Title: Cleopatra Rules!
Author: Vicky Alvear Shecter
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
May Contain Spoilers
I have mentioned many times that I love books set in ancient times, and I find learning about how people lived thousands of years ago fascinating. I mean, think about it! There was no texting, instant messaging, or Skype. No printing presses, antibiotics, or iPods. No Amazon.com packages with the big smiley. Ugh! The struggle to survive constant wars, diseases, and Mother Nature would have taken up most of everyone’s time, making me glad that I can sit in my air conditioned house and reflect on the past, instead of experiencing it first hand. Cleopatra is an especially compelling historical figure, and one who I love reading about.
The problem with reading non-fiction accounts of the past is that they tend to be rather dry and not exactly engaging. You can toss aside all of those boring biographies about Cleopatra, though, and grab this book instead. Cleopatra Rules! examines the cunning Egyptian queen’s life, relaying her story in contemporary terms and through the use of photographs of relics from her time. Ancient Roman and Egyptian cultural aspects are clearly explained, and the narrative zips along at a rapid clip.
While I love fictional accounts of the lives of ancient leaders, I am not always so fond of biographical works, especially for recreational reading. Cleopatra Rules! follows Cleopatra’s victories and defeats in an entertaining and compelling way. I painlessly learned all about her, Caesar, and Marc Anthony, and found myself caught up in the text. The glossy pages, which featured many photos and cultural points of reference, made this an attractive book as well. Politics of the day are covered in easy to understand terms, and Vicky Alvear Shecter’s narrative made this history lesson fun and memorable. I wish she had written my Principals of Accounting text!
Review copy provided by the publisher