LILY OF THE NILE
Cleopatra is a legend, but little is known about her surviving children, the twins Selene and Helios. Dray sheds light on their lives and Rome after Caesar. Her simple, yet graceful prose is ideal for this fictionalized biography (book one of two) where magic and myth merge beautifully with history, enhancing a colorful portrait of an amazing woman.
Following the trauma of her mother’s death (she delivers the asp-filled basket) Princess Selene and her brother, Prince Helios, are paraded in chains through Rome. Selene knows she is a “divine one” who is destined to bring about a golden age and is determined to survive. Rescued by the emperor’s sister, the twins are placed in the palace of royal orphans. Selene thrives, however, she is unable to prevent hieroglyphics from appearing on the palms of her hands or to keep the secret from the emperor, who wants a Cleopatra of his own. As strong and determined as her mother, Selene decides to rise above her situation using her beauty, intelligence and pride to play dangerous political games and reclaim her divine right to rule. (BERKLEY, Jan., 350 pp., $15.00)