Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hand of Isis-Jo Graham

Hand of Isis
Jo Graham
Orbit, Mar 23 2009, $14.99
ISBN: 9780316068024

In the first century BCE the invincible Roman Empire has crossed the Mediterranean and threatens Egypt. Proud of their independence the ruling Ptolemy family will do what it takes to prevent the Roman takeover. Especially prepared is the heir to the present Pharaoh ailing Ptolemy XII, his teenage daughter Cleopatra.

Cleopatra trusts only her half sisters Iras and Charmian, who share the desire to keep their kingdom free of the outsiders. Ostensive, a handmaiden to her future queen has the true burden of being there for Cleopatra and advising her as her future Queen struggles through the Roman political maze. However, the two sisters are also the Hand of Isis Incarnate; something the Romans want superseded by their pantheon.

This is an intriguing look at Cleopatra’s Egypt at a time of crisis from the perspective of the Ptolemy female leadership struggling to keep their kingdom independent. The story line vividly takes the audience on a tour of ancient Egypt and to a degree Rome as Jo Graham escorts us into hidden desert temples hidden and Roman palaces in which danger lurks everywhere. Told by Charmian, fans will be charmed by the efforts of the siblings to use anything and everything including sex to conquer the conquerors.
Harriet Klausner

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