Good - somewhat rambling at times, but I enjoyed it!
I opened this book thinking that it was a work of historical fiction. I may have developed that misconception due to the liberal amount of wine I consumed at the holiday book exchange where I viciously usurped the book. (Actually, I was following the exchange rules, but it sounds much more Ptolemaic the other way.) At any rate, somehow I missed the fact that this is a carefully researched biography.
I think I would have had a difficult time getting into the book, even without that misconception. The first few chapters are slow and, honestly, kind of boring. Schiff tries to recreate the world into which Cleopatra was born, but gets bogged down in the details. It also took a chapter or two to become accustomed to Schiff's often overly wordy, academic writing style. (Again, it doesn't help that I was expecting fiction, and have been reading quite a bit of light fiction lately.)
Schiff picks up steam in the middle chapters with Cleopatra's visit to Rome and Caesar's assassination, continuing with Cleopatra's relationship with Antony, etc. The end lagged a bit, too. I was interested in finding out what happened to Cleopatra's children, but then she just kept going on and on, I suppose in an attempt to wrap it all up.
Overall, it was a good book, especially enjoyable if you're interested in how history has often been rewritten by the victors (and men).