This was a book that was sent to me by the author. I have to admit that part of me is leary about accepting books to review straight from the author because there is fear that I won't like the book. That happened the first time I reviewed due to author request. My fears were alleviated first by the endorsement of the cover by Margaret George (one of my favorite authors) and then again by the first chapter of the book. Michelle Moran does write well. She is able to put you in a historical place in such a way that you can see where you are understand the times you are in (very important in historical fiction).
The story centres around Kleopatra Selene, Cleopatra's daughter. It tells the story of her life after her mother's death. It is a story and premise that I wasn't previously familliar with. I knew a bit about Cleopatra (but I think a lot of people do). The notion that her daughter would have been taken to live in Rome was new to me and I can see why Moran would have taken this part of history to delve into. It is quite fascinating.
I think she does quite a nice job of telling Selene's tale. Yes, Selene is written as a rather mature pre-teen/teen, but then again she would have been. She would have been raised to learn to rule, among adults. She would have been quite educated. I think Moran does a nice job of balancing her maturity by contrasting her with other characters similar in age who become Selene's friends.
One of Moran's goals with this story was to write for both adults and young adults. As an adult, I enjoyed the read. Would I have enjoyed it as a young adult? I think so. It may be a good book for a mother and daughter to read together and discuss, bookclub style (I'm a big believer in parents knowing what their children are interested in). I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this story and thank Michelle Moran for sending me a copy.
If you would like your own copy (or one of her earlier books, the Heritic Queen), I'm hosting a book giveaway. Click here for details!