Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review

I love any fiction that deals with the ancient world, and I am always especially drawn to tales of Cleopatra and Isis. In my childhood, the two were synonymous. I can separate the goddess from the queen now, but I still seek out stories of the two.

Jo Graham's "Hand of Isis" is a brilliant take on the much-told story of Egypt's last pharaoh. Told through the eyes of the devoted handmaid, Charmain, Graham imagines that it was not just the loyalty of a slave that bound the famous Charmain and Iras to the queen: in this version, they are half sisters. Joined by blood and by a vow to Isis, the women work together to rule Egypt even as Rome waits on the doorstep.

This is a novel of love and anguish, but most importantly, it is a tale of magic. If you grew up loving the works of Margaret George the way I did, this is an addition to the Cleopatra saga that cannot be missed.

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