LOYALTY, LEGACY AND BETRAYAL…
Princess Altagracia has lost everything. After a bloody civil war, her twin sister has claimed not just the crown of their planet Szayet but the Pearl of its prophecy, a computer that contains the immortal soul of their god. Stripped of her birthright, Altagracia prepares to flee the planet – just as Matheus Ceirran, Commander of the interstellar Empire of Ceiao, arrives in deadly pursuit. Princess Altagracia sees an opportunity to win back her planet, her god, and her throne . . . if she can win over the Commander and his distrustful right-hand officer, Anita.
But talking her way into Commander Matheus’s good graces, and his bed, is only the beginning. Dealing with the most powerful man in the galaxy is almost as dangerous as war, and Altagracia is quickly torn between Matheus and the wishes of the machine god that whispers in her ear.
For Szayet’s sake, and her own, Altagracia will need to become more than a princess with a silver tongue. She will have to become a queen as history has never seen before – even if it breaks an empire.
A spectacular space opera debut perfect for readers of Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire, inspired by the lives and loves of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar.
My thoughts: I only really know about Cleopatra and Julius Caesar from Shakespeare and a few other places but I do remember a few things like the carpet delivery and the incredible description of the royal barge Shakespeare lifted wholesale from a historical record.
Inspired by their romance and Caesar’s political machinations, this turns countries into planets and those clever Romans into the Empire of Ceiao, conquerors of the cosmos and bickering members of the Council.
There are a lot of political intrigues and plots, with various figures from antiquity becoming a new version. Marc Anthony becomes Anita – Ceirran’s right hand woman, but with blood just as hot as the original.
It’s all very cleverly done and you don’t really need to know anything about the notorious Egyptian Queen and her Roman lovers to enjoy it or get to grips with the sci fi and magical elements.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.