From Amazon.com: 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?
Why I Read It
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Stephanie's previous book, LILY OF THE NILE, and have be anticipating the release of this new book for months. Stephanie was kind enough to hand me a signed copy when I saw her at the Baltimore Book Festival last month, and needless to say I dove right into it.
This book completely surprised me. Based on events in the previous book I had a very clear idea in my mind of the direction the story would take in this book. I WAS SO VERY WRONG! I spent the first several chapters arguing with Stephanie in my head, insisting that she had done it all wrong. *smile* That's not to say that this book didn't make logical sense based on previous events. It is more that the story could have gone in several directions, and way it went was not the one I expected. (I realize that this all sounds rather cryptic but I don't want to say a great deal about the story - I'd rather you experience it for yourself.)
Once I adjusted to the plot of this book I began to enjoy all the characters again just as I did the first time around. I especially enjoyed Selene - she is so bright and independent! Most of the characters introduced in this book weren't all that developed, though they didn't really need to be in order to move story ahead. Many "old" characters played important parts and I enjoyed getting to know them in different ways.
There were a few things in the book that bugged me, but not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for this series. Although I didn't expect or necessarily want the story to go where it did, Stephanie made sure that every event followed logically from previous events - I really appreciate that. So though I didn't love this book as much as I did LILY OF THE NILE, I am still highly anticipating the next (final?) book in Selene's tale!
*** Please check out the guest post that Stephanie did for me yesterday. There's a link to a really fun quiz that tells you which "bad girl" of ancient times you are most like. I'd love to hear which ones you end up with and why! ***