We’ve all heard the stories about the great love of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Well, that story is getting a whole new twist here. Queen of Kings opens with the Egyptian queen and her husband on the cusp of war with the Roman emperor Octavian and his legion. They are outnumbered. But Cleopatra has one last idea on how they can defeat Rome. She summons an ancient Goddess to suffuse her with power. But things go terribly wrong.
It took me awhile to get into this book. Things were very slow-moving in the first hundred or so pages. I didn’t feel like much was happening beyond Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s deaths and honestly, I had no idea where the story was going. The book was set up in a prologue that indicates 50 years later, Cleopatra lives on; the monster lives on. The narrator is warning the future. So I kept thinking maybe we’d see Cleopatra live on beyond ancient times or that the storyline would progress beyond the scope of her lost love. But that was a misconception on my part. Everything Cleopatra does, everything she is, centers on Mark Antony.
Things do pick up maybe about 175 pages-in. I finally saw a chance for things to move in a direction I could root for. (Up until that point, I feared we were destined for an entire book about how miserable Cleopatra’s eternity would be without her soul-mate. ) And the story moves to encompass pivotal new characters that will help shape the battles between the Cleopatra and Octavian, as well as Cleopatra and the goddess who holds her soul.
*ARC Provided by Dutton