Author: Stephanie Dray
Genre: Fiction (Historical / Egypt / 2nd Century BC / Ancient Mediterranean / Royals / Intrigue / Coming-of Age / Scandal)
Publisher/Publication Date: Smashwords (2012)
Source: Personal copy
Did I finish?: Oh Heck yeah!
One-sentence summary: Arsinoe, the young daughter of the pharaoh, is dropped into turmoil and intrigue when married to a foreign king.
Reading Challenges: E-book, Historical Fiction
Do I like the cover?: I really do -- it's super high gloss and flashy -- eye-catching! -- and although I'm dubious of the blonde pharoah-ess-in-training, I still like it.
I'm reminded of...: Karen Essex, Syrie James
First line: "Remember always that you're a royal princess of Egypt," my mother says, wiping tears from cheeks.
Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Buy -- it's cheap and has been offered free at a variety of e-book retailers (Amazon, Smashwords, etc.)
Why did I get this book?: I've loved Dray's other books.
Review: This is another juicy slice of historical awesomeness from Stephanie Dray. I've fallen hard for Dray's Cleopatra's Daughter series, a kind of magical historical trilogy that is dark, unapologetic, epic, and fun. So when I saw this short story, I did grabby hands and got started.
I know nothing of the historical Arsinoe II, but being aware of Dray's dedication to historical accuracy, I sat back and let the story unfold.
Arsinoe is one of the pharaoh's daughters, sweet and eager to be loved, teased mercilessly by her older, ambitious half-sister. When contracted into marriage to the King of Thrace, she finds some measure of happiness in her new home among her friendly in-laws. But good things rarely happen to royalty, and Arsinoe has some pretty awful things happen.
This is a short story -- which was too bad because I seriously wanted more! This story is more straight-up historical (rather than magical historical or historical fantasy), for those who care, and is a great intro to Stephanie Dray if you're new to her.