Book Review | Lily of the Nile
Title: Lily of the Nile
Author: Stephanie Dray
Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated with Egyptian history, but most of what I know is about the various gods and goddesses. Of course I know the names Cleopatra and Mark Antony and I’ve read Shakespeare’s play of the fall of their reign, but beyond that I still have a lot to learn. One of the things I’ve learned in the past year about Cleopatra is that she had children–something I was completely unaware of.
Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray is this debut author’s first in series about what becomes of Cleopatra’s children after her suicide. Selene and her twin brother Helios and their younger brother Philadelphus become the wards of Octaviun (also known as Julius Caesar), the current emperor of Rome. Under his care, Selene and her brothers must hide their worship of the goddess Isis. But Isis has not forgotten her children, and communicates with Selene through bloody messages that appear and then disappear in her flesh.
Selene longs to find a way back to Egypt to rebuild the kingdom her deceased mother and father once ruled. But Rome has its own plans for her, and she becomes a pawn in a game of dangerous politics and intrigue.
Dray’s Selene starts out as very proud and haughty, much like her mother is described to be. But as the book progresses, I found myself warming to her character and hoping that she could find happiness in a world where her mother and father could not.
I really liked the detail in this novel, especially in regards to religious rituals and the magic of Isis. Readers will be able to tell that a lot of research went into this novel to make it as accurate as possible. Lily of the Nile is historical fiction, but I bet the actual history of Selene and her famous mother are just as fascinating. Dray provides the titles of the books she used while conducting her research, and I’d definitely love to read those and learn more about Cleopatra, Mark Antony, and the fall of Alexandria.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*