Make sure you come back tomorrow 9/20 for a guest post by Stephanie Dray about magical realism in historical fiction & a Giveaway!
Song of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter #2) by Stephanie Dray
Paperback 416 pgs.
Expected Publication: Oct 4th, 2011 by Penguin
Reading Level: Crossover Young Adult and Adult
This is the second book in a series so the description and review are likely to have spoilers from the first book, Lily of the Nile.
Sorceress. Seductress. Schemer. Cleopatra's daughter is the one woman with the power to destroy an empire...Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra. Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land.
The magic of Isis flowing through her veins is what makes her indispensable to the emperor. Against a backdrop of imperial politics and religious persecution, Cleopatra's daughter beguiles her way to the very precipice of power. She has never forgotten her birthright, but will the price of her mother's throne be more than she's willing to pay?
I have found that reading about Cleopatra's daughter has been fascinating! I love historical fiction because you can imagine things that really happened. Even if it's a fictional story at least pieces of it were taken from history. To me that's just astounding. And especially for this ancient history where there really isn't that much detailed history left. Though I suppose that made it possible to weave in her own elements to create the story she did.
I really have to give the author props, because it couldn't have been easy digging for all that history and picking out the pieces and trying to be somewhat accurate on time periods, etc. And then to make a story with it, a real story. She did such a great job! And what I love about this series is that there is magical realism. It definitely was heavier on the magical aspect in this book but I really think that it made it better. And it makes it different from others. Well, I haven't read others about Cleopatra's daughter yet, but I'm guessing maybe they don't have the magical realism? Maybe I'm wrong though. Either way, it made this book better. And it fit. I mean, this whole thing took place so long ago and the history has been messed with in the history books, etc. But we know they believed in gods and goddesses and so the magic she weaves in, well, it's not so far fetched and it fits the story.
In this book we see Selene grow up into a woman. We see her go through so much and her mind is stuck on one thing, getting Egypt back. Everything she does is to get herself one step closer. And sometimes she has to do things she hates but she does it anyway. The thing is, it became such an obsession at times that she forgot about the other things she could be doing, should be doing, and instead was wasting her years away trying to work her way back into her lands. And well, there's only one man who can give her Egypt and you can bet that it's not going to be a pretty road. Or an easy one. At all. And there were times that I got angry at her. I mean, it was just a little frustrating. But that's kind of how it was suppose to be. We are watching her grow as a person and to find even more of her strength and her making mistakes is part of that. It's just hard to sit and watch her make them.
Selene's story isn't done yet, but I was concerned with how the ending would be (as always) and I have to say that even though it wasn't exactly what I expected, it was actually what I wanted. I was very happy with the ending. I'm very anxious for the next book though!
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Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book free of charge for review purposes. I was not paid or influenced in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.