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An actual Egyptian feast by Jo Graham

Hand of Isis by Jo GrahamJo Graham‘s fabulous Ancient Egyptian epic Hand of Isis is out this month, so to get in the mood she decided to make an actual Egyptian feast. Packed with all sorts of interesting historical tips on food and dining customs, this post is well-worth checking out here. And apparently only barbarians and Macedonians drink wine with the Propomata, or first course, so plan accordingly if you’re tempted to follow the recipes!

Hand of Isis itself is the story of Charmian, a handmaiden and sister to Cleopatra. It is a novel of lovers who transcend death, of gods who meddle in mortal affairs, and of women who guide empires. Against the rising power of Julius Caesar’s Rome, Egypt is the last and strongest bastion of the Eastern kingdoms. But a power struggle looms that will shape the world to come …

It’s a fascinating story, and Jo Graham clearly has a talent for this sort of thing as shown by her previous book Black Ships, which attracted some great review coverage:

‘Haunting and bittersweet, lush and vivid’ Naomi Novik

‘Fraught meaning and smoldering emotional resonance overlays her deceptively simple words’ Publishers Weekly

‘A refreshingly different approach to a legend we only thought we knew’ Locus

‘A dazzling debut novel’ Scifi.com

‘A first-class, very readable novel’ Booklist (starred review)

‘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)

  1. Mary Wilke

    March 9, 2009
    at 7:36 pm

    Jo does it again by putting her own unique spin on a story from the ancient world. Having read many works (Shaw’s Ceasar and Cleopatra, several of Colleen McCullough’s) works that span inspired by the events, Jo’s account told from the viewpoint of Charmian was fresh and intriguing and unlike other works is told from the viewpoint of an Egyptian woman.

    I posted somewhere that I felt Jo reminded me of Marion Zimmer Bradly and her Avalon series with Jo’s first work, Black Ships. This thought remains with me with this novel. I look forward to reading many more of her works in the future.

  2. Holley

    March 11, 2009
    at 2:39 am

    I loved Black Ships and I loved Hand of Isis just as much (maybe a smidgin more)! I’m already gabbing about this book to patrons and making sure they get hold of Black Ships as well. One of my new favorite historical fiction authors!

  3. Rita M Maxfield

    April 21, 2009
    at 5:32 pm

    Loved it!!!! The characters are like real people, and it takes you to a time where you become emeshed in that time as one of the people. Have ordere her other book and cannot wait for her 3rd book to come out!

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