I’ve always been really into ancient history of the Egyptian/Greek/Roman varieties, and I recall pouring over Cleopatra’s complicated story multiple times. Add that to my love for YA historical fiction and I figured I was sure to like this book. I wasn’t let down; Lily of the Nile was stunning. Stephanie Dray wrote a brilliant novel that must have required copious amounts of intense research and much cleverly filling the gaps where necessary.
The exploration of how Selene and her twin, Helios, dealt with everything and their lives being held captive by the Roman empire was amazing. The raw emotion of Selene as she changed and became more cunning, more like her mother’s daughter, more of Isis, were so real seeming. The changing relationship between her and Helios as she made decisions as a strategist and he didn’t necessarily was complicated and surprising. The theme of the treatment of women in Egypt in contrast to that in Rome… All fascinating stuff. The ending was explosive, and left me wishing there was more. (There should be a new rule: ‘Sequels to books I like are not permitted to come out more than a week after I read said book’ HA. No, that won’t work.) Apparently there will be a sequel, “Song of the Nile” due in October.