A wonderful piece of historical fiction -- 95% of the characters existed and their roles in the story are chronicled in history! Starts with bloodshed and has incidents involving bloodshed throughout -- after all this was ancient Rome, where the struggle to attain and then to keep power was as transient a simple betrayal. This continues the story after Octavian captures Egypt, and Marc Antony and Cleopatra are both deceased. Their three children are taken captive and are taken to Rome. Only two survive the sea voyage, and this is their story. Will they be eventually be allowed to return to Egypt, or does Octavian (then, not yet, Caesar) have more sinister plans for them? Took a little while to get all the characters' names straight in my head, especially when they were spelled / read almost similarly. One cannot help but be transported back through time in this exquisite tale.