Mainstream magical-historical romance, with major roles for Alexander the Great and his generals, from the author of two fantasy trilogies, The Hound and the Falcon and Avaryan Rising. After his victory over Darius and the Persians at Issus, Alexander is joined by Meriamon, daughter of Nectanebo, Egypt's last pharaoh. Small, dark Meriamon has magic powers and a protective ``shadow'' that is a ka-spirit of the jackal-headed god Anubis. Her purpose, for so the gods of Khemet (Egypt) have decreed, is to persuade Alexander to accept the Two Crowns of Khemet, thus thwarting and rejecting the loathed Persian overlords. After Issus, Meriamon works as a physician, among other tasks setting the broken wrist and ribs of immature Macedonian warrior Niko. Since Niko now has the use of only one arm, Alexander gives him to Meriamon as her bodyguard. As Alexander and his army proceed triumphantly to the south, he captures the island city Tyre after a prolonged struggle, unaware that Meriamon has helped him by daunting the evil magi of the priests of Melqart. Niko's arm heals, and Meriamon, who pines for Khemet and grows stronger the nearer she gets, falls in love with him. The Persian satrap, Mazaces, gladly surrenders Khemet to Alexander; the latter decrees the building of the city Alexandria on the Nile delta, then battles his way through sandstorms and magic to the desert oracle at Siwah, there to receive the secret of his true being. And at last Niko notices Meriamon. Good in its broad sweeps, magic, and period detail. But expect no insights, accept the barely tepid romance, and be ready for a muffled, distant narrative feel.