“She had the treasures of her ancestors, the riches of Egypt, the bloom of youth, and the knowledge that the Achilles’ heel of a man was not necessarily in his foot. This was her battle gear. She was as well-armed as anyone Julius Caesar had ever faced.”

Kleopatra, the first of a two-volume novel, reimagines Egypt’s infamous queen from the mere seductress of literature and poetry to the historical truth—that she was one of the most brilliant political players of the ancient world. The book chronicles the rarely told but riveting tale of the queen’s early years and the exotic world that shaped her.

From childhood, Kleopatra (the K is from the original Greek) has everything she needs—charisma, scintillating intellect, fluency in nine languages, and political savvy—to ensure her destiny. But Kleopatra’s position as her father’s favorite is always a threat to her stepmother and to her older sister, the fierce warrior princess Berenike. Surrounded by hostile siblings, conniving eunuch courtiers, and the ever-present threat of Rome, Kleopatra becomes an invaluable ally to her father.

When an Egyptian coup forces the king into exile, he takes the 12-year-old Kleopatra with him to the city of Rome, where she casts off her girlhood and accepts the terms for her ascent to power. Once back in Egypt, her father’s health declines and she virtually rules the nation alone, though she is only 16. After the king’s death, her enemies force her out of her kingdom.

Undaunted, Kleopatra gathers a mercenary army and with the help of Archimedes, her handsome kinsman, prepares to lead a military showdown. If she wins, she will resume her rightful place as queen of Egypt—but only if she can make an alliance with Rome’s dictator, Julius Caesar. For this, she will need to use all of her gifts at hand.