Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer

Title/Author: Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, June 7th 2011
How I got this book: received it as and egalley from the publisher

Goodreads summary: "It is the first century B.C. Cleopatra, the third of the pharaoh's six children, is the one that her father has chosen to be the next queen of Egypt. But when King Ptolemy is forced into exile, Cleopatra is left alone to fend for herself in a palace rife with intrigue and murder. Smart, courageous, ambitious and sensuously beautiful, she possesses the charm to cause two of history's most famous leaders to fall in love with her. But as her cruel sisters plot to steal the throne, Cleopatra realizes there is only one person on whom she can rely - herself."

Ok, so confession time: I'm a bit obsessed with Cleopatra. Or Kleopatra as I believe it should be spelled, but let's not get into that argument right now. There's mystery surrounding her that I love.
Another confession: I don't really know all that much about her. Other than that she was queen of Egypt and had children with both Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius.

Anyway, when I read this was a YA story told through her eyes, my reaction was: COUNT ME IN!! And I was so excited to start reading it and was telling myself: ooh, I'm loving this.
Right up until the moment I realised I wasn't actually loving it.

We start the story when Cleopatra's 10 years old. And I know I should realise that at that time people just matured earlier cause, well, let's face it, they didn't have all that much time altogether. BUT (huge but) Cleopatra seemed to be much older than her age. And she didn't seem to have much character development throughout the book. She started at this older than her age level and then remained on that same level. Which seemed at the end still too old.

There was also a lot of family drama and though I can believe it, I didn't like how everyone who didn't agree with Cleopatra was made to be evil/dumb/influenced by evil. This made the other characters seem a bit one-dimensional.

The ending left me feeling a bit cheated. We leave her pregnant with Caesarion and, well, I'm wondering what happened next. And I felt cheated by her summary of her later life in the epilogue.

I did however enjoy learning a bit more about Cleopatra. For example, I didn't know she and her father ruled together! And that she was forced to marry a little brother, not once, but twice! Can you imagine?
Egypt around that time seemed brutal all around.

My rating: 2,5 stars


  1. Aw, sorry to hear this one disappointed! Flat characters and a lack of development would frustrate me as well :(

  2. It does sound like it cheated you out of a good ending.
    I'm so sorry you were disappointed, I hate when that happens, particularly when it's a subject I love. :(