At the dawn of the Roman Empire, when tyranny ruled, a daughter of Egypt and a son of Rome found each other... Selene's legendary parents are gone. Her country taken, she has been brought to the city of Rome in chains, with only her twin brother, Alexander, to remind her of home and all she once had. Living under the watchful eyes of the ruling family, Selene and her brother must quickly learn how to be Roman – and how to be useful to Caesar. She puts her artistry to work, in the hope of staying alive and being allowed to return to Egypt. Before long, however, she is distracted by the young and handsome heir to the empire... When the elusive ‘Red Eagle' starts calling for the end of slavery, Selene and Alexander are in grave danger. Will this mysterious figure bring their liberation, or their demise?
My Rating: 5 Stars
Selene, the daughter of Marc Antony and Cleopatra, was an amazing character. She was strong, caring, and very astute for her young twelve years. As the synopsis states, Selene and her twin brother, Alexander are taken by Caesar. The twins along with their younger brother, Ptolemy were taken by Caesar back to Rome but Ptolmey did not survive the trip. That was the first thing that made me cry. He was just a little boy and they had already lost all of their other family. It was just the two of them now. When they finally get to Rome, they are put up with Caesar's sister who was actually their father's first wife, Octavia. She was a sweet woman who had a son, Marcellus, and their two half sisters. There was Tiberius, Livia, and Juba. All these characters created an interesting cast that I thorougly enjoyed. knowing this was a historical fiction made me that much more attached to these characters and I felt it more when something happened to them.
Selene's obsession with Marcellus was annoying when she knew he was promised to Caesar's daughter--his cousin. I wanted her to move on from him but I understood that when she met him, he inspired emotions that she had never felt before. This story spanned a few years until the twins were fifteen years old. This was when the biggest tragedy of the book took place for me and I had to stop reading because I was crying so much. I was invested in this story by then and cared a lot about what happened to Selene and Alexander. It was hard to read that ending but I got through and enjoyed the rest of the ending. I also thing the addition of 'Red Eagle' was great. It added intrigue that was outside of what Ceasar had planned for the twins because no one thought he would let them live so that they could take back their rightful place in Egypt. I did predict one of the romances and I cannot actually say how I did so for a historical fiction and when the characters barely interacted. I highly recommend this book because it was beautfully written and you will fall in love with Selene and everything about her plight. I cannot wait to read this one again!