or when they died), and especially her interactions with Juba - is
    all necessarily from Ms. Moran's imagination.

    So was it plausible? On the whole, yes. At first I thought Selene's reaction to slavery in Rome was a naïve
    concession on the author's part to try to make her character more in tune with today's politically correct attitudes.
    (She grew up as royalty in ancient Egypt, which also had slavery, so why would she be so shocked to encounter
    it in Rome?) But then I realized that I wasn't considering how Selene's changed status in Rome - she was
    essentially a prisoner who was kept alive only for her political value - could have made her more sympathetic to
    anyone else whose freedom had been taken away from them.

    (Although the whole idea of a "masked crusader" agitating for slave revolt in first-century Rome, which Moran
    also invents, is rather far-fetched.)

    I also think that the author's way of handling Selene's relationship with Juba was a little too forced. Selene
    spends the whole book engaging in antagonistic exchanges with him and mooning after another man, then in
    the last chapter finds out that Juba actually loved her all along and realizes that - guess what? - she loves him
    too. Not that it couldn't have happened, but it was all just a little too abrupt to be realistic.

    This simplistic ending, the one-dimensional aspect of some of the secondary characters, and the
    "info-dumping" style of writing (trying to cram as much historical information as possible into the dialogue and
    exposition) are the book's main flaws. It almost has the tone of a young adult novel. Even if the author wasn't
    specifically aiming toward that market, it's entirely appropriate for that age group, since the main characters
    range in age from 12 to 15 throughout the story.

    I also wish the author had spent some time relating Selene's life with Juba after they married and ruled the
    kingdom of Mauretania together, which is also another fascinating historical subject. But I guess that's a topic
    big enough for a whole additional book.

    If you take the book's flaws into account and just concentrate on the factual information about ancient Rome
    and the interesting historical figures, this can be an enjoyable read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    Unknown, Should be Known (I don't say what happens in book)

    Cleopatra's daughter, Selene, is swept away from Egypt's blue-marbled sea to the triumphs of Rome. She faces grief, jealsouy, romance, mystery, and death. This is an astounding novel that potrays the beauty and disaster of pleasing the emperor of Rome. She fights to stay alive and not slip into the clutches of being pushed around. I have to say this book was almost everything I had wanted from it. The end seemed too predictable and like she was trying to get the end of the book over with. Otherwise this piece of historical fiction is highly reccomended. I also reccomend The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George. If you do want to read The Memoirs of Cleopatra, read that first then Cleopatra's Daughter.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this story! It captivated me!

    Cleopatra's Daughter pulled me into another world during the time period right before Christ was born and held me there until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story reminds me a lot of Francince Rivers' series The Mark of the Lion, however, the focus and characters in Cleopatra's Daughter and the theme of the novel was totally different. The culture of the times was very different and yet also similar to the perversion in our society today. This was very realistically portrayed without being disgusting. I loved how the setting was so rich with detail that you truly do escape back in time while flipping the pages. I didn't want to stop reading and was up until midnight for the past four nights reading this wonderful portrayal of characters rarely mentioned in historical fiction (at least that I've heard of). If I had realized at first that the story was mostly told from a pre-adolescent's POV, I may not have been interested in the book, however, it captivated me to the end. There were no slow spots, no places where content dragged, and fantastic twists and turns along the way. I feel like I learned a little more about the time before Christ and even a bit more about the ruler, Tiberius Caesar, who reigned during the time of Christ. And it was also edgy enough to hold me until the end. Bravo!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Great Read!

    Fantastic read, well written and engrossing. I am a huge fan of ancient history and this was highly enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    Good read

    A fictional story based on historical records, great detail, characters fairly well defined, apparently the Mayans had nothing on the Romans when it came to violent acts and bloodshed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Excellent historical fiction

    Written very well and you are quickly drawn into Selene's world. Made me an instant fan of the author.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    AMAZING BOOK!

    If you are looking for a good book to read than this is the book for you. It is filled with amazing detail, romance, and just interesting facts about the great Cleopatra's children. Once i read the first page i could not put it down. It is so worth the money. BUY IT RIGHT NOW! BEST BOOK YOU WILL EVER READ!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    I absolutely loved it!

    The book was well written with amazing detail. I could not put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    UNEVEN

    I don't often get antsy in the middle of a book for death to.hurry up and happen, but with this one I used the "Go To" buttonto read the ending. I would have enjoyed a bit more scholarship.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Great story

    I really enjoyed this story. Would love to read more of Moran's other books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2011

    Boring

    This book starts out great but then drags midsection. It basically becomes a soap opera type account of the kids life from day to day, very boring and at times crass. I would have enjoyed more plot and storyline. The most exciting parts were the beginning and the red eagle storyline.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    ok read

    this was one of those mediocre stories. the handful of main characters were fairly interesting and there was an adequate amount of action/interaction in the story. but while i did learn some about ancient rome and egypt the history lessons were heavy handed coming out of awkward and unnatural dialogue. there were far too many characters overall and they were difficult to keep track of. if you'd like a vaguely entertaining history lesson i would recommend it. great ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Disappointed

    I don't know if it's because I read all of Moran's books back to back, but "Cleopatra's Daughter" was extremely predictable and a big letdown for me. I correctly guessed at every major revelation throughout the novel before even finishing the first half, and while the story itself was entertaining, it makes it harder to get through a book when you already see where it's going. I'm not a huge fan of Roman history either, and many of the depictions made me extremely uncomfortable (ie: the child of Horatia), though that is to the credit of the author and not the fault of, in my opinion, early Roman culture. It was a decent read once but this is a book that will probably collect dust on my shelves while I go back to reread others instead.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2010

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    It took until the end..

    It took until the last 20 pages of this book for me to really get into it. This was the unfortunate part. The book started off strong and with exciting moments with the introduction to Cleopatra and her family crisis. Then the story progresses, and the main characters are 12 years old.. I suppose I wanted them to grow up so I could relate more to the characters. But then things in the book kept happening, which weren't exactly shocking, but interesting enough to keep me reading a chapter or two a night with easy entertainment. Then the last couple chapters.. All hell breaks loose in the story and it became a page turner which quickly ended! I enjoyed reading the historical note and learning that many of the events and people were based off historical figures - I think if I had read the historical note first, I would have appreciated the whole story more. But overall, this was a great book to read when you have a few extra minutes to spare during the day and want to get some reading in. It isn't about the action in this book - its about the development of a young girl whose life has been turned inside out and showing her vulnerabilities, her coping and her pain. Plus - happy ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Selene

    Kleopatra Selene was a mature, sophisticated child according to Ms. Moran, which may have been the case due to her mother's insistence on a well-rounded education. The book provided the reader with an interesting insight into life in Rome during the times of Ceasar Augustus. I would recommend it to historical fiction fans.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2014

    Great historical romance!!!!!

    Took me 2 days to finish!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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