Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Cleocatra's Kushion by Robin Price

October 2010, Mogzilla
192 pages, Paperback (see note)
Review copy

Note: my details are for a proof copy, not for the hardback edition with is currently out) 

Children's, historical, 

Travels to Egypt, sailors, frogs, mysticism, father and son relationship, some mild peril, lots of humour, lots of cats, a few tissues needed

Summary from Mogzilla 

In the fifth exciting adventure, the Son of Spartapuss (nicknamed 'SOS' for short) visits Rome and falls in love with a female with the most beautiful name he has ever heard. He invites the fair Haireena on a date to the Emperor's unfinished Golden Palace. But things get off to a shaky start when the pair are discovered by the cruel emperor Nero, who decides that Haireena will make the perfect present for his favourite gladiator.

After breaking out of Hades Row, (Rome's Worst Prison), SOS chases the gladiator only to find that he's taken Haireena on a secret mission in search of a treasure cavern at the source of the river Nile. Their journey to the Kingdom of the Kushites is full of shocks, crocs and lots of magic, courtesy of Cleocatra's Kushion.

Nayuleska's thoughts
I loved I Am Spartapuss, the first book in this series. Cleocatra's Kushion introduces Spartapuss's son, Son of Spartapuss (S.O.S). I loved how the two views were written: Spartapuss uses 'Spartapuss the Elder' which is in the style of Pliny the Elder (I think...it's been a few years since I looked at Pliny, a Roman author), and S.O.S calls his diary various names. The different styles fit the characters: Spartapuss speaks with wisdom and the worries of a parent. S.O.S lives very much in the present, has a shorter, sharper version of events, and is very love-struck throughout the book. It was fun to watch his crush because it doesn't turn out as he expects. Nothing turns out as anyone expects: S.O.S finds himself in a similar position to his father : in prison and getting ready to be a gladiator. Thankfully he does survive, and learns a lot of lessons along the way. Spartapuss has to deal with a frog (which talks and gives him a fright), a slightly neurotic sailor, and his son. Both make friends along the way - Spartapuss has quite a few present in his life already. I think both learn from each other. I don't think that the pair of them will stop running into trouble - it follows them around closely, and makes a funny read. I did have a theory about what Cleocatra's kushion would be, but I was completely wrong (and very happily so). 

Final conclusion 
Once again a hilarious tale about the ancient world according to cats: this will help increase a love for history for all readers.

Be sure to read the entire series, which starts with I Am Spartapuss

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