I picked up a copy of this book during a visit to Tesco, it was one of those impulse purchases that so often happen in that very dangerous shop.  One of those "oh I go in for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread and come out having spent a £100 on a ton of stuff I didn't intend to!" moments. 

The cover was what really attracted me, I am a sucker for costumes. I thought the title might be a bit of a play on words as I didn't actually know that Kleopatra had any children other than her first son Caesarion. But once I read the back I thought oh hang on maybe she did... and sure enough having since googled it Kleopatra did indeed have 3 more children with Mark Antony before it all went tits up for them. 

I found the book fascinating, from page one I was hooked, drawn into the story of Selene, Kleopatra's daughter and what happened to her after her parents died. 

The first thing that struck me was the selfishness of her parents.  Mark Antony killed himself in the traditional Roman fashion of stabbing himself with his short sword because he thought that Kleopatra was dead (but he didn't actually wait to find out...numbnut!) and then Kleopatra killed herself with a cobra. Traditionally this is thought to be because of the grief of losing Antony but the reality is more likely to have been because she didn't want to be enslaved by Caesar and paraded through Rome in chains.

But it did mean that she left her three surviving children Kleopatra Selene, Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus to the mercy of Caesar and to the most likely fate of slavery. 

The book follows these three children and what happens to them and is truly rivetting, the descriptions of their journey, the life they lived and the intrigues that surrounded them.  Michelle Moran manages to weave a convincing story as well as drawing in real historical facts and events into the story.

Definitely one I would recommend you read if you like history and a good story.


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