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by Karen Essex

Category: Fiction / Historical
385 pages; ISBN: 0446527408

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


The young Cleopatra shows her intelligence at an early age in spite of growing up in the decadent court of her pitiful father Ptolemy. Her half-brother hates her out of jealousy for her Machiavellian skills (is that an anachronism?) and with the help of her lover Archimedes she raises an army to help her attain the throne she desires. However, Kleopatra’s obvious intelligence and abilities fail to keep her from exile as the Romans rule the world, but she plans to conquer Julius Caesar (see the next volume).

This is an incredible fictional biography that contains a fantastic look at Ancient Egypt and Rome using historical tidbits to tell the story of Cleopatra, the early years. The novel turns a legend into a person while concentrating on the heroine’s adventures, political machinations, and the classical Greek culture that she wants to emulate. Fans of Ancient historical tales and Cleopatra will want to read this book, the upcoming sequel (the Caesar-Anthony years of her life) and Colin Falconer’s WHEN WE WERE GODS as a companion piece. Ms. Essex capitalizes the H in historical as she provides a rich textured, fast-paced tale that should lead to the latest Egyptology boom.

Harriet Klausner


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