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Cleo by Lucy Coats: A Book Review

Cleo
Author: Lucy Coats
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: May 2015
Pages: 384
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: "Trust Me. However it Looks..."

     Cleopatra has grown up surrounded by the secrets and treachery of the Pharaoh's court. Cleo knows that she was chosen by the goddess Isis at birth . . . but now her monstrous half-sisters have seized the throne and betrayed the old ways for a bloodthirsty new god. 

     Cleo's life is in danger--and so is her whole country. Who can she really trust? Could the mysterious boy from the Great Library hold the key?

     A captivating story full of the glamour and intrigue of Ancient Egypt.

     My review: After the death of Cleopatra’s mother, Cleopatra’s father goes to Rome, and her sisters become the Pharaoh’s Egypt. They get rid of the worship of the old traditional gods that ruled Egypt, and instill the worship of the evil god, Am-Heh, “The Devourer”. In order to save her own life, Cleopatra flees Egypt. She then becomes a priestess of Isis, and Isis bestows upon her the title, “Chosen of Isis”. However, Cleopatra soon learns that Isis’s power over Egypt is weakening, and gives Cleopatra a quest to save Egypt. In order to complete the task, Cleopatra must return back to the palace of Alexandria, where her life is in great peril.

     Cleopatra is a character where you can either like her or hate her. She is a teenager and her voice comes across as whiny, spoiled, immature, and selfish. She does not seem to be interested in Isis. She wants Isis to take care of her rather than taking care of the goddess. When the High Priestesses give her a command, she doesn’t follow it. Instead, whenever her goddess does give her a command, she uses the tone of “Poor, pitiful me!” Also, in Alexandria, all she really does care about is the cute library boy, Khai, focusing all her attention on him, not even caring about her quest to save Egypt. In fact, three-fourths of the book is about how cute Khai is and questions if he loves her. However, she does have a compassionate side. She feels sorry for the victims that her sisters have killed, and shows mercy to those who have to betray her.

     While the protagonist may not be likable, the story is really fun and fast-paced. The author makes the quest to be very interesting, and I like how she has made the gods to be very prevalent in the story. My favorite character is Isis. She is very strong and wise. She takes care of those who are in her favor. I also liked her war with the evil god, Am-Heh. The other characters were very likeable, and they helped to make the plot interesting. I also like Cleopatra’s interactions with her sisters, for it helped build upon the suspense of the novel and made to be good antagonists.

     Overall, the story is about friendship, loyalty, and love. It is a war not only between her sisters, but a war between gods. There is also drama, action and suspense that will keep you interested in this fast-paced story. While the characters are one dimensional, and the protagonist needs a lot of work, the setting is well-developed. Ancient Egypt comes alive. Therefore, I recommend this story to anyone who is interested in ancient Egypt and Egyptian mythology.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars




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