Book Review and Giveaway: Song of the Nile by @StephanieHDray – US AND Canada!

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This is the second novel in a trilogy about Cleopatra’s daughter Selene.  The book begins with the wedding of Selene.  She’s being given in marriage by Augustus, the man who has caused the death of many members of her family and held her hostage in Rome instead of her living as royalty in Egypt.  She is marrying Juba, who she has mixed feelings about.  She is attracted but Juba has unfailing loyalty to Augustus.  Selene rebels, she fights, she shows her royalty and strength.  It is fascinating to read about this regal and amazing character that is somewhat based on history, but created by the author, Stephanie Dray.

Selene and Juba are named rulers of a distant and barbarous foreign land.  They travel and begin the hard work of building a new nation.  Selene struggles and succeeds to become a leader in her own right – a Queen.


Stephanie Dray is a lawyer, a game designer, a teacher and now an author.  She has always been fascinated by all things Roman or Egyptian and has collected ancient artifacts and, as it says on her website, a house full of cats!  This is to the consternation of her husband, none the less devoted to her.

In her education, Stephanie concentrated in Middle Eastern studies, exploring the ancient worlds of Egypt and Rome.  She gained a deep and rare understanding of not only the ancient and current tensions between East and West but also the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion.

Stephanie Dray, is also the founder of the Cleopatra Literary Contest, a competition is aimed at discovering and mentoring aspiring young female writers (age 13 to 22). In particular, the award seeks to foster new voices with an appreciation for women’s history.  It’s open to women around the world, giving them an opportunity to have their work read by authors and professionals in the publishing world.  For more information, go to or click here for a downloadable brochure.


I loved the first book in the trilogy, Lady of the Nile but this one is even better!  I’m only halfway through, Juba and Selene have just arrived in Mauretania and begun their reign.  There has already been enough excitement and storyline for an entire book – I can’t wait to read more!
It is spell-binding to read about Selene.  She has the mystery of Cleopatra but she is so young that it is exciting to see her learn and hone her skills.  As she develops her beauty, she learns to use it as power.  As she learns more, many times teaching herself, she becomes a force to be reckoned with as a strategist.
It was an unusual time for the relationship between men and women.  I enjoyed reading about the power, yet constricted freedoms, of women in that time.  Selene is a Queen but is, at the same time, restricted by the morals and attitudes of the time.
I found Song of the Nile to be an easier, faster read than the first book, Lily of the Nile.  It’s partly because I was already accustomed to the names and characters in the book, but I think the author also wove in more descriptive, personal drama and a bit less dense historical fact.  You don’t need to read the first book in order to enjoy Song of the Nile.  I’m going back to reading – I can’t wait to finish this one and to see what book three has in store!


“Graceful history infused with subtle magic and veiled ancient mysteries, at a time of immense flux and transition… a true achievement.” ~ Diane L. Paxson, author

“The story keeps you turning pages until the end.” ~ Diana L. Paxson, author of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword of Avalon


One lucky KLY reader will win their own copy of Song of the Nile, by Stephanie Dray. Enter in the Rafflecopter form below.

Disclosure: All opinions included in this post are my own, unless otherwise stated. In accordance with FTC guidelines, I am disclosing a material connection because I received a copy of the book for review. My site only publishes reviews of products and books that I can recommend to my readers. All books are either given away or donated after review.


  1. 1

    I read that she’s a huge cat lover and owns a house full. She likes Roman/Egyptian history.

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