Unfortunately, I don’t tend to read a large amount of historical fiction! Mymotheristherepublic has read a few Roman books, and she’s read parts of Thorton Wilder’s The Ides of March to me, which seemed very good, moving and humanizing.
She’s also incessantly repeated the “Whereas Jove only lay with two of his sisters, I have…” quote from I, Claudius, which she speaks highly of, despite its subscription to Livia demonization.
Another work to ask her about is Augustus: A Novel by John Williams.
I am afraid the extent of my historical fiction reading is mocking bad Christian novels about the gladiatorial arena and cringing over the Augustus-raping-Cleopatra-Selene plot in the Cleopatra’s Daughter series by Michelle Moran.
Colleen Mccullogh’s Masters of Rome series is honestly the biggest, most popular, and respected historical fiction saga in the genre, and I have heard very little in the way of criticism and much praise from it.
In conclusion: ask mymotheristherepublic. I just don’t read contemporary fiction a lot.
Actually Michelle Moran’s “Cleopatra’s Daughter” is a single novel not a series and there’s no rape subplot. I can’t vouch for its historical accuracy but it’s a decent fluffy sort of read. Perhaps the novel series you’re thinking about is the one by Stephanie Dray? In that one Cleopatra Selene is magical and can shoot wind out of her hands 😬