Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire


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In Bradshaw's story, however, he manages to escape the assassination attempt and struggles to create a new life for himself amid the ruins of his mother's kingdom. Reduced overnight from prince to hunted fugitive, he is forced to depend upon the kindness of people whom he would p The premise of Gillian Bradshaw's novel is a simple but powerful one. Reduced overnight from prince to hunted fugitive, he is forced to depend upon the kindness of people whom he would previously have despised. What makes Bradshaw stand out as an author of fiction set in the ancient world is that rather than focusing on battles and the brutal mechanisms of conquest that so many other authors of this period are fixated upon, she writes about the relationships between individuals, the cultural pressures they face, the accommodations they are obliged to make with political, religious and economic realities, and their attempts to find a place for themselves within their society.

As a result, despite living under very different circumstances from us, her characters are immediately recognisable. The reader is drawn into the narrative as he or she would be drawn into a novel set in the contemporary world. Engaging, sympathetic and vividly imagined, Cleopatra's Heir is a hugely enjoyable read and undoubtedly one of her best novels.

Feb 03, Keith Currie rated it it was amazing. What I like most about Gillian Bradshaw's novels is that she writes excellent stories which are realistically grounded in their historical contexts - no difference with this one, even though she posits a central plot device which is historically untrue - the survival of Caesarion, son of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, after an attempted killing on the orders of Octavian, Caesar's heir and enemy of Cleopatra.

Bradshaw has a lot of fun with this idea and with Caesarion - brought up to be king with al What I like most about Gillian Bradshaw's novels is that she writes excellent stories which are realistically grounded in their historical contexts - no difference with this one, even though she posits a central plot device which is historically untrue - the survival of Caesarion, son of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, after an attempted killing on the orders of Octavian, Caesar's heir and enemy of Cleopatra.

Bradshaw has a lot of fun with this idea and with Caesarion - brought up to be king with all the privilege that involves, but now thrown upon his own wits and a low- born but decent Egyptian family who help him. He must throw off all his prejudices against the common people and begin to appreciate their inherent goodness, as does Octavian himself at a late stage in the book. There are some terrific scenes in this novel: Caesarion waking on his own funeral pyre and walking away from it; his discussion on the merits of Greek and Latin poetry with the cultured Roman general Gallus, friend of Vergil; his haughty dismissal of Aristodemus, Ani's Greek rival; his reconciliation with Rhodon, his betrayer and supposed killer; his constant battle with epilepsy; his growing love for the family of Ani, his saviour, and especially for his daughter, Melanthe.

One suspects Caesarion cannot survive, especially when he is arrested and brought before his 'second-cousin', the emperor Octavian. These scenes are among the most moving in the book and work through to a very satisfying conclusion. Jan 22, Nikki rated it really liked it Shelves: She writes about genuine medical treatments of epilepsy, and the way people generally saw it. Reviewed for The Bibliophibian. Apr 10, Natalie rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Everyone 13 and up.

This book is on my top-ten historical fiction books, what number it is exactly, I cannot say. I have never been able to pick out a Number One, but this one could be it. I have read it three times since I first discovered it. Caesarion, son of Cleopatra and Julius Caeser, was supposed to die. History says that he was killed, betrayed, but what if he survived? What if, somehow, he escape This book is on my top-ten historical fiction books, what number it is exactly, I cannot say.

What if, somehow, he escaped? Wounded, wracked by epileptic seizures, he stumbled away from his own funeral pyre, stumbling as far as he could before collapsing on the road. The merchant Ani, a pious Egyptian, came across this wounded boy in the desert and took him in, caring for his wounds with absolutely no idea what he was getting himself into. Caesarion is a proud, arrogant, determined and utterly impractical person who is portrayed in a completely believable fashion.

One would think that such a person would be no fun to be around, but I found myself hoping as the story went along that he would somehow survive and find a new life. Sep 17, Rachel rated it liked it Shelves: I read this book for the second time recently, recollecting my joy in Gillian Bradshaw's style, and her choices of subject matter, but not the specifics of what I liked and disliked. In truth, were were about equal portions of each.

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I love alternate history, I love this era, and I love Caesarion, so the premise itself is really enough to end I read this book for the second time recently, recollecting my joy in Gillian Bradshaw's style, and her choices of subject matter, but not the specifics of what I liked and disliked. I love alternate history, I love this era, and I love Caesarion, so the premise itself is really enough to endear the book to me.

And, as is normal for her, Gillian Bradshaw, fills the book with lovely historical details that leave me comfortable and content in the world she creates - I did mention that I love this era, didn't I? Additionally, Bradshaw has one tiny bit of characterization that I love, and had forgotten till I went to reread: This is quite genius of her, as it's a well known fact that Julius Caesar had epilepsy, and characterizing Caesarion as having it as well both takes a definitive stance on the in my opinion, ridiculous controversy over his parentage, and gives Bradshaw a starting place from which to build her character - a good thing when you have a historical figure about which so little is known.

