Warner, Aug 2002, 24.95, 406 pp.
Queen Kleopatra becomes pregnant with her lover Julius Caesar's child. When their son Caesarion is born, the lovers return to Rome so that Caesar's son can officially become heir to the Roman Empire. However, their idyllic days end when Caesar is assassinated and Kleopatra flees to her homeland where she continues to rule and insure Caesarion's ascendancy to rule the Roman Empire.
However, Caesar's nephew Octavius believes he is the rightful successor though he currently shares leadership in a triad with Mark Antony and Lepidus. Needing an ally to support her son's claim and to buffer her own throne, Kleopatra chooses Mark as the best choice to fortify her “triad”: her son, her country, and herself. As they become lovers, Mark and Kleopatra prepare to battle the ferocious Octavius for the throne.
Friends, readers, and fellow fans, I come to praise Karen Essex for a fabulous sequel that furthers the adventures of one of history's great personas, yet paints a different portrait of the siren of the Nile as a caring and courageous leader and not just an ancient centerfold. The story line is at its best when Kleopatra stands in the center of the tale, but seems distracted a bit when the real events of the times become logically the focus as is the case in many of the better historical fictions. PHARAOH: VOLUME II OF KLEOPATRA is a powerful biographical fiction that makes a strong argument for revising the popular image of Kleopatra, but does so inside an engaging novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner