Based on the true story of Cleopatra’s daughter…
After years of abuse as the emperor’s captive in Rome, Cleopatra Selene has found a safe harbor. No longer the pitiful orphaned daughter of the despised Egyptian Whore, the twenty year old is now the most powerful queen in the empire, ruling over the kingdom of Mauretania—an exotic land of enchanting possibility where she intends to revive her dynasty.
With her husband, King Juba II and the magic of Isis that is her birthright, Selene brings prosperity and peace to a kingdom thirsty for both. But when Augustus Caesar jealously demands that Selene’s children be given over to him to be fostered in Rome, she’s drawn back into the web of imperial plots and intrigues that she vowed to leave behind.
Determined and resourceful, Selene must shield her loved ones from the emperor’s wrath, all while vying with ruthless rivals like King Herod. Can she find a way to overcome the threat to her marriage, her kingdom, her family, and her faith? Or will she be the last of her line?
It's hard to put into words just how torn I am about this book. I really enjoyed the previously books, especially the first one, because I feel like they truly brought the ancient world alive and gave a unique look into the life of a little-known historical figure who constantly was in her mother's shadow, complete with an in-depth look at magical realism. Selene was a sympathetic character who was, sadly, a victim of circumstances, that I just wanted to cheer for.
But something about this series just fell apart with the final book. The first issue was that this book was just to long compared to the previous novels, and it had significant editing issues. So many things felt like they were constantly being mentioned -yes, I know that Selene is really proud of her bloodlines, that she's still in love with her brother, that she's into Isis worship, etc. After a way it just became way too repetitive. The story also seemed to move really slow and I felt like I had to wade through a lot to get the actual meat of the story.
Speaking of story, there just didn't seem to be as much of that here as in the previous books. Sure, it may just be because there weren't as many interesting things going on in Selene's life during this period, but I was at least expecting the author to at least dress it up a little more so there was something exciting going on for the reader. That just didn't happen here.
Overall, I was disappointed with this final book in a mostly enjoyable series. It seems like the series just ran out of steam here and suffered from some serious editing issues. I really expected more here and it didn't deliver like I wanted it to.