Cleopatra Confesses

Carolyn Meyer. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8727-7
Before she was a queen, Cleopatra was a girl, and Meyer's incarnation of the future monarch longs to be treated as normal—wandering the marketplace, learning to dance—even as she secretly hopes to someday rule Egypt. Meyer's short chapters can occasionally make the narrative feel choppy, but her lush, detail-rich prose ably evokes Cleopatra's life as a young princess, beginning at age 10 and continuing on until she turns 22. During this time, readers are treated to royal intrigue and the cutthroat politics of Cleopatra's two older sisters, Tryphaena and Berenike, who are desperate to prevent Cleopatra's rule, since she is the favorite daughter of their father, King Ptolemy XII. This is sibling rivalry at its most vicious: crossing her sisters could cost Cleopatra her life, let alone her throne. The arrival of Marcus Antonius midway through the novel (and later of Julius Caesar) provides only the briefest hint of romance—Meyer (The Bad Queen) roots her heroine squarely in the realm of politics. Narrating with the poise and confidence of a born leader, this Cleopatra should win readers over. Ages 12–up. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/09/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Paperback - 289 pages - 978-1-4169-8728-4
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4424-2245-2
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