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Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Kleopatra with a K

 

Kleopatra by Karen Essex is the first in a series of juicy historical novels giving us a new take on everybody's favorite Egyptian queen. This one focuses on the child who became that queen and she lives in such a treacherous world that it's a wonder she made it to adulthood. The story opens with the death of Ptolemy's wife--even a blind Armenian healer cannot prolong his life--and three-year-old Kleopatra sitting vigil with her sister and half-sister. The little girl is her father's favorite--he calls her his "piece of joy"--and up until this moment, her life has been charmed. But the queen's death is going to unleash a bitter contest for his empty throne, with the other contenders playing ruthlessly. 

This first book has everyting a reader could want--history, pageantry, sex, betrayal, great characters. The only thing its missing is dragons. (And you won't miss them.) Kleoatra's time was so far in the past that even the ordinary feels magical. This is an extremely satisfying book.

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