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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lily of the Nile

by Stephanie Dray
368 pages

Lily of the Nile*** About the Book *** 

This historical fiction novel traces the life of Selene, daughter of Cleopatra, brought to Rome after the death of her mother and adopted into Ceasar's household.  Will Selene be able to cling to her mother's legacy of power and to her Egyptian gods or will she be Romanized?  Will she allow Ceasar to use her for his own ends or will she find a way to use him?

*** Why I Read It ***

I received this book (by request) directly from the author.  I was intrigued by the historical story especially since I'd read another version of it exactly a year ago.  And when Stephanie did a guest post on my blog her topic made me even more excited to read the book.

*** My Thoughts ***

I really enjoyed this book!  I read it over a month ago and much of it is still fresh in my mind - it's really stuck with me so far.

From the first few pages the author captured my attention by bringing in an unexpected twist: the story of wise men seeking a prophesied child.  Sound familiar?  A bit like the Christmas story maybe?  This aspect of the story gave the whole book a slightly different feel than I expected, and I liked it.

I also appreciated the inclusion of Isis worship in this book.  The author readily admits that much details of this historical worship of Isis have been lost but she creates a convincing religious atmosphere all the same.  I loved following the theme of religion throughout Selene's story.

And of course there are the wonderful historical characters who make up Cleopatra's and Ceasar's courts.  I found myself comparing Dray's characters to those created by Michelle Moran in Cleopatra's Daughter and also to those in the HBO series Rome (here's a clip if you never saw it).  Each time these characters are portrayed there are slight differences but there are also many similarities; that makes me feel much better about each book (or show) because I feel like the authors are pulling as much from the historical documents as they can.

For those of you who read and enjoyed Cleopatra's Daughter, this story is different enough to be worth reading - I think you'll really enjoy it.  And for those who are new to the story of Selene, definitely pick up a copy of Lily of the Nile!


Anna said...

I accepted this book because I was interested in how it would compare to Michelle Moran's book, which I loved. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, as I'll be reading it soon.

Miss Remmers said...

I've been hearing a lot about this book! It's definitely worth putting my TBR list! Thanks for the great review!

bermudaonion said...

This sounds so good to me! I think I'll try to talk my book club into reading it.

Lezlie said...

I just downloaded this to my Kindle. I really enjoyed Michelle Moran's portrayal, so I'm excited to see how this compares. If you liked it, I'm sure I will!


PS I'm almost finished with Towers of Midnight. I really like how Sanderson has picked things up!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Anna - The two books are different but similar enough that they complement one another (does that make sense?!).

Miss Remmers - I hope you get a chance to read it!

bermudaonion - Ooh good idea. There is a lot you could discuss in this book (the role/power of women, interpretations of history, Cleopatra, and so on). Hopefully you can convince your club to give it a shot.

Lezlie - I hope you do like it! And I'm glad to know you're enjoying the Wheel of Time books as well. I still need to write my review of ToM ...

Beth F said...

This sounds like a good follow-up to Schiff's nonfiction Cleopatra (which I read last month).

Violet said...

I loved Cleopatra's Daughter, and after reading your review I'm sure I'll love this one as well.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Beth F - I REALLY want to read Schiff's book!

Violet - I hope you like it as much as I did.

Swapna said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I turned it down because of Michelle Moran's - I didn't want to read two books on the same subject in such quick succession! But it's been awhile, and it's good to know this book is worth reading. Thanks for the review!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Swapna - The books are definitely different enough - I hope you enjoy this one!

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