Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Dagger of Isis by Lester Picker

Dangers lurk for the first woman Pharaoh. The Dagger of Isis traces the life of Meryt-Neith, the first female ruler of a united Egypt. From her marriage to King Wadjet to her eventual coronation after his death, this tale of intrigue and betrayal follows her ascension, the wars she fought, and the loves that gave meaning to her life. This saga takes us on a journey throughout ancient Egypt and into nearby lands, as Meryt-Neith struggles to bring honor to her family's dynasty.

The Dagger of Isis is the second book in Lester Picker’s First Dynasty series about the early pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The novel is set in the 30thcentury B.C. and it is about Maryt-Neith, the daughter of Djer, and the wife of Djet.  She rose to the lofty height of pharaoh upon her husband’s death.

Tales about women who rise to power in male dominated worlds is always of fascination, for it is clear that in order to do so, they must possess extraordinary strength and qualities. Of course, there will always be enemies who do not want to be ruled by a woman, those with their own ambitions, and this makes for plenty of good conflict.

Lester Picker has penned a novel that depicts the brutality and mysticism of this old world with all its decadence and romance, dangers and drama. It is evident the author has spent a great deal of time immersing himself in research to demonstrate the smallest details of what everyday life in this ancient civilization was like.

Nice, readable prose, and a compelling story make this a very enjoyable book. Evil, betrayal, intrigue, and a good romance kept me tuned into the story. This book can stand alone, but I urge you to read The First Pharaoh so you have the complete tale. It is historical fiction at its finest.

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