Cleopatra's Moon

Cleopatra's Moon

4.7 48
by Vicky Alvear Shecter

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"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

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"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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This fascinating historical novel explores the tumultuous history of Cleopatra VIII Selene, the only daughter of Cleopatra VII and Marcus Antonius. "How was it that I went from a Princess of Egypt—the daughter of the most powerful queen in the world—to a prisoner of Rome, and now, to the bride of a petty ruler in the scrubs of Africa?" a teenage Cleopatra Selene wonders, before the narrative rewinds a decade to her upbringing in Alexandria and the dissolution of the Egyptian empire. The early sections highlight the high stakes, political pressure, and dangers facing Cleopatra VII's reign and the rich complexities of the Egyptian religion. Shecter (Cleopatra Rules! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen) strongly sketches court life and highlights the differences between Cleopatra Selene's youth in Alexandria with the more restrictive court of Rome where Selene and her brothers move after her parents' deaths. In Rome, Cleopatra Selene and her brothers dodge palace dangers, including an attempt on their lives, with grace. Cleopatra Selene proves a stalwart heroine, and the novel's atmospheric setting and romantic intrigue are highly memorable. Ages 13�up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Lynn Evarts
Goddess Isis is not being kind to Cleopatra VIII Selene ("Little Moon"), the only daughter of Cleopatra VII and Marcus Anthony. Little Moon is desperately trying to discover her place within her mother's Egyptian kingdom, but external forces keep interfering. Stress in her kingdom increases dramatically when her mother and Tata (Anthony) travel to Rome to fight for their land. Their deaths, along with the death of her twin brother, plunge Little Moon into a whole new world. Suddenly, she is no longer the pampered daughter of the queen of Egypt, but a forced exile in Rome. As time progresses, she learns to rely on the lessons her mother taught her and her own strong personality. Eventually, she meets someone who is her match, and together they rule parts of Algeria and Morocco in peace and prosperity. Historical fiction can be complex to write and to read, and Shecter does not shy away from these complexities, detailing not Cleopatra herself but her daughter. Kings, queens, princesses, gods and goddesses—Roman and Egyptian—make up this sweeping history. There is a character list at the beginning of the book that is vital to keeping track of all of the players, and "Facts within the Fiction" at the end of the book details the actual history of the times. Well written and painstakingly researched, this book will be a wonderful addition to advanced history reading lists and for students who like a fascinating story and a bit of a reading challenge. Reviewer: Lynn Evarts
Children's Literature - Amanda MacGregor
Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleaopatra VII and Marcus Antonius, is used to a life of splendor in Egypt. All of that starts to fall apart when her father names Caesarion (son of Cleaopatra VII and Julius Caesar) king of Egypt. Octavianus, Julius Caesar's nephew, was to be the one true heir and inherit the position of king. He declares war on Egypt, focusing on destroying Cleopatra's family. After both of their parents die, Cleopatra Selene and her brothers are taken to Rome, where they suffer further heartbreak yet hold out hope for returning to Egypt. Cleopatra Selene is determined to be like her mother, to make choices that will allow her to reclaim her destiny and Egypt, yet must face the truth that maybe her mother's choices are not the only ones available to her. Readers who appreciate a strong female protagonist will especially enjoy this dense historical novel. The large cast of characters is sometimes difficult to keep straight, particularly in the cases where multiple characters share similar names, but readers who persevere and find their footing will be treated to a wonderfully written story of intrigue, romance, and adventure. An appended section about the historical facts and liberties taken flesh out Cleopatra Selene's life and eventual rule. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Based on the lives of Cleopatra's children, this book is narrated by the queen's only daughter, Cleopatra Selene, whose father was Marcus Antonius and whose name means moon. Starting in Alexandria just as Octavianus is attacking the kingdom, Cleopatra Selene goes from a happy childhood at age seven to seeing her father kill himself, losing her mother, and being shipped off to Rome to live in the house of her enemy. Having been crowned queen along with her twin Alexandros, as the next king before being whisked out of Egypt, Cleopatra holds on to the hope that somehow the followers of Isis, her mother's patron goddess, will help them escape back to Egypt, all the while convinced that Octavianus's wife is trying to poison her family. She turns away from her own heart and focuses on power, allowing herself to be seduced by Marcellus, the next in line to rule Rome. At 16, Cleopatra Selene is married off by Octavianus to the King of Mauretania, which leads to an unexpected ending. An afterword describes the history surrounding the plot. This novel has romance, drama, heartbreak, and adventure, all rooted in an accurate and descriptive historical setting. Shecter writes about the world of ancient Egypt and Rome with wonderful detail, making it come alive and bringing in the Jewish culture that existed in both Rome and Alexandria. Her characters are skillfully fictionalized, and readers will connect with the hardship suffered by the children, particularly the deaths of Cleopatra Selene's brothers. A fantastic read with some valuable history.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
From the Publisher

"Cleopatra Selene, the 16-year-old daughter of Egypt’s greatest rulers, Cleopatra and Mark Antony, begins a new life in Rome at her captor’s palace, with twin brother Alexandros and younger brother Ptolly. As they encounter palace intrigue, foreign religions, and cruel treatment, Selene mourns her parents and grows into a woman as beautiful and irresistible as her mother. Kirsten Potter’s delivery of the first-person point of view, along with her quick pace and youthful voice, evolves as  Selene ages and matures. Potter conveys Selene’s fears and frustrations as she’s torn between two men, two outlooks, and two paths to power in pursuit of returning to her beloved homeland. Potter’s delivery of vivid, sensory details transports the listener back to the sands of ancient times." 
G.D.W.  © AudioFile Portland, Maine

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)
HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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