Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
Juba. Repeat after me: Juuubaaaa. I like to roll that name over my tongue like a Jolly Rancher. Ditto the character. I’m speaking of Juba the Roman spy whose sardonic one-liners reminds me of Nat Eaton…in a toga.
R-rated opening line aside, Cleopatra’s Daughter is so PG-13 I expected dinosaurs to pop up and spray me with black goo Jurassic Park-style.
That being said, I loved Cleopatra’s Daughter so HARD. I even reminisce about that time I spent three blissful nights reading it. When I had to return it to the library, I knelt by the book drop and stared longingly at the cover; you had to pry the book from my cold dead hands because I couldn’t part with it!
Cleo’s Daughter picks up immediately after Marc Antony falls on his sword and Cleopatra opts for death by snake. Their children, Selene and Alexander, are swept away to Rome by the diabolical Emperor Octavian as trophies in his game of Risk or pawns in his game of chess or pieces in his game of Battle Ship.
While Alexander is seduced by the chaise lounging, chariot racing Roman way of life, Selene longs to reclaim the Egyptian throne. Plus, Selene lives in perpetual fear that Octavian might, and I quote the great Keanu Reeves, “Shoot the Hostage” to secure his Caesar-ship.
In the meantime, there’s Rome and stab-you-in-the-forum DRAMARAMA. I’m rubbing my palms together and jumping up and down in glee because there’s so much Ssscandal in Cleo’s Daughter I don’t know where to begin! Should I tell you about Octavian’s bitchy empress and how she mastermind a SLAVE RAPE? Or about the dashing Red Eagle who is Robin Hood, Spartacus, and the Scarlet Pimpernel rolled into one?
*Fans self* As I’ve mentioned before, JUBA! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I’ve already compared you to Nat Eaton, who is practically the Puritan version of Mr. Darcy, ergo, Juba, you are Mr. Darcy and I am smitten by your cheese grater abs, your chiseled bust, your fine stallion-riding legs and your George Clooney circa ER haircut.
Let me be your book pimp. Read this book.
While you’re at it, I’m going to get down on my hands and knees and beg you to watch HBO’s ROME (my favorite TV show that is no longer on TV). Due to an overpriced set and costume budget, HBO canned ROME during its 2nd Season and I was devastated. Inconsolable. Reading Cleo’s Daughter was like reading the non-existent 3rd Season. No, don’t go ‘yeah, yeah, I’ll put it on my To Be Watched list and forget about it.’ DO. IT.
Don’t make me shake my virtual fist!
In order to get you to do my bidding, I give you this analogy.
I am comparing this show to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I am a die hard Outlander fan. A quarter of my blog’s content is dedicated to Outlander casting. Notice how I bolded and underlined the above phrase. Unfortunately, there’s no double triple underline, so I am literally grabbing you by the shirt and shaking you until you say ‘Uncle.’
I grovel at your feet. “Please…PLEASE! I want to be your TV pimp.” If you ignore my pleas, I’ll whine and throw a tantrum on the floor and chuck my snot rag at you and then I will become so distraught that I will do like the Romans do and FALL ON MY SWORD. In short, you must watch ROME to save my life.
Also, every guy in ROME is hot and they get naked. There. Point made.