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Publisher's Summary

Charmian is handmaiden to Cleopatra. She is also an oracle, gifted with ancient memories that may hold the key to preserving Egypt. Through blood and fire, war and peace, love and death, she will face a desperate struggle that will remake the future of the world.

Shortlisted for the Locus Best First Novel Award, included in The Amazon Editors' Top Ten List in Science Fiction and Fantasy for 2008 and the Locus Recommended Reading List, with starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, Jo Graham is one of the most exciting new voices to come out of historical fantasy in recent years.

©2009 Jo Wyrick (P)2012 David N. Wilson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Wonderful Historical Fantasy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I've read Margaret Atwood's CLEOPATRA and I find this a perfect companion piece. Both cover the historical events surrounding the fall of Alexandria perfectly from different perspectives. The narrator's voice is rich and well modulated. You are drawn in, and that's what good audio is all about.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Charmian, who is also the protagonist...it would be difficult to choose a different character in this one because the book is invested in that one character so deeply.

What does Gigi Shane bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ms. Shane captured a variety of voices and managed to remain true to them. The emotion feels very real - genuine. By the end of the book, as far as the reader is concerned, she IS Charmian ...

Who was the most memorable character of Hand of Isis and why?

Again, Charmian, and again, because most of the book is her interacting with the land, and the other characters.

Any additional comments?

This book takes you places you don't expect to go, and is also a good primer on the events surrounding Rome's wooing, and final capture, of Alexandria. You come to love, and to hate the characters right along with the narrator - and the protagonist - and when it's over, you find yourself withing for more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting story about Cleopatra's Egypt

This was an interesting book. I didn't realize when I got it that it was the third in a series. Knowing that, I would like to go back and read the other books, but I don't feel like I missed anything from starting in the middle of the series. There is a lot of sex in the book, but if that doesn't bother you, the book was really interesting in its depictions of daily life in ancient Egypt, especially relating to the pharaohs, courts, and royal family life. I listened to the Audible audio version of this book and was pleased with the narrator, especially her ability to do lower voices along with the higher. If you like books about Egypt and don't mind a lot of sex in the story, I recommend giving this book a try.

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Not all epic ballads work

Many people are aware of the story of Cleopatra and her relationship with Rome and some of her leading men. I know something of the background of this author, and she spends a lot of time in researching the background of her stories, which are based on historical fact, although the stories are themselves fiction. This story is not told from the perspective of Cleopatra, but rather from the viewpoint of one of her "hand maidens," and I found that interesting.

The author plays with the main character's ability to foresee future events as well as remember past lives, which was sort of interesting, but the information and its connection to the main story was not always apparent.

My primary problem with this story is that it meanders in many areas, losing some of the cohesion of Graham's later work. I enjoyed it, but even though the story had a lot of blood and guts and violence, it really seemed more like a very long Sunday stroll through history. I do not know if the passion was lost because of the performance or the story itself. A little of both, I suspect. It is worth the listen, but it is not as engaging as Black Ships, which I enjoyed far more.

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  • Chris
  • United States
  • 12-01-13

Wonderful Story and Narration

I really enjoyed this book the whole ancient Egypt Roman storyline. The narration was just wonderful I listened to the audiobook in a day, the story of Isis.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The word is Cavalry, not Calvary

What does Gigi Shane bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Makes me crazy when this word is mispronounced. Calvary is where Jesus was crucified. Cavalry are mounted soldiers.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful