Cleopatra VII: Egypt’s Last Pharaoh by Laurel A. Rockefeller

The exciting true story of Egypt’s most famous queen! Cleopatra Thea Philopator refused to do what she was told. In an age where patriarchy denied full citizenship to even the most elite of Roman women, Cleopatra ruled her Egypt determined to keep it independent and free from Roman control — at any price necessary. Demonized as a simple seductress by Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (the future Caesar Augustus) and his political allies, Cleopatra VII proved herself the equal to three of the most powerful men of the Roman world: Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Antonius, and Octavian Caesar.

Includes a detailed timeline, suggested reading list/bibliography, and a special Easter egg for science fiction fans.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 5-Stars

Cleopatra VII: Egypt’s Last Pharaoh by Laurel A. Rockefeller is a great read for anyone interested in learning more about Cleopatra and her time in history. The cover is good and fits the fiction narrative beautifully. Also, it is not an easy thing to write a good blurb for a story like this, and I feel Laurel did a fantastic job making it interesting.

I like the way Ms. Rockefeller opens her books with a little history first in the form of a conversation in a library, but I felt it was a little heavy for me as I’m not familiar with this era. For history nerds and teachers, this book is just what you need in your life.

The story starts strong with good writing that pulled me right into the book. I enjoy Laurel’s writing style. There are a few glitches with the formatting, but not so bad it pulls you out of the story. Overall, I learned something new and enjoyed reading this narrative fiction of this time in Cleopatra’s life. I trust this author’s research skills, and I loved how she told the history and made it interesting.

Cleopatra has always been known for her powers of seduction, and that is addressed. The scenes are not graphic in any way, but maybe more for middle-grade students vs elementary kids. This story is beautifully done with attention to details and brings you right into her world with the noise, the smells, and the sights.

Cleopatra VII: Egypt’s Last Pharaoh is a wonderful addition to any library.

Diane Andersen’s Review: 5-Stars

One of the most memorable films of my childhood has been the spectacular 1952 epic Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor in the title role. Ever since I have held a lifelong fascination with this mysterious and vibrant title character who was a historical woman from antiquity. So when I found this book landing in our submissions, I jumped at the chance to review it. As part of a series on “The Legendary Women of World History”, this kind of story is right up my historical fiction alley and I am happy to say it did not disappoint.

Written for a target audience of young adult readers, the writing is easy to read but nevertheless, interesting for this adult reader. However, due to allusions to Cleopatra’s affairs and her escapades in the bedroom, this book would be best in the hands of mature young readers 8th grade and above. In spite of the easy readability and charming cover art, reminiscent of a Children’s Bible Storybook, parents, teachers, and librarians should be aware of the scenes. While not too graphic, Rockefeller makes no bones about Cleopatra’s seductive powers over the men in her world and what’s happening in the bedroom.

Discretion might be warranted for adults who prefer a more informed decision in guiding young adult students toward G-rated literature. Or, at the very least, adults could read along and discuss the culture and times in authentic terms. Rockefeller offers this and more in her thoroughly researched works. A well earned 5.0 stars for a story that is a must read for all those interested in ancient Egypt or stories of fascinating historical women.

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