Lily of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter Series #1)

Lily of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter Series #1)

by Stephanie Dray


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The extraordinary daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony seeks to reclaim her birthright in the first novel of an epic historical fiction trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter.
From the first breath of her life, young Princess Selene understands herself to be a cherished daughter and the future queen of Egypt. But when Alexandria falls and her parents are forced into suicide, the once-pampered princess and her two surviving brothers are left at the mercy of their captors and dragged through the streets of Rome in chains. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and is suspect of her faith, Selene struggles for survival in a court of intrigue. She can’t hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the Roman emperor from using her powers for his own ends.
Faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother’s dreams and succeed where she failed. But there’s no telling what success will cost her in a treacherous political game where the only rule is win or die....

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425238554
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/04/2011
Series: Cleopatra's Daughter Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 225,333
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Stephanie Dray is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning novels include America's First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton, co-authored with Laura Kamoie, and the Cleopatra’s Daughter Trilogy. Her work has been translated into eight languages and often tops lists for the most-anticipated reads of the year. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer and a teacher. Now she lives near the nation's capital with her husband, cats, and history books.

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Lily of the Nile 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
pagese More than 1 year ago
It's funny how books about the exact same time period and people can have totally different feels to them. I've read Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran as well. They basically begin and end at the exact same points. While I like one slightly more than the other, the both were so different in style that if you enjoy Selene's story you should read them both. Selene felt young in this book and thus I think the book feels more young adult. This book also had a touch of magic that I found I really enjoyed. I still really enjoyed her character because she's still a princess even if she's been stripped of her titles. She refuses to bow down to her captors and I think she eventually earned the respect. The relationships were different in this one which was hard for me to accept. I found I liked the representation of Juba. I found I liked how Octavian was represented the best. He seemed almost crazy with his obsession with Cleopatra and it reflected a lot in how he dealt with Selene. I'm actually more excited to read the next in the series. From the end of Cleopatra's Daughter, I wanted to know what happened to Selene next. I can't wait to see what Stephanie Dray does with Song of The Nile.
Arsinoe More than 1 year ago
totally enjoyable the characters were faceted and credible. totally good read
Cappi More than 1 year ago
I have found myself interested in the early roman times. I picked up this book wanting to sink into this time period. While the descriptions were wonderful the relationships between the characters was laking. I love the dynamic between the twins but the ending fell short, I realized there is another book to come but, this book left a little too much unresolved. While saying that I still suggest that lovers of history pick up this book. The descriptions were on par and the links to religion were quite interesting.
Meli_Green More than 1 year ago
An intersting tale of Cleoptra's daughter and of Rome. Looking forward to the next book. It. will be interesting to see where the next book goes.
notsosilente More than 1 year ago
Michelle Moran's "Cleopatra's Daughter" is quite possibly my favorite book. The story of Cleopatra Selene is one of my favorites, as well. So of course, this is right up my ally. I was skeptical from the start, but I stuck it out. One thing, this book employs a lot more fictional license than Moran's. I loved Moran's book because I could feel the terror and the uncertainty right from the start. Moran's felt more realistic, Dray's was a bit more fantastical. Nevertheless, this book was wonderful. I enjoyed how Selene learns to play Octavian's game, being as shrewd as her infamous mother. The two books cannot be fairly compared to one another as they are both different, but the story of Selene is always a gripping one.
justBetsy More than 1 year ago
When Stephanie Dray came to lecture at our writers' group, I was more interested in the Mythica dark romance series she writes as Stephanie Draven, than in her historicals. But when she mentioned that there were magical aspects in her Cleopatra Selene series, I decided to check them out. I'm so glad I bought them. I've always been more into urban fantasy than historicals, but the quality of her writing hooked me from the start. I could feel I was actually there, in the nexus of Ancient Egypt and the Roman empire, understanding the beliefs and motivations of the characters. After a dramatic opening which detailed Selene's role in the suicide of her mother, Cleopatra, there was a lot of interesting action, but I wondered where the "magical aspect" was. Let me tell you, tt was worth waiting for. The magical communications from Isis represent a unique, exotic magic that fits perfectly in the mythology of Egypt. I have never read such a compelling account of pagan mysteries. I came to care deeply about Cleopatra Selene, her twin Alexander Helios, and little brother Philadelphus, so much so that I couldn't wait to read "Song of the Nile", the next book in the series.
