Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers...
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?
I have to admit, adult historical fiction genre is one I rarely read. I think I’m afraid that it’ll involve melodrama, inaccuracy too flamingly bold to ignore and far more sex than is appropriate to the story (really, where do I get these ideas?). Lily of the Nile proved to be absolutely none of these things and left me craving the sequel.
This was definitely a book that I didn’t want to set down--the one upside of the 2 feet of snow in 12 hours blizzard was that I had every excuse to stay on the couch all day and immerse myself in Dray’s world. With that being said, I confess that I set the novel down once, about 50 pages in, just to look in my old Roman history textbook and see what I could find about Cleopatra and her daughter, Cleopatra Selene, who the novel focuses on. Turns out I could hardly find a thing about Cleopatra Selene, so I think it’s safe to say that Dray writes about a period that isn’t often touched on.
Dray’s novel is fantastically paced. Some might wish that she was more descriptive, but I think she did a nice job of briefly touching on events that are best summarized as opposed to described play by play. The descriptions of the Roman feasts definitely made me hungry. To top it off, Dray creates complex characters that were interesting to read about and kept me guessing. My only real complaint about this book is that I questioned how realistic a couple of plot points were, but after turning the final page I still really wanted to get my hands on a copy of the sequel.
Lily of the Nile surprised me in the best way possible. It may not be the most thought-provoking book I’ve read, but it approaches history from a new angle and kept me turning the pages.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you!