Customer Reviews: Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. (The Royal Diaries)
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on May 24, 2006
As a HS parent, I seek the best in literature, either to read aloud to my children, or for their own reading pleasure. As we have been preparing for study of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, I thought I'd try this book, as Cleopatra is such a seminal figure- both for her historical aspect, as well as the vast amount of literature, music, and drama based on her person.

I was very pleased and fascinated by reading this book. The many and varied settings (Egypt, Rome, Italy) came to life for me, as I read of this small girl's attempts to prepare herself for ultimate Rule in Egypt. The author's inclusion of both a Greek philosopher and a Hebrew student in Alexandria (both very historically plausible) lent an element of connection to a worldview which was to come about- the Greco-Roman Christian- not 100 years after the events in this story. Because neither the story line, nor the facts of history, detracted from the validity (or, in some respects the inevitability) of the Christian Roman world that arose on the ashes of the Caesars, (yet including in her story Cicero, Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, and all the rest) I was propelled to finish reading this book. The author deals with the emotions of an adolescent girl, while maintaining decorum about such things, that any HS parent with moral standards could easily integrate this novel into any Greco-Roman study, for elementary on up to Jr. high. There are some graphic elements (Cleopatra's usurpacious sister's head being brought in on a shield, reminiscent of John the Baptist's via Salome!) but overall, the book is full of light- as well as intrigue, sense impressions of a culture long gone, and a good story. The fact that `it ends suddenly,' as another reviewer mentioned, is that the purpose for which the book was written is fulfilled. Cleopatra returns to her beloved Alexandria, there to begin her journey towards womanhood- and rule. Highly recommended.
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on August 14, 2015
This was 1 of a set of books I bought for my nieces. My mom grew up with these books and in her stead I ordered this entire set. These stories are all about women roll models and strong women through history. I would definitely recommend the stories. As for the condition…the book was not in the greatest condition. It had obviously been loved and most likely in a child’s library. All in all these are great stories and I would definitely recommend them!!!!
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on January 30, 2014
Well 12 yr old found this series at library and discovered more of the books on-line. They are very interesting..uses historical facts to write in some non-historical drama..but we discuss the book/history afterward
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on March 8, 2000
I'm a fan of Egyptian things, so I was sure I'd like this book. It painted a picture of a real teenage princess with friends, foes, joy, and troubles. In other words, Cleopatra seemed like a living human as relevant as our own times. She learned at an early age that some people she loved and admired were untrustworthy. She had to rely on herself and pursue her goal of becoming a good ruler. But at times, the book was a little boring and gory. It's difficult to conceive how a supposedly fair ruler could kill his/her family. Still, you should read this story, especially if you like learning about ancient Egypt.
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on April 19, 2014
This book is excellent! I found it as a kid in my school's library and fell in love with it. It's interesting and takes you back to Ancient Egypt.

However, when I received the book after ordering it in "Like New" condition, I was incredibly disappointed to find a ton of scribbles throughout the book, as well as heavy damage to the cover. There was nothing "Like New" about it. There was even a small wad of gum in the middle of the book!