moonflower44005 More than 1 year ago
I Hate to say that this book was WAY better the "Cleopatra's Daughter" by Michelle Moran,becouse She is one of my fav book writter. Once I started reading I could not stop reading it! I kept telling my self one more page or just one more chapter. Then in the end I finished the WHOLE BOOK IN ONE DAY! THis is a MUST READ! I could SO read this again. ^-^
MissHavoc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just learned that I don't like historical fiction. I had never read any before, so I thought I'd try it out. Yeah, I don't like it. I won't be reading anymore any time soon. I didn't finish it so I won't be book bashing, though I can't really give a review. I do love the Roman time period and the story of Cleopatra is very interesting, so I'm guessing if you enjoy that stuff too, you'd like this story. That's about all I'm going to say. It was a good story, and written well, but as a historical novel there just wasn't enough interest for me. Try it out if you like this genre. I'm thinking you'll love it. If I was able to read more than half of it, then if you're into this type of story I don't see why you wouldn't love it.
stefferoo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was simply a beautiful novel. While not exactly a heart-thumping page turner, it nonetheless had me enraptured with its story and characters every step of the way.Lily of the Nile is a historical fiction novel about Selene, the daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. She and her twin brother Helios were hailed from birth as a sacred pair for the worshipers of Isis, but after Alexandria fell to Roman forces and the suicides of their parents, the children are brought to Rome by the conqueror Octavian to be fostered in his imperial household. A prisoner trapped in a culture completely at odds with her heritage and faith, Selene struggles to hold on to Isis and the memory of her parents' legacy, meanwhile using all her wits to survive life in the Roman court.At the heart of it, Lily of the Nile is a coming-of-age story, and it's a unique one at that. It's labeled as historical fiction, but I was surprised to find a thread of fantasy laced through the novel in the form of old magic, which sets it apart from other books I've read in the past.This novel uses a lot of symbols and imagery to illustrate themes, of which the most interesting to me was the relationship between masculinity and femininity. For example, Isis, Cleopatra, Egypt, Alexandria, the moon, the Nile and even Selene herself were all used at some point as metaphors for the feminine, while Rome embodies everything about the masculine. I am thoroughly impressed at how the author has created this war of symbols behind the backdrop of the actual story, and despite the power struggle between the two sides, masculinity and femininity meet as equals in the end. This is just one of the many themes I glimpsed in this this novel, and as they all "clicked" to me as I was reading, I began to realize how elaborately woven this story is.The other thing that struck me was the novel's approach to political intrigue. It is nowhere near as daunting as the way it was handled in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire", nor does it have the flare or epicness of HBO's Rome, but its subtlety is something I can appreciate nonetheless. In fact, I didn't even get the sense that there was anything of the sort until I was well into the book. When the political dealings finally became apparent to me, it was even more captivating given what was revealed of Octavian's cunning, and knowing the fact these political games were essentially being played with the children as the pieces.Finally, I have to say I can't imagine how much research went into the writing of this novel. Stephanie Dray makes every effort to stay historically accurate, and what she embellished or changed for the sake of brevity she explains in her author's note at the end of the book.At the same time, she is very good at injecting life in the novel amidst the historical facts. The fantasy/magic aspect I mentioned before plays into this, but the author also paints a very realistic and vibrant picture of her characters, especially the children -- Selene, her brothers Helios and Philadelphus and all the other children in Octavian's household. My favorite character had to be Julia, the impish daughter of the emperor. Besides the main story, what I liked most about the book were the children and their relationships with each other and the adults who hold the power over their lives.