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Hand of Isis by Jo Graham

Hand of Isis (edition 2009)

by Jo Graham

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2653242,932 (3.84)71
Title:Hand of Isis
Authors:Jo Graham
Info:Orbit (2009), Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Read in 2012, Your library
Tags:fiction, historical fantasy, women's lives, siblings, ptolemaic egypt, cleopatra, julius caesar, marcus antonius, own

Work details

Hand of Isis by Jo Graham

  1. 10
    Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (KarenIrelandPhillips)
  2. 10
    Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Hand of Isis gives a unique perspective on Cleopatra's life while Cleopatra's Daughter focuses on the next generation, but both are well-crafted historical fiction that do an excellent job of bringing the period and the people to life.
  3. 10
    The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George (_Zoe_)
  4. 00
    Stealing Fire by Jo Graham (Kegsoccer)

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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Although Hand of Isis didn't pull me in so quickly as Black Ships, Graham's writing still brought the world of ancient Egypt to life in such a visual way that the book was difficult to put down. For me, the characters weren't quite as compelling as they had been in Black Ships, which was the major difference, but readers who were more wrapped up in the world and the story may even enjoy this one more. Graham's writing works to do justice to each moment and each scene, which is no small undertaking in a world that's so foreign to most readers, and I came away from the book feeling as if I'd journeyed backward in a history class and watched a story unfold, which was pretty wonderful.

All told, I'd recommend it. ( )
1 vote whitewavedarling | Sep 1, 2016 |
This is historical fiction about Cleopatra. I always like stories where there are certain known facts and then the rest is interpolated. I have been to Egypt and have read many stories about Pharaohs of the pyramids and Valley of the Kings. I had never read much about Alexandria, and this was a good window into life in Alexandria, at the time of Cleopatra, Juilus Caesar and Mark Anthony, and what it was like to become part of the Roman Empire. Some interpolations may be stretched, but it is a story. Z ( )
  Lylee | Apr 3, 2016 |
Charmain is the daughter of the Pharaoh Ptolemy and a slave daughter. Raised as just another girl, she finds her fate entangled with Cleopatra and the movement of gods. She is the Hand of Isis and she is the Companion of someone great. We are taken through Egypt's history in the time of Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and Marcus Antonius through the eyes of a handmaiden.

Overall, it was okay. I was never bored, but I was also never wowed at any point in the book. I have a mild knowledge of this specific time period and Graham never really elaborates any more deeply on history except to add in human emotion between these leaders who have now become legend.

I found the concept of Charmain testifying in front of gods a little peculiar, but I was amenable to it as well. However, it didn't seem to add anything of value to the book either. So there's that.

I was never tense or afraid for the characters, I was never scared of their deaths. Maybe because I already knew how it would play out, being historical fiction and all that. But I think also because the whole book had a bit of a blase feel, almost like a slice of life book despite the assassinations and the warring.

The romance was just like the rest of the book: decent, but not wow. Agrippa was only mildly interesting, and I did like the conclusion of that relationship (you go girl, don't ever let a guy make you less than who you are!). And the little open relationship between her, Dion, and Emrys was interesting, but hardly pertinent to the book. Seemed like it was just included for a bit of fan service and added sensuality for Charmain.

I did like Charmain overall though.

Two stars because it was decent but not great. Would recommend only for those who want to read about known historical characters through a more emotional lens. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
  lencicki | Aug 28, 2013 |
  orbitbooks | May 9, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jo Grahamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The city of Alexandria is teacher, apex of Panhellenism, and in all fields of knowledge and arts the wisest. -- C P Cavafy
For Amy
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In twilight I approached the doors, and in twilight they stood open for me.
You do not know, in your innocence, how rare it is, how precious, this [Alexandria] where all the peoples of the world mingle, and where anyone can believe what they will without fear.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316068020, Paperback)

Following her acclaimed debut, Jo Graham returns to the ancient world with a novel that will captivate lovers of fantasy, history and romance.

Set in Ancient Egypt, Hand of Isis is the story of Charmian, a handmaiden, and her two sisters. It is a novel of lovers who transcend death, of gods who meddle in mortal affairs, and of women who guide empires.

Praise for Black Ships

"Graham re-creates a vivid picture of the ancient world, a mysterious place in which gods and goddesses speak to their chosen."--- Library Journal (starred review)

"A first-class, very readable novel." --- Booklist (starred review)

"A refreshingly different approach to a legend we only thought we knew." --- Locus

"Graham's thorough, detailed tale of ancient Greece is one that fans of that period are bound to love." --- Romantic Times

"A dazzling debut novel reimagines the Aeneid and restores life to a fantasy land that actually was." --- Scifi.com

"A bittersweet saga with enough action, romance, and intrigue to entertain and enthrall." --- Romance Reviews Today

"Graham...has packed the novel with exquisite detail, bringing to life a time long gone." --- The St. Petersburg Times

"Inspired and relentlessly entertaining...an auspicious debut." --- Realms of Fantasy

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Set in Ancient Egypt, "Hand of Isis" is the story of Charmian, a handmaiden to Cleopatra and devotee of Isis, and her two sisters. It is a novel of lovers who transcend death, of gods who meddle in mortal affairs, and of women who guide empires.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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Orbit Books

2 editions of this book were published by Orbit Books.

Editions: 0316068020, 0316068012

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