Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter is a little different than most of the books I read. I really like historical fiction, but I am usually drawn to books about a time period, not about a specific person. However, this book is based on the life of Cleopatra Selene, who is the daughter of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra VII. This book is absolutely stunning. It has all the glamour and mystique that draws in the reader, while backing it all up with a truly intriguing historical tale.
When the books opens, Cleopatra Selene and her brothers Alexandros and "Tolly" living the life in Alexandria. They live inside the beautiful palace with their adoring parents. They are surrounded by opulence and love. However, Octavianus the jealous nephew of Julius Caesar has other ideas.
Eventually, Octavianus takes control of Egypt leading to the demise of Cleopatra Selene's parents and her whole world. She and her brothers are forced to relocate to Rome and live in the palace of Octavianus- the very man who destroyed their world and their parents. Can you say uncomfortable? And, to make matters worse, Octavianus's sister also resides in this palace. She happens to be the first wife of the children's father. Marcus left Octavia for Cleopatra. As you can guess, she's a little bitter. And, to make matters worse precious little Tolly is a dead ringer for his father. So, the kids have many strikes against them.
Rome is a dangerous place. However, Cleopatra Selene is determined not to give up. Her ultimate goal is to return to Egypt. Along the way, she meets many people who are committed to helping her. One is the kind hearted Juba, who was also taken to Rome after the Romans conquered his homeland of Numidia. The problem is Juba does not seem to have the ability to help Cleopatra Selene return to Egypt.
Cleopatra Selene struggles against her circumstances and her desires to eventually become a true queen. This book is certainly worth your time. It tells the story of a neglected historical figure in a beautifully entertaining way. You can find out more about the life of Cleopatra Selene here.