Saturday, November 23, 2013

Daughters of the Nile by Stephanie Dray

Based on the true story of Cleopatra’s daughter…

After years of abuse as the emperor’s captive in Rome, Cleopatra Selene has found a safe harbor. No longer the pitiful orphaned daughter of the despised Egyptian Whore, the twenty year old is now the most powerful queen in the empire, ruling over the kingdom of Mauretania—an exotic land of enchanting possibility where she intends to revive her dynasty.

With her husband, King Juba II and the magic of Isis that is her birthright, Selene brings prosperity and peace to a kingdom thirsty for both. But when Augustus Caesar jealously demands that Selene’s children be given over to him to be fostered in Rome, she’s drawn back into the web of imperial plots and intrigues that she vowed to leave behind.

Determined and resourceful, Selene must shield her loved ones from the emperor’s wrath, all while vying with ruthless rivals like King Herod. Can she find a way to overcome the threat to her marriage, her kingdom, her family, and her faith? Or will she be the last of her line?

Paperback, 576 pages
Expected publication: December 3rd 2013 by Berkley Trade 
(arc provided by author for an honest review)

This is book #3 in the Cleopatra's Daughter series, competing the series which started with Lily of the Nile and Song of the Nile  (click for my review of both).  You might be able to read this as a stand alone, but I don't recommend it, it is just too wonderful a series to miss any part of it.

How do I begin to review this book?  It is hard at times to do a review justice without any spoilers and I don't want to spoil anyone's enjoyment of this wonderful book.  It was a fitting conclusion to an awesome series and I am very sad that it is over. This is a part of history that I know very little about, plus (according to the author's notes) there is not a lot of information available.  Stephanie Dray filled in the blanks perfectly and wrote a very believable and emotional story.

This was one of those books, that I didn't rush through.  I knew it was the end of the series but I just took my time and  enjoyed the ride.  First introduced to Selene when she is taken to Rome (in Triumph), she is now married and Queen of Mauretania. This book is about relationships, and there are a number of them in here.  There is Selene's relationship with Augustus, which is dark and warped. He wants control of her, her children and it was very interesting to see how that situation continued to develop (really I want to say more, but a major spoiler would most likely take place).

Her relationship with King Juba, her husband was not without turmoil.  I really enjoyed watching that play out, the author has a way of writing that made the conflicts genuine and one can't help feeling the emotions of certain situations.  Yeah I shed a few tears too.

So much more is offered, Selena's relationship with her daughter, Isadora, her friend Julia (Augustus daughter), Livia, the people of Mauretania, even Herod. There is also King Juba and Augustus's relationship, oh I could go on and on.  As you can tell there is a lot going on in this book and it is written in such a way that it was not overwhelming with everything flowing together perfectly.

This book has so much to offer and I am very grateful to have received an ARC.

This book will appeal to those that are interested in HF Rome, Egypt, Isis, Cleopatra and Caesar Augustus.

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