Falling in love with the man she intended only to use for his political power, Cleopatra becomes determined to maintain her hold on the throne of Egypt despite Rome's persistent attacks, until her famous suicide. Reprint. LJ.
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JUDITH TARR is the author of more than twenty widely praised novels, including The Throne of Isis, White Mare's Daughter, and Queen of Swords, as well as five previous volumes in the 'Avaryan Chronicles': The Hall of the Mountain King, The Lady of Han-Gilen and A Fall of Princes (collected in one volume as 'Avaryan Rising'), Arrows of the Sun, and Spear of Heaven. A graduate of Yale and Cambridge University, Judith Tarr holds degrees in ancient and medieval history, and breeds Lipizzan horses at Dancing Horse Farm, her home in Vail, Arizona.From Kirkus Reviews:
Returning to Egypt following her romance based on Alexander the Great's sojourn there (Lord of the Two Lands, 1992), Tarr retells the story of the historical lovers Anthony and Cleopatra and adds a fictional pair, Dione and Lucius. In 41 B.C., following the death of Julius Caesar, the Roman empire is ruled by two men: Octavian, the future Caesar Augustus, claims Italy and the west, while Marc Anthony controls the east. Egypt's Queen Cleopatra, lover of Julius, must choose sides if Egypt is to survive. Summoned by Marc Anthony, Cleopatra makes her decision--the pair become lovers and soul mates, regarding themselves as gods incarnate. Anthony, however, has a Roman wife, who manages to enrage Octavian and thus disgrace Anthony. To mend the breach and prevent outright civil war, Anthony is obliged to wed Octavian's sister despite his passion for Cleopatra. Furious, the queen prepares to blast Anthony by magic and is only dissuaded by her confidante, Dione, a priestess of Isis, herself increasingly involved with the Roman augur Lucius Servilius, one of Anthony's companions. Later, after campaigning in Armenia and Parthia with varying success, Anthony musters Cleopatra's huge navy to challenge Octavian; but Anthony's Roman allies, tiring of Egyptian influences, begin to melt away, and Anthony suffers a disastrous defeat at Actium. Though Cleopatra escapes the debacle, Egyptian resistance collapses, and soon, with Octavian knocking at the gates of Alexandria and Anthony dead, Cleopatra commits suicide by snake bites. Tarr's historical outline is unexceptionable, her wealth of cultural detail impeccable. But again she fails to breathe life into famous characters; nor does she manage to translate all that expertise into anything resembling a compelling narrative. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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