The first of a new series, ‘Egyptian Chronicles’, The Spitting Cobra tells how Isis and her lame brother Hopi are taken in by relations after their parents are killed by crocodiles. Isis dances with her cousin, Mut, whom she does not get along with but brother and sister live in fear of being cast out to beg again. The cousins are due to dance at the village of Set Maat, the site of the tombs of the Pharaohs, but arrive when it has been discovered that a thief is at work. Hopi originally was learning to be a scribe but after the accident he earns his keep by ridding houses of snakes and scorpions, of which Mut has a pathological fear. When exploring the area around Set Maat he meets a young man who wishes to find the cobra goddess, Meretseger. Hopi warns the young man not to face a spitting cobra when he does find one, but Seti ignores this advice and is blinded by a cobra. Hopi’s quick action saves his sight and leads to a new life, but not before both children are involved in discovering who robbed the tomb.
Simply but effectively written, this story weaves the beliefs and customs of the ancient Egyptians into an exciting and credible story. The dramatic cover of the spitting cobra and the head and foot drawings repeated on each page, together with the small illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, help to carry through the Egyptian theme and show great care has gone into the production of the book.