Series: Cleopatra’s Daughter #1
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Published Date: January 2011
(Available in Electronic Format)
Age Group: Young Adult +
“What is a use of a book, without pictures or conversations?” I’d first like to thank Berkley Trade for sending me a copy of LILY OF THE NILE in exchange for a fair and honest review.
LILY OF THE NILE is so vivid and lyrical I felt like I was standing beside Princess Cleopatra Selene throughout her inspirational journey. Stephanie Dray’s historical debut is meticulously researched and sets the bar for Cleopatra novels.
LILY OF THE NILE is a fiction based account of daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony called Cleopatra “Selene”. The story held my interest and I often had to remind myself that it was, in fact, fiction. Once I began reading the novel, I stepped into Selene’s world. I often felt like I was actually in Ancient Egypt and Rome. I could feel the breeze from the Mediterranean Sea in Alexandria. And as if I were right next to them, I cringed when Roman crowds spit at and called Selene and her brothers, Helios and Philadelphus, names. The story begins around the time of Queen Cleopatra’s death. Because she is now dead, along with her husband, the new Caesar (better known as “Octavian”) captures Selene and her brothers. The story follows Selene from the young teen to a young woman. LILY OF THE NILE is a wonderful book for historical fiction fans. I enjoyed the themes in the novel: social justice, religious freedom, and the power to believe in oneself, despite hardship.
“We’re all mad here.” I read LILY OF THE NILE at a leisurely pace. It’s a long novel and quite descriptive, but don’t let this turn you away. I loved the story from the get-go. I also liked the characters from Selene and her family to Caesar’s court. They are all fascinating and have terrific character arcs. Fortunately, at the beginning of the book, there is a cast of characters to keep everyone straight. You don’t really have to know too much about Ancient Egyptian history to enjoy the book, although it is helpful. Gaius Julius Caesar “Octavian” is not the Caesar whom Cleopatra had a son with, this is an adopted son. Octavian is new, dangerous and egotistical Caesar. He’s taken over after the old Caesar’s assassination. He wants more than anything to have a Cleopatra of his own. Just so you know, there is an Author’s Note at the end of the book, as well as a Reader Guide.
Even as a teen, Selene breathes a soulfulness and sensuality like her mother, but she’s just as powerful. She finds friends and enemies within the court, including an ally in her tutor, Juba of Africa. Romance anyone? Yes! The ending will definitely leave you hungry for more! As for the cover, it is glorious! It’s one of my favorite covers of 2011.
“I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!” The next book in the series, SONG OF THE NILE, comes out sometime this year. Sorry, I don’t know the exact date. THE SONG OF THE NILE cover is just as awesome..if more so! Check out my previous “Waiting On” Wednesday post –> here.
“Sentence first – verdict afterwards.” I’m giving LILY OF THE NILE 4 “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Characters” for being smashing!
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