Author: Stephanie Dray
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publish Date: January 4, 2011
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a historical fiction fan.
From Goodreads.com: "To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?"
My Two Cents:
"Lily of the Nile" definitely ranks amongst one of the books where I am not sure why I waited so long to read it! You all know that I absolutely love historical fiction but I usually don't read a lot of historical fiction that takes place in ancient times. Books like "Lily of the Nile" definitely open me up to trying to find more that takes place during historical fiction.
The story is told from the perspective of Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of the famous Cleopatra. When her mother chooses to kill herself after Antony dies, Cleopatra Selene and her brothers are sent to Rome to become wards of the Roman emperor. That in itself is a hard road to travel as the emperor was not all that fond of Cleopatra and in many, many cases seems to take that out on her children, especially Cleopatra Selene. I loved her character so much. Even with all she has been through and all she is going through in Rome, she is incredibly strong and resilient. This girl seriously knows how to roll with the punches!
I am also a huge fan of magical realism, which this book has quite a bit of. Cleopatra Selene becomes a symbol for those that worship the goddess, Isis, and there are a lot of sort of magical things that happen in this book because of that. I thought Dray did a really good job of making it feel like the magic belonged there and wasn't totally out of left field. She uses a mix of interesting historical detail and great story telling skills to make this element of the story come to life.
This is the first book in a planned trilogy. The second book, "Song of the Nile," has already been released and the the third book, "Daughter of the Nile," was just recently announced. All I know is that I am looking forward to reading both. My only regret in not reading "Lily of the Nile" later is that now I know that I have to wait until the final book comes out. Woe is me!
Bottom line: This is a very promising start to a series about a fascinating character!