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been wanting to read Stephanie Dray's debut novel Lily of the Nile for months. Ever since it popped up in my recommendations on Amazon, the gorgeous cover and engaging plot summary pulled me in and wouldn't let me go until I experienced the book. I've always been interested in historical fiction, and the ancient world was always a favorite topic of exploration.Lily of the Nile tells the tale of Selene, the daughter of Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt, and Marc Antony of Rome. The novel opens with the death of Cleopatra soon after the fall of Egypt to Rome. Selene, her twin brother Helios and their half brother are taken back to Rome as war prizes for the emperor Octavian. Instead of being killed, Selene and her brothers are dumped into the home of their father Marc Antony's Roman wife and her children. Selene soon finds that the situation isn't as charitable as it seems, nor is it as free as it seems. Still a prisoner, Selene is caught between her mother's legacy and love for Egypt and the powerful Emperor Octavian, who would rather see Cleopatra's children integrated into Roman society and used for his own means. To survive, Selene must protect her brothers and follow Caesar's orders, even if doing so threatens everything she holds dear.Lily of the Nile is an intriguing read filled with politics, manipulation, a dash of ancient mysticism, and an unforgettable journey through the ancient world through the eyes of one of the most fascinating figures of ancient Rome. The characters are strongly drawn and feel sympathetic and real, especially Selene. She's a strong protagonist that readers want to cheer for and want to succeed in a seemingly pointless endeavor. Alongside Selene, many of the other characters do feel a little weak, perhaps because some of them are given relatively little page time, or at least it feels like some characters, such as Octavian, didn't quite seem to come completely into their own on the page. I've read that there's supposed to be a sequel to Lily of the Nile, so perhaps he'll come to life more in the next installment.As for the writing style, Dray is a fabulous storytelling and a dedicated historical who weaves together thorough research on the ancient world seamlessly with mesmerizing fiction. The details are lush, and the overtones of mysticism give the story just enough punch to stand out from similar novels and give it a different level.Though Lily of the Nile technically is written for adults, it's great for younger readers who enjoy historical fiction. While Dray still has some maturing to do as a writer, Lily of the Nile shows amazing potential for her to become absolutely explosive in future installments.I'm excited to see what the future holds for this wonderful new writer.
DonnerLibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lily of the Nile is a wonderful book of historical fiction. Although I enjoy historical fiction a great deal, it has been quite a long time since I've actually read any. Stephanie Dray has reminded me why I count this as one of my preferred genres. Dray crafts the political and spiritual focus of the time around one young girl who is powerful, vulnerable, scared, and alone. Cleopatra Selene understands and feels the weight of Egypt and the religion of Isis as she holds it in her heart yet she also keenly feels the death of her parents and brothers. She can speak like a queen in one moment and in the next her emotions overwhelm her. Her brothers and the other members of her new household are very real, emotional characters as well. Each struggles at times to put on their stoic face for the public and to do their duty for Rome and the emperor, even when their hearts desire other things.The religion of Isis is strongly featured in the book as it is one of the main components of Cleopatra Selene's legacy. She protects the temples and followers of Isis from the emperor even when it means turning away from her family to do his bidding. Magic is a large part of this faith and it manifests itself with bleeding hieroglyphs carved into Selene's skin carrying messages for the emperor. Dray presents this magic in a very realistic manner both in its occurrence and the fear that it creates.Stephanie Dray gives the reader the entire package in this book: realistic historical setting, great characters, political ambition, spiritual magic, and wonderful writing. My only fear when getting close to the end was that it wasn't going to be enough. I didn't see how the story could possibly be wrapped up in the few remaining pages. While it turned out that the book did end in a wonderful spot in the story of Cleopatra Selene, I was very happy to discover that Dray is writing more of her story. According to Dray's website, Lily of the Nile is only the first book in a trilogy. I believe Song of the Nile is scheduled to come out some time this fall.
