Thursday, 16 July 2015

Cleo - Book Review

Cleo - Book Review
Lucy Coats
YA Historical
UK PUBLISHER: Orchard Books


Her precious mother is dead - and it isn't an accident! The young Cleopatra - Pharaoh’s illegitimate daughter - must flee the royal palace at Alexandria or die too. As her evil half-sisters usurp the throne, Cleo finds sanctuary at the sacred temple of Isis, where years later she becomes initiated into the secret sisters of the Living Knot. 

But now Isis’s power is failing, Egypt is in danger, and Cleo must prove her loyalty to her Goddess by returning to the Alexandria she hates. She must seek out the hidden map which is the key to returning Isis’s power - on pain of death!

But will she be able to evade her horrible sisters? And will she find dreamy Khai, the uber-hot Librarian boy she met as she fled Alexandria years before? Cleo’s powerful destiny is about to unfold…


I love historical fiction and was thrilled when I found out Lucy Coats had based a book on the adventures of a young Cleopatra. Woven through with facts and interesting tidbits about the Gods and daily lives of ancient Egypt, this book will open up your mind to a long forgotten time. Giving young readers a chance to put themselves in the sandals of one of histories greatest figures, Cleo is a very enjoyable read!

When the horns sound, declaring her mothers death, Cleo knows her own demise can’t be far behind. Deserting her home city of Alexandria, she and her beloved body-slave, Charm, flee to a temple of Isis where years later, Cleo emerges a fully fledged priestess. Now charged by the Goddess herself to recover a map stolen long ago, Cleo’s bravery is tested to the limits when she is forced to return back to the palace of her childhood. But much has changed while she has been gone.

Her two evil sisters now sit upon the twin thrones of Egypt and the whole kingdom suffers from famine and plague. Abandoning the true Gods, her sisters now worship the bloodthirsty Am-heh, better known as the devourer, and now his evil taint hangs like a dark cloud over the palace. Only Cleo, chosen of Isis, can save Egypt, but first she must find the map and restore power to the real Gods… but many dangers await her, and Cleo will need all her courage if she is to complete the tasks ahead…

I really liked this book, but ultimately I think a younger YA or older MG would be its true target audience.  I passed this book along to my friends sister who is thirteen and she just adored it! Mostly I think because Cleo acts and speaks in a very modern way in which the Tweens and Teens of this generation can easily relate to.

Cleo herself is actually a very girly sort of character. Conscious of her looks, she constantly doubts herself and often needs reassurances - and the occasional push from her best friend - before she gets things done. While sometimes she comes off as a little whinny, she is at the core just a young girl who has been thrown a big destiny. Yet there are moments when you see her growing into the confident, clever queen she is one day to become.

One thing I really liked about this book though was her blind faith in the Goddess Isis. Cleo trusts in her goddess to make everything alright, but I like when Cleo comes to understand that the Gods can’t be everywhere at once, and sometimes bad things happen and there is nothing anyone can do about it. It’s a harsh reality check for her, but I think it makes her realise people must make their own destinies. And while the Gods can’t always solve problems, they will always be there to listen to them. 

However a niggle I had with this book was the instant love between her and the hot librarian Khai. I really hope they get to know each other more in the next book as right now, other than there love of learning and devotion towards Isis, I don't get the impression they have much in common. Hopefully we will get to see their relationship develop more.

Otherwise this book does have a cliffhanger of an ending. Cutting off right at a very action packed moment which - not having the next book - can be quite frustrating. Although it does assure that I will be reading the next one :) 

Overall Cleo was a fun read with a very relatable main character. A nice book to while away an afternoon. 3 stars!

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