Pause-resister historical fiction that reimagines the beginnings of Cleopatra's epic saga through the eyes of her younger sister.
Before Caesar and the carpet, before Antony and Actium, before Octavian and the asp, there was Arsinoe.
Abandoned by her beloved Cleopatra and an indifferent father, young Arsinoe must fight for her survival in the bloodthirsty royal court when her half sister, Berenice, seizes Egypt's throne. Even as the quick-witted girl wins Berenice's favor, a new specter haunts her days - dark dreams that have a habit of coming true.
To survive, she escapes the palace for the war-torn streets of Alexandria. Meanwhile, Berenice confronts her own demons as she fights to maintain power. When their deposed father, Ptolemy, marches on the city with a Roman army, both daughters must decide where their allegiances truly lie, and Arsinoe grapples with the truth that the only way to survive her dynasty is to rule it.
©2015 Emily Holleman (P)2015 Hachette Audio
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This is an interesting book that explores the lives of Cleopatra's sisters, and I really liked it. But rather than firmly setting the story within the cultural aspects of Ancient Egypt, it also felt like a lot of contemporary sensibilities were weaved into the story. While it may seem like that would add relatability to the story, it was distracting for me.
I couldn't find myself caring for these characters. I was very interested in hearing from the perspective of these two characters...but I just couldn't get into the story or make myself find them interesting. Just meh.
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