allisonmacias on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For my review, first of all, let me state that I die for books about Egypt, Rome and the Greco-Roman time. This book is perfect for me. I love the magical and exotic atmosphere that these books contain. I started taking notes on this book when I was captivated by Cleopatra's gifts and final prayer. As the book progressed, I was unable to fathom putting down the book to even jot down notes.From the beginning, Dray imbues on the twins attributes that I contribute to Cleopatra. Alexander Helios, the sun twin, is his mother's strength brought back to life. Cleopatra was a fighter and even engaged Octavian and his forces at Actium. Selene, the moon twin, brings to mind Cleopatra's mental victories. Selene embodies her mother's ability to engage is diplomacy and negotiations. I loved the fact that both twins were their mother's resurrection with different traits.Stephanie stayed close to history. Selene did survive Rome and went on to become a client queen. I know that some might think that Selene's transformation from Egyptian Royalty to Client Queen of Rome is abrupt, but Selene's change of heart is drawn on the necessity of assimilation to survive. In the beginning of the book, the readers feel Selene's terror, watching allies get killed and the terror is palpable. If Selene had learned anything from her mother, it was to always relate to those around you. I am sure that Cleopatra taught her Greek children how to be Egyptian, as she had done.Stephanie Dray's Lily of the Nile is a very wonderful book. I fell in love with Selene, and am anxious to hear the rest of her story. I won this book from Stephanie's website.
LisaJYarde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The saying "History is written by the victors" seems especially appropriate when applied to the late Ptolemaic period of Egypt, in which Cleopatra VII lost her ancient kingdom to the Romans under Octavian Caesar. History records a great deal about one of the most famous of Egyptian queens, including her liaison with Julius Caesar, and the son she bore him, as well as her love for Marc Antony. Less detail is available about the children Cleopatra gave Marc Antony. Now, author Stephanie Dray has researched the past and delved into the mysterious lives of the young children left behind when Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide.The twins, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene are born to privilege in the great city of Alexandria, where their mother is queen of Egypt and their father a celebrated Roman triumvir. At their births, the Egyptians hail them as saviors. It is not long before their mother calls upon the twins to do just that. Both bear a heavy burden in a struggle to preserve Egypt and their own lives against the rapacious intent of the conqueror Octavian Caesar. Shackled with Helios and her younger brother Ptolemy, Selene publicly submits to Octavian in Rome, but she cannot forget the past in which she was destined to be a queen and inherit her mother¿s mantle of power. Strange markings appear at random on her body, leaving her weak and bloodied, but also defiant. Now a political prisoner, she dwells with Octavia, Caesar¿s sister, and the estranged wife of her father Marc Antony. Life in the household of her enemies is uneasy, as Antony¿s other children look on Selene as an interloper and a threat to their positions with Octavian. A budding relationship with Juba, the deposed prince of Numidia and a close friendship with Julia, Octavian¿s only daughter, offers Selene some comfort. Yet, Octavian¿s obsession with the image he has cultivated of her mother continually endangers Selene, as does her brother¿s determined struggle against their captors. One choice remains for her: to win or die. Ms. Dray¿s debut is vibrant, well researched and an easy read. I finished it in less than 24 hours. The ancient world comes to life with her excellent characterizations. Selene and Helios are two sides of the same coin, an equal match in varying strengths, but she stands out for her ability to play Octavian¿s games and even master them. Octavian truly stands out as the villain of this novel, and Ms. Dray summarizes his personality well. His misogynistic attitudes toward Roman women lie at the heart of his obsession with Cleopatra, and later, her daughter. The fact that Selene is able to contend with his machinations is a true testament to her personal strength.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I almost wish I could have loved it the second time as much as the first, but this sparked a time travel journey for me. I was so intrigued by the end of the book the first time that I went back to the beginning of the Christian Creation story and found as many female first person historical novels as I could. The only letdown was that the Cleopatra memoir novel I read directly before this had no mention of magic or heka so I was a little more skeptical, but I'm still off to re-read the rest of the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great look at Cleopatra's children and how they tried to fit in with their new family.
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BooksMania More than 1 year ago
As an aspiring historical fiction novelist, I consider Stephanie Dray a model and an inspiration of what I would like to create. This trilogy is hard to put down, it doesn't drag at all, every page is filled with action and suspense.  I read it fitfully due to little time, but at the end of the weeks I finished the three books, it felt like I had been watching a soap opera. It is that fast paced, that reading a little every day was like breaking into episodes. The descriptive style makes it easy to visualize the scenes, and imagine the characters. You feel like these personages are well known friends. A TV series should be made after it.  Fans of Phillippa Gregory, Jean Plaidy, Colin Falconer and historical fiction in general, will love this. Bravo Stephanie Dray !
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