Review: Cleo by Lucy Coats

The Blurb

Her precious mother is dead – and it isn’t an accident! The young Cleopatra – Pharaoh’s illegitimate daughter – must flee the royal palace at Alexandria or die too. As her evil half-sisters usurp the throne, Cleo finds sanctuary at the sacred temple of Isis, where years later she becomes initiated into the secret Sisters of the Living Knot. But now Isis’s power is failing, Egypt is in danger, and Cleo must prove her loyalty to her goddess by returning to the Alexandria she hates. She must seek out the hidden map which is the key to returning Isis’s power – on pain of death. But will she be able to evade her horrible sisters? And will she find dreamy Khai, the über-hot librarian boy she met as she fled Alexandria years before? Cleo’s powerful destiny is about to unfold…

Gorgeous and evocative, this captivating new YA novel imagines the life of the teenage Cleopatra before she became the icon we think we know.

The Review

I don’t like to say negative things but sometimes it is necessary. I have to be honest in this review; I just didn’t like Cleo.

The story is about a young Cleopatra and how she escaped the reign of tyranny let by her two sisters Berenice and Tryphena by faking her own death. As a young woman Cleo is visited by the goddess Isis and scarred with her sacred mark. She is given a mission to return to her previous home and collect a map that will help Isis’s name be restored to power.

All of this sounds so good and so promising but the delivery was really heavy and long. Huge chunks of Cleo could have been left out and the story’s pace would have been so much quicker and much more dramatic. As it was, I found myself putting the book down to do other things. I just wasn’t kept hooked.

To be fair, Cleo did get better later on but it took the first half of the book for me to feel remotely interested. It is a real shame because the premise of this story is really intriguing but I felt the execution didn’t live up to it.

Cleo by Lucy Coats is available now.


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