Narrator: Wanda McCADDON
Published by Tantor Media in 2009
I listened to this book for the following Challenges:
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
If you are a faithful follower of this blog, you may recall my passionate review of Madame Tussaud last year. That was my discovery of Michelle Moran, and I definitely planned to read more books by her. So here is my 2nd. And I chose to listen to it. I have to say after the incredible genius idea and writing of Madame Tussaud, this one is not as perfect, but it is still very good. Again, I enjoy all the very serious background work Michelle Moran puts in her books, by reading a lot of history books and visiting the places she talks about. As Cleopatra’s surviving children were taken to Rome, you will learn a lot about life both in Egypt and in Rome at the time, at the historical, but also social and cultural level.
Selene is a fascinating character, and apparently she really was, in real life. She’s smart and gifted. And has to go through lots of drama in her youth. My only disappointment was that the book ended too soon for me: I would have liked to see her married with Juba, and how she managed to make her Mauretanian kingdom flourish and prosper.
The narrator was good, but nothing really spectacular. She had a nice flow, with a pleasant imitation of a young and simple person’s voice, without sounding childish nor too refined.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
Follows the incredible life of Cleopatra’s surviving children with Marc Antony — twins, named Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, and a younger son named Ptolemy. All three were taken to Rome and paraded through the streets, then sent off to be raised by Octavia (the wife whom Marc Antony left for Cleopatra). Raised in one of the most fascinating courts of all time, Cleopatra’s children would have met Ovid, Seneca, Vitruvius (who inspired the Vitruvian man), Agrippa (who built the Pantheon), Herod, his sister Salome, the poets Virgil, Horace, Maecenas and so many others! [goodreads]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Moran was born in the San Fernando Valley, CA. She took an interest in writing from an early age, purchasing Writer’s Market and submitting her stories and novellas to publishers from the time she was twelve. When she was accepted into Pomona College she took as many classes as possible in British Literature, particularly Milton, Chaucer, and the Bard. Not surprisingly, she majored in English while she was there. Following a summer in Israel where she worked as a volunteer archaeologist, she earned an MA from the Claremont Graduate University.
Michelle has traveled around the world, from Zimbabwe to India, and her experiences at archaeological sites were what inspired her to write historical fiction. A public high school teacher for six years, Michelle Moran is currently a full-time writer living in California. [goodreads]
REVIEWS BY OTHERS
A solidly researched history lesson … the book is a satisfying blend of romance, intrigue and fascinating historical fact. Cleopatra’s daughter may not share her mother’s renown, but Selene’s own life story is also worth surviving through the centuries.
—Allecia Vermillion Chicago Sun-Times [found on the author’s website, where you can find lots more information about this book, many more reviews, and even watch the trailer. I encourage you to go to that link, there’s also a fascinating interview on the author and this book]
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK MY MORAN
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN A COMMENT PLEASE
I am so glad you read this book for the Middle East Challenge, thank you. You are yet another person who reminds me that I need to read Madame Tussaud
YES, Madame Tussaud is incredibly GOOD! I also finished in February a book on Morocco, slowly catching up with my reviews… Thanks for hosting this challenge. I enjoy so much all the travels I do through books
I just picked up a copy of this at a used book store today. How fun to see that you’ve just reviewed it! I’m looking forward to reading it.
and I read it last month, only today did I have the time to review it! Enjoy! But if you have not read Madame Tussaud I highly encourage you to do so. so so good!
I’m so interested in reading this; I love books about the ancient world and enjoyed the biography of Cleopatra that came out last year. thanks for this review!
you are welcome. let me know what you think when you’ve read it. and Moran’s next book on Marie-Antoinette was just announced today, with book cover, for August! = The Second Empress
I really loved Moran’s second book, but not this one. I’ll have to try Madame Tussaud at some point.
I want to try Nefertiti before the Heretic Queen. thanks for the recommendation. Madame Tussaud is a pure gem
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