January 31, 2012
This review is by my 12 year-old daughter:
"This book is great. It is the first book I've ever read in which I've cried. I like historical fiction like 'The Red-Headed Princess.' The characters are good. The message is that you cannot become someone you are not. And you have to choose between two loves. I would definitely recommend this book to girls my age and above."
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January 19, 2012
This vivid, compelling historical fiction about fascinating characters should have terrific appeal to teen girl readers, and is enjoyable reading for adults too! The author did an outstanding job; I gather she's written non-fiction on this historical period and to solid knowledge of the era she has in this book also added great storytelling. I would caution that the first third of the book, set in Egypt, is one long drumbeat of impending and then arrived doom, including the death (by suicide) of both beloved parents, and other violence (see the CSM details). Although this violence is not gratuitous -- it's actually rather restrained and tasteful while still being true to the times and events -- I think it puts this book a bit beyond a more sensitive 12-year-old reader, so I'm marking this book as suitable for ages 13 and up. I'll comment that the book also does have some sexuality; I consider it appropriate for the story. The part set in Rome is fascinating in its depiction of life there: violence, deaths and treachery, as well as romance and culture.