Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review - Queen of Kings

There’s more than one path to immortality…

Maria Dahvana Headley

A thrilling, chilling reimagining of the story of the most famous woman in history.

Once there was a queen of Egypt…a queen who became through magic something else…

The year is 30 BC. Octavian Caesar and his massed legions are poised to enter Alexandria. A messenger informs Egypt’s queen, Cleopatra, that her beloved Mark Antony has died by his own hand. Desperate to save her kingdom, resurrect her husband and protect all she holds dear, Cleopatra turns to the gods for help. Ignoring the warnings of those around her, she summons Sekhmet, goddess of death and destruction, and strikes a mortal bargain. And not even the wisest of Egypt’s scholars could have predicted what would follow…

For, in return for Antony’s soul, Sekhmet demands something in return: Cleopatra herself. And so Egypt’s queen is possessed. She becomes an immortal, shape-shifting, not-quite-human manifestation of a deity who seeks to destroy the world. Fighting to preserve something of her humanity, Cleopatra pursues Octavian back to Rome: she desires revenge, she yearns for her children…and she craves human blood.

It is a journey that will take her from the tombs of the Pharaohs to the great amphitheatres of imperial Rome and on, to Hell itself where, it seems, the fate of the world will finally be decided.

Blending authentic historical fiction and the darkest of fantasy, Queen of Kings is a spectacular and spellbinding feat of the imagination that fans of Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon, George R.R. Martin, Patricia Briggs, Philippa Gregory, and Ridley Scott's Gladiator won’t want to miss.

‘A page turner: an epic historical thriller that combines a great love story with slew of witches, gods, ghosts and classical monsters.’
DANIELLE TRUSSONI, author of Angelology

"QUEEN OF KINGS is a miracle, a marvel. Nothing on earth could make me read a novel about Cleopatra, but this book reeled me in almost instantly and kept me in suspense, charmed, and astonished all the way to the amazing ending." - Peter Straub, New York Times Bestselling Author of Ghost Story and A Dark Matter

"Serpents, sorcerers, sex! Egypt, Rome, Greece! A brilliantly energetic smorgasbord. Gird your loins, dear readers, because Queen of Kings is on the loose! Hug your loved ones, tuck your head firmly between your knees, and hope that you're praying to the correct god. Because if you're not? Well, read this book to discover your fate..." - Garth Stein, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

"If you like your history mixed with fiction, and full of sex and magic and violence - and let's face it, that's how we all prefer it - then you're in for a hell of a ride." - Ed Brubaker, Eisner Award-Winning Author of Incognito, Criminal, and The Death of Captain America

Neil Gaiman, New York Times Bestselling author of American Gods,Sandman, and The Graveyard Book says: "It's rare that a first novel is so magical, so dark, so well-researched, so smart or so compelling. QUEEN OF KINGS is a powerful work of the imagination, stalking the murky, dangerous territory between Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned and Robert Graves' I, Claudius and should appeal to those who like their historical fiction, and those who crave dark magics and sharp teeth in the night. I can't wait to read what Ms. Headley writes next."

My Review:

I think everyone knows at least a little of the story of Cleopatra. But no matter what you thought you knew this book will open your eyes to a new way of viewing history.

In this book you dont just read about the Queen of Egypt. You read about a wife, mother and queen who loses her one true love and will do anything to get him back and get revenge. Including sacrificing herself and in the end even her kingdom. She becomes almost completely inhuman after her ritual. But she still holds onto enough of herself to try and save her children and send Mark Antony to the afterlife all Egyptians dreamed of, even as she dooms herself.

The book is set against the historical backdrop of Octavian invading Egypt and Rome taking control of what was Cleopatra's kingdom. You get a lot of what we believe is historical fact for these events. Which when combined with the paranormal aspects the author has created has developed such a complex, interesting story you cant not read and find out what happens.

This is a well-written, well-researched novel that will open history back up for more people to read and enjoy. She cleverly weaves in both Roman and Egyptian mythology and beliefs. To a point where you can easily say, whats to say all of this really didn't happen. She seems to effortlessly weave together both history and fantasy (paranormal) to create a story that keeps you reading and turning the pages all the way to the conclusion.

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