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Michelle Moran was born in California. While getting her Masters at Claremont Graduate University, Michelle published her first historical fiction novel, Jezebel. She has traveled around the world - including to Israel, where she participated in an archaeological dig that inspired her to begin writing historical fiction. She lives in Southern California.
Thanks to William Shakespeare, Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor, nearly everyone in the Western world is familiar with the tragic tale of Marc Antony and Cleopatra. But the story of their children is less well known. In Moran's third historical novel (after Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen), narrator Kleopatra Selene and her twin brother, Alexander, are just ten years old when Egypt falls to the armies of Octavian and their parents commit suicide rather than submit to the humiliation of Roman rule. The surviving three children, Selene, Alexander, and Ptolemy, are taken to Rome to prevent them from ever rising to power and challenging Rome. Though Ptolemy doesn't survive the sea voyage, his older siblings are adopted into the household of Octavia, Octavian's sister. Here, amid the turmoil of Rome torn apart by external warfare and internal conflict and living under the cloud of their parentage, the children learn to navigate the political and societal eddies into which they have been tossed. Verdict Dramatic, engrossing, and beautifully written, this is essential reading, and Moran is definitely an author to watch.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage P.L., AK Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
'Throughout her meticulous research, Moran, a rising star in the world of historical fiction, has drawn a vivid picture of the horrors and glories of life in ancient Rome. This is an intelligent historical novel, which like Moran's previous two titles draws you in from the outset' Daily Express. * Daily Express *
Moran's latest foray into the world of classical history (after The Heretic Queen) centers upon the children of Marc Antony and Cleopatra. After the death of their parents, twins Alexander and Selene and younger brother Ptolemy are in a dangerous position, left to the mercy of their father's greatest rival, Octavian Caesar. However, Caesar does not kill them as expected, but takes the trio to Rome to be paraded as part of his triumphant return and to demonstrate his solidified power. As the twins adapt to life in Rome in the inner circle of Caesar's family, they grow into adulthood ensconced in a web of secrecy, intrigue and constant danger. Told from Selene's perspective, the tale draws readers into the fascinating world of ancient Rome and into the court of Rome's first and most famous emperor. Deftly encompassing enough political history to provide context, Moran never clutters her narrative with extraneous facts. Readers may be frustrated that Selene is more observer than actor, despite the action taking place around her, but historical fiction enthusiasts will delight in this solid installment from a talented name in the genre. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-Readers who know their ancient history are aware that both Cleopatra and Marc Anthony committed suicide when they realized that they had lost the Egyptian empire to Octavian of Rome. In one evening, 10-year-old twins Selene and Alexander lost their parents and their two older siblings, and became Octavian's prisoners. This is a fictionalized account of what happens to them after they are taken in chains by ship to Rome. Moran has done a terrific job of placing readers in the center of life in ancient Rome, letting them see the world of both the privileged and the enslaved. Her historical accuracy and detailed descriptions allow readers to experience the children's fate along with them. The additional bonus to this story is the grown twins' love interests and the political intrigue, woven throughout, that will impact them. For those who think that ancient history is dull, this is a great way to explore the world of the ancients and to connect through the lives of teenagers who, even though they lived thousands of years ago, have the same desires and interests of today's youth.-Janet Melikian, Central High School East, Fresno, CA Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.