|Hand of Isis is the tale of
Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony as seen by her half-sister and maid servant
Charmian. All these characters, plus another half-sister Iras, are avatars of the gods
both Egyptian and Greek/Roman, wittingly and unwittingly.
As in her previous book, Black
Ships, the gods do not make many appearances, with much of their action
occurring in the weighing of the souls of the dead at the gates of Amenti. Hand
of Isis explores the end of Ptolemaic Egypt as a country and how the
principal political characters in Egypt and Roman could have caused that to happen. But
instead of a dry history book the disappearance of a once great empire is presented in
very human terms with very human players filling the leading historical roles.
Knowing the tragic ending that was to come I found this at times to be not an easy book
to read, such was the skill with which Ms Graham wrote her three leading ladies and the
sympathetic light in which she portrayed them.
If you like well-researched, historical fiction that is founded in fact, then Jo Graham
is an author to read and collect.