This big, richly atmospheric novel, “written” by Helena Mithridates Kleopatra, Crown Princess of Eupatoria in the Roman province of Pontus, with an “original translation” by Rosani Akhtar-Moore and “novelized” by Bartholomew Boge, presents the Roman imperial experience from the point of view of a satellite monarch: Helena Kleopatra. She is of Persian and Ethiopian descent and navigates the dangers and intrigues of her kingdom’s politics as adroitly as history’s more famous Cleopatra.
The novel tells in sumptuous detail the story of Helena Kleopatra’s life and times and her romance with Roman tribune Tiberius Cornelius Scipio, through whom we see the Roman world from another viewpoint. The novel brings the world of ancient Rome to life and succeeds in giving readers a very memorable character in the person of Helena Kleopatra herself.
An absorbing reading experience.