The only reason I heard about this book was because of Emma, over at Thoughts of a Brown Eyed Girl. It’s pretty funny because soon after we started talking, she asked if I wanted to read it because, somehow, she knew about my weird interest in Egyptian history, mainly around Cleopatra VII. When I was a kid, I really knew most things about her. I still know a lot more than I should, but sometimes I have to look up little things online to be sure I’ve got my facts straight.
The whole reason I’m mentioning Cleopatra is because this book is largely based off of King Lear and Cleo herself. I caught more nods to Cleo than Will, admittedly. There are five points of view from the same family, highlighting various tensions between them. All of them fit somewhere into Cleopatra’s family, something that I just loved. There was Arko, the father and king. Sarra, the mother and priestess. Merit was the older sister who wants power (reminding me of Cleopatra or her older sisters). Kepi is the younger sister who doesn’t exactly want power, but wants it outside of herself. Finally, Ren is the one and only son, the heir to the throne.
While I enjoyed the characters, I did think that a few things were needed. Sarra’s point of view needed more development and backstory to it. Merit’s was too male centered for my liking when there was far more to her character than various men. Ren got really dull. The only perspective I liked the whole time was Kepi’s, but even then I was hesitant towards the beginning because I didn’t like the way it started but her ending was fantastic.
As for the plot, it just felt like a whole lot of set-up for nothing. I was intrigued from the start, but it died down and stayed low until the last fifty pages. That annoys me the most when a lot could have been done to foreshadow things properly. I don’t think that the book weaved everything together as well as it should have, something I was worried about for a while with how many perspectives there were. At the end, there was a lot of head scratching done since it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I never had an “aha!” moment.
At the end of the day, I’m definitely going to move onto book two since I loved where it left off for everyone. However, I’m going to have to reread it to catch all of the details that hinted at foreshadowing.