I sent a complaint to Amazon and they sent me a brand spanking new copy free of charge! I opened the packaging and it was perfect! I carefully checked the inside and there was no scribbles, no gum, just crisp, clear print on clean pages! My younger cousin was thrilled to receive this as a birthday gift while her fifth grade class was studying Ancient Egypt!
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on May 12, 2000
This is the best Royal Diary yet. I'm 13 and I love it! It keeps you interested right from the beginning, something that the other books did not do. (And I don't even like Egyptian stuff!)
It begins with Cleopatra musing about what will happen if her father (Ptolemy XII, who is in hiding) does not return and her older sister Tryphaena becomes queen. Then, Cleopatra could be killed, because she knows that Tryphaena hates her.
Soon, Cleopatra's loyal friend Olympus warns her of the danger that will come upon both father and daughter if they stay in Alexandria (their "hometown"), because already, Tryphaena is planning to kill them. When her father secretly returns, the two set off for Rome. While they are there, Cleopatra meets Marc Antony, and while she does not like him she keeps having a longing to see more of him.
And then comes the news that Tryphaena is dead - and now another sister, Berenice, has taken the throne. Will the king and Cleopatra be safe?
Even though there is some really gory stuff in this book, it's excellent. Two thumbs way, way up!
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on March 18, 2002
This Book tells the Story of Cleopatra-When she's about 12 years old!It's set-up like a diary,almost everyday there is an entry about what happened that day,about her sisters,and her friends....It tells of her feellings toward Ceaser and Rome,Where she visits later.......At the end of the story there are several pages about Cleopatras life,and there are some pictures of her and life in Ancient Egypt........
I highly recomend this book,I really enjoyed it!
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on January 13, 2014
I loved this book. Cleopatra seemed more like a wise queen than a 12 year old princess, which was what she had to be. I had a hard time separating Cleopatra from someone modern in my head. She at one point goes to an arena with her friend Olympus almost like modern day friends would go to a basketball game. I thought since this was the oldest royal diaries book, she would seem older. I thought that say, Victoria's book seemed older. It wasn't really a bad thing, just not what I had expected. You worry for her at every turn in the story. She became very famous. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good, true, adventure story.
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on October 10, 2009
This was an enjoyable fictional diary of Cleopatra as a young girl, mostly taking place during the time that she and her father were in Rome for several years appealing for help in restoring her father to the throne. She's an intriguing character, with her gift for languages, desire to be a good ruler over her people, and her (fictional) friendships with a Greek and a Hebrew in Alexandria, as well as the interactions with Marc Antony. One important thing to remember, of course, is that this is fiction. The author's historical note at the back was appreciated, and it's pointed out that Cleopatra may not have met Marc Antony until years later as a queen. In all, this book provided an interesting peek into both Egypt in Cleopatra's time and the Roman Empire.

There is some violence described. This is a time period in which political intrigues often involved assassination. The deaths of her two older sisters are described, not excessively graphically, but the description of a severed head on a shield with blood dripping from it, may well disturb some.

In reading books like this, I'm always careful to explain to my 8-year-old son the religious beliefs portrayed and how they conflict with what the Bible teaches. I have to say that I did really like the part where the Hebrew friend wrote to Cleopatra essentially that the reason her prayers to Isis weren't being answered was that she was worshipping idols, the work of men's hands. However, the book in no way portrays Cleopatra to have been Jewish in her beliefs, because she wasn't. She prays to Isis and leaves offerings at the temple of a pair of Greek/Roman gods, and is in no way portrayed as monotheistic as another review stated:

"To be stupidly honest I'm not sure who to pray to Poseidon, Neptune, Isis, or the Unnamed God? There is Zeus, Apollo, dozens more, but I do not know which one is most likely to listen to a girl." and "You ask me why your food offerings at the Temple of Castor and Pollux remain on the statues until mice carry them away."

This book has a family tree at the back, blurbs on the real historical characters, and 20 pages of black and white photographs and illustrations at the back. The book cover is very sleek and classy-looking. Very nicely done presentation.

All in all, a good read. I appreciated it and will keep it for our homeschool collection as historical *fiction*. I could certainly see this book inspiring an interest in learning more about Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Egypt, the Roman Empire, or a slew of other topics.
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on November 13, 2001
Well, I have to say that I was quite surprised at the fairly accurate picture of what Cleopatra might have been like at this age that this book so beautifully portrayed. Since her death she has captured people's imaginations, and it's fairly obvious that the picture of her would get warped over time, but this book painted a very interesting picture of what the real Cleopatra might have been like, in a way that every twelve year old can relate to! Though I'm a bit over the recommended age for these books (almost 16) I still find them fascinating, and I would definitely recommend this one in particular to people of all ages, since it reaches for the princess in all of us. In this book, young Cleopatra must leave her beloved Alexandria with her father to travel on a diplomatic mission to Rome, a "stinking city" as Cleopatra herself puts it. Once there, she finds herself forced to deal with greater problems, such as her older sister seizing the throne in her father's absence, and the very real possibility that in his new paranoia he may decide to execute her as well, and if that wasn't enough, her father has also begun drinking again, humiliating himself and Cleopatra before the Romans more than once. At the same time, she slowly comes to the realization that her two favorite servant are falling in love, while a certain twenty-six year old Roman sets his eyes on Cleopatra herself, causing mixed emotions in her thirteen year old mind... Anyway, this book is great, and while maybe not intirely historically accurate, succedes in bringing the ancient world to vivid life in a language we kids can understand.
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