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Cleopatra was not the renowned beauty of legend-her strength lay in her intelligence, courage, and charm, and she would need all three in her short and perilous reign. She became Queen of Egypt at eighteen and by twenty had been driven from her throne. But she raided an army and won the support of the great Julius Caesar, who helped her return to rule. In the note on sources, the authors indicate that much of the information about Cleopatra has been based on legend & that many documents from her lifetime were destroyed after her death. Even Plutarch's histories were written a hundred years after her death. The large picture-book presentation lacks reference aids & would be challenging for researchers, but it is smoothly written & fascinating to read. The gouache illustrations for this book add to the narrative presentation. Cleopatra's name still glitters across history, evoking opulence, ambition, and tragedy. Raised in the shadow of the mighty Roman Empire, she dared to dream of a world united under Egyptian rule. She almost succeeded, and if she had, we would live in a far different world today. Cleopatra was not the renowned beauty of legend--her strength lay in her intelligence, courage, and charm, and she would need all three in her short and perilous reign. She became Queen of Egypt at eighteen and by twenty had been driven from her throne. But she raised an army and won the support of the great Julius Caesar, who helped her return to rule. We will never know what these two brilliant and ambitious people might have accomplished together, for Caesar soon fell to Roman assassins. Instead, it was Mark Antony, another famous Roman, who risked everything with Cleopatra in pursuit of world power.