However, despite all this, I still finished the book feeling vaguely dissatisfied. First of all, Cleopatra's Heir seemed to be written for a younger audience than most of Bradshaw's books, and she occasionally took some of the shortcuts common to inexperienced authors of young adult fiction, giving us only vaguely sketched characters and relationships, especially in the sense that many of the characters seemed to have only a vague hint of personality other than the way they interacted with Caesarion.

Misunderstood Moments in History - Cleopatra's Egypt

The ending also felt incredibly anti-climactic to me, largely because Bradshaw's portrayal of Octavian just seemed She seemed to be avoiding taking a deliberate stance on how she wanted to portray him, and so he merely ended up having far less personality than the amount neccesary to sustain a character that pivotal in the protaganist's life.

I could deal with her unapologetically negative portrayal of Cleopatra VII, and with odd fact that, while Caesarion constantly thought and worried about his youngest brother Ptolemy Philadelphos, the twins Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene were mentioned, at most, half a dozen times and completely in passing. But the lack of any distinct portrayal of Octavian meant that the story lost a lot for me. It's definitely still worth reading, though, if you have a particular liking for the era or are already fond of Gillian Bradshaw's writing.

There's plenty that's good about this book, but there are a number of things about it that will irritate a good many readers. Jul 14, Anne rated it it was amazing Shelves: The suspense of a thriller and the drama of a coming of age story. This book, I thought would be hard to read as the pages are crammed with words, and it is a bit thick and heavy, but I flew through it. From the first pages it snatches up your attention and holds it ransom until the bittersweet but satisfying end.

It is both about a prince surviving his way in a savage time under the rule of an enemy who wants him as dead as his mother and siblings, as well as a young man trying to come into his The suspense of a thriller and the drama of a coming of age story. It is both about a prince surviving his way in a savage time under the rule of an enemy who wants him as dead as his mother and siblings, as well as a young man trying to come into his own.

It's also rich with ancient culture, taking certain legendary quirks of both Cesar and Cleopatra and adding them like a delicate but crucial spice on top. A fantastic book, all around. Dec 08, JulianaW added it. R rated by my system. No pasa de ser una novelita para el verano, con pocos personajes un buen argumento y una narracion agil y entretenida.

Pero sinceramente podriamos cambiar la epoca y poner el heredero de Rockefeller y la historia se podria mantener igual. En resumen un buen libto para llevar a la playa mientras tomas sol, no acapara tu cerebro y permite leerlo con distracciones. Nov 07, Hyker rated it really liked it.

Cleopatra's Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire - Gillian Bradshaw - Google Книги

This book is exceptionally well-researched, delving into alternative history. For those with a hunger for late 1st Cent. BC subjects, this is a perfect fit. Oct 07, Marcia rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed seeing the growth of the character Caesarion in this book. This is really not so much about the historical character Caesarion as about what it would be like for a person to have been in his exalted position and then have everything fall apart. A good what-if book. The entire premise is basically an excuse to give us a Captains Courageous storyline set in newly Roman Egypt.

None of this is meant to mock the book too hard. Captains Courageous is a good novel, and one that can be adapted easily to many new circumstances. As it stands, the story is a good one and it builds its scenarios well. For example, the problems that ensue when Rome seizes administration of Egypt naturally pose difficulties for our hero.

Being a known figure helps as well. In addition to coming to terms with being a forgotten and unwanted figure, Arion has to figure out a new position for himself in this Roman-dominated world.


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In addition to and really more intriguing than the high level intrigues are the day-to-day existence of Egyptian traders. Arion, with his knowledge of high class Greek culture and Roman society, is ideally placed to assist them in getting their business off the ground. So we get to see a lot of what life was like during the administrative changeover, as the Greeks of Egypt came to terms with the fact that their independence was gone and nobody knew quite what the Romans would demand or expect. A perfect time for a new man to strike it rich, but also a dangerous and shifting one.

Dec 24, Melinda rated it it was ok Shelves: I'm sure like many others, I was fascinated with Cleopatra and ancient Egypt. I had finished reading the book and read the author's comments in the end. I didn't appreciate the comments the author had made in regards to Cleopatra. Sure, Cleopatra was controversial and in the eyes of many, she might not have been the best ruler, but she certainly wasn't such an atrocious or completely destructive person as propaganda and her enemies paint her as.

Honestly, if she was a man, would people be so har I'm sure like many others, I was fascinated with Cleopatra and ancient Egypt. Honestly, if she was a man, would people be so harsh to criticise her and her ideas? We may never know, who she truly was but there was no need to treat her so harshly in the book, which you can catch glimpses of that throughout the book whenever Cleopatra was mentioned. I had always wondered what happened to the children of Cleopatra.

