Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray


Publish Date: October 2011
Format: Paperback 416pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Sorceress. Seductress. Schemer. Cleopatra’s daughter has become the emperor’s most unlikely apprentice and the one woman who can destroy his empire... 
Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra. Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land. 
Forced to marry a man of the emperor’s choosing, Selene will not allow her new husband to rule in her name. She quickly establishes herself as a capable leader in her own right and as a religious icon. Beginning the hard work of building a new nation, she wins the love of her new subjects and makes herself vital to Rome by bringing forth bountiful harvests. 
But it’s the magic of Isis flowing through her veins that makes her indispensable to the emperor. Against a backdrop of imperial politics and religious persecution, Cleopatra’s daughter beguiles her way to the very precipice of power. She has never forgotten her birthright, but will the price of her mother’s throne be more than she’s willing to pay?"




My Review:

Once again Stephanie Dray has created a novel of fast paced intrigue, gripping plot twists, and intense emotion. Picking up where Liliy of the Nile left off (my review), Song of the Nile tells the story of Cleopatra Selene's life as the new queen of  Mauretania and her ongoing pursuit for the throne of Egypt. Throughout the novel we witness the transformation of Cleopatra Selene from a young and vulnerable girl into a woman of strength and cunning spirit. Embracing her power as the daughter of Isis, she learns to wield her magic for the good of Mauretania and ultimately in attempt to show Cesar, the Emperor, her ability to rule a prosperous nation. But Cesar desires more from Cleopatra Selene than just proof of being a dutiful client queen, he will test her loyalty in every way, even the unimaginable.

After being mesmerized by Lily of the Nile earlier in the year, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the second installment in the trilogy on Cleopatra Selene's life... it was well worth the wait! The characters were well developed and the scenery was vivid. I loved the tedious drama played out by the Emperor and Cleopatra Selene, and I often found myself liking the Emperor despite his monstrous ways. Maybe that comes from a desire to find a bit of good in everyone, but Stephanie's complex portrayal of him was definitely the key ingredient. Since this novel greatly builds upon the conflicts created in the beginning of Cleopatra Selene's life I would definitely recommend reading Lily of the Nile first... though you should read it anyway since it's fabulous! 

Gracefully combining historical fiction with historical fantasy, Song of the Nile is a book that will fulfill your reading desires with every page. 



Be sure to come back later this week for an interview with the lovely Stephanie Dray!

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