Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
An excellent book
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.