This book told of one possibility, had Caesarion managed to survive assassins and betrayals. OK, I'll buy that he may have been epileptic, although I think it was used way too many times in the book to make us sympathize with them more and maybe forgive him for certain actions. For a while, he acted like the spoiled and arrogant child king that he likely would have been.

I did enjoy how he learned respect and humility while in the debt and care of Ani and his family. The whole interview or interrogation Caesarion had with Octavian seemed to stretch the imagination a little too much, given everything Octavian did to ensure that people question Caesarion's paternity and no male heirs of his enemies remained unscathed. After all, if Caesarion lived another day, he can easily raise up an army in his name and try to reclaim Egypt in the name of his ancestors hide spoiler ]. Also, to just waltz right into Alexandria completely unnoticed during Roman occupation and with Caesarion's statues everywhere It seems highly likely that he would have been recognized sooner rather than later and possibly by people who would be more than willing to turn him in for money or to be on the good graces of the Romans.

Nov 03, Marybeth rated it really liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

Cleopatra's Heir

To view it, click here. Number one way to my heart is to write a novel about Cleopatra and or her children. Even though this story was fairly ""predictable"" does anyone write speculative fic about someone who died and then doesn't have them live at the end? I thought characterization was pretty good: If he had gone through the last few chapters all totally content with his choices I think it would have been cheap. So yes, I really liked this book.

As an aside one of the more interesting things for me about this book was the author's views about Cleopatra. Feb 05, Katya Zelevinsky rated it really liked it Shelves: It might have been easy, when faced with a time in history that has inspired as many different theories and books and movies as the end of the Roman Republic, to just coast and fall back on the old tired cliches. But Gillian Bradshaw does not fall into that trap, and instead somehow manages to breathe life into the old myths.

In this book, she looks at what might have happened to the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra if he had survived Cleopatra's death, and also manages to give us an idea of w It might have been easy, when faced with a time in history that has inspired as many different theories and books and movies as the end of the Roman Republic, to just coast and fall back on the old tired cliches.

In this book, she looks at what might have happened to the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra if he had survived Cleopatra's death, and also manages to give us an idea of what his life and upbringing might have been like. Gillian Bradshaw has an amazing ability to bring characters from a very different time and culture to life, and make the readers care about them. And in this book, she doesn't disappoint. While Island of Ghosts remains my favorite of her books, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in exploring ancient cultures.

But even if you are not all that interested in history or ancient cultures, and just enjoy reading fun teen romances with interesting, well-rounded characters, I think you should still give this book a try. Mar 26, David Gott rated it liked it. I really wanted to love this book. As it turns out, this best I can say is that it was fair. I loved the concept and came away thinking so much more could have been done with it. The first half of the novel was drudgery that seems to go nowhere. The book improves it's pace significantly in the latter half. Still, the book did have some high points.

It is a rare historical fiction in this period that is not obsessed with the Romans. The author did a fine job contrasting Cesarian's coming to terms I really wanted to love this book. The author did a fine job contrasting Cesarian's coming to terms with the loss of old life with Octavian's struggle with the personal cost of total victory and complete power. I found compelling the concept that Octavian would not his wish the death of Cesarian as much as he would intellectually understand it's necessity.

Sadly, these concept really only come to the front in the last quarter of the book. More of the novel should have been spent on this and far less documenting day to day travel. Historical fiction fans, fans of ancient Egypt. Recommended to Allison by: Winifred Hurst my teenage daughter. My teenage daughter had picked this up at the library as a casual read. I read the back of it and stole it from her: The story was well constructed and a nice blend of believable and escapist.

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There is a moral lesson taught by the book but not beaten into the reader's head. The lesson is one of the value of humility versus weilding power over others. I am reluctant to say much more about the book because I found it so enjoyable as a lighter read that I do no My teenage daughter had picked this up at the library as a casual read. For the new Roman ruler, Octavius, Caesarion is the threat that could topple his dreams of a safe and peaceful Roman Empire.

The brutal truth is that Caesarion could not be allowed to live. But what if he somehow managed to survive the inevitable assassination and went underground to hide his identity?

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How would he find a way to live when he has always chosen and honor, even though his life has been shadowed by forces greater than anyone should have to cope with? Caesarion will travel the lands that he thinks he knows so well only to discover that he knew his people not at all. And only after that discovery, when he loses it all and is forced to confront his humanity, will Caesarion finally come to know friendship, honesty, and love.

And the essential truth that a man can be noble and true, bereft of land, titles. I don't read straight through a book very often, but this one had me glued to my seat. Our hero is Cleopatra's son, trying to sort I'm sure like many others, I was fascinated with Cleopatra and ancient Egypt. I had finished reading the book and read the author's comments in the end.

Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire
Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire
Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire
Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire
Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire
Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire Cleopatras Heir: A Novel of The Roman Empire

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