In the second novel in New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray’s thrilling trilogy, Cleopatra’s daughter seeks the power to stand against an empire...
Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene has pledged her loyalty to Emperor Augustus, swearing to become his very own Cleopatra. But even though she is forced to marry a man of the emperor’s choosing, Selene will not allow her new husband to rule in her name. Quickly establishing herself as a capable leader, she wins the love of her new subjects and makes herself vital to Rome by bringing forth bountiful harvests with the magic of Isis flowing through her veins.
As she rules the kingdom of Mauretania and contends with imperial politics and religious persecution, Selene beguiles her way to the precipice of power with the ultimate goal of taking back her birthright. But the price of winning back her mother’s Egyptian throne may be more than she’s willing to pay...
Dray's sequel to Lily of the Nile dives back into the world of canny, intelligent, and powerful heroine Cleopatra Selene daughter of Egyptian Queen Cleopatra. Having lived in the household of Augustus Caesar for four years, Selene (whose only goal is to reclaim her birthright as Queen of Egypt) has been married off against her will to Augustus' ward, Juba. After Augustus rapes her, she leaves for Mauretania with Juba, who is convinced that Selene was Augustus' willing lover. When Selene hears that her twin brother Helios has been murdered, she flees to the desert in grief. The living Helios finds her there, swears vengeance against Augustus for her rape, and they become lovers. After Selene becomes pregnant, Juba assumes Augustus is the father. Though Selene tries to rule Mauretania justly, Juba insists that she stay out of politics. When Augustus summons Selene back to Rome, they continue to play their high-stakes games Selene will do anything to be confirmed as Queen of Egypt and Augustus wants Selene to be the Cleopatra of his fantasies. Although Augustus and Juba prove unworthy matches for Selene, the novel's strong female supporting characters more than make up for the men.
I will have to say I liked the sequel more than the first. Tis one really shows the growth of the main character, selene, into not just a woman but her own person, apart from her mother. She comes to realize what is truly in her own heart. A very indulging read.