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Ziska: The Problem of a Wicked Soul (Valancourt Classics) Paperback – May 11, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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From the Publisher

Kessinger Publishing reprints over 1,500 similar titles all available through Amazon.com. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

English novelist of famous melodramatic themes, Marie Corelli is the pen name of Mary Mackay. She learned music but later turned to literature after a psychical experience and trauma. Consequently she gave master-pieces to English literature. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Valancourt Classics
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Valancourt Books (May 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934555681
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934555682
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,173,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on June 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
At first, "Ziska: The Problem of a Wicked Soul" may seem like an odd title for what is, in essence, a romance. It is perfectly appropriate, however, when one learns that the story is about the darker side of the kind of love that "many waters cannot quench . . . nor can the floods drown"--the only kind of love that Marie Corelli believed in.
The story revolves around the mysterious Princess Ziska, who captivates the set of European tourists who are escaping their continent's harsh winter, in exotic Egypt. In particular, she draws three men towards her--Denzil Murray, a Scottish highlander; Armand Gervase, a French painter; and Dr. Maxwell Dean, an English historian and Egyptologist--for very different reasons.
During a costume ball, she comes as her namesake, Ziska-Charmazel, a woman who lived during the reign of Amenhotep. At this point it becomes clear that she has a diabolical agenda that involves one of these three men--her Twin Soul, the reincarnation of Araxes, a great Egyptian warrior and lover of Ziska-Charmazel.
Corelli tells this tale beautifully. The foreshadowing is excellent and the pace never lags. She keeps the reader in total suspense until the ending--which is proper, as "Ziska" is a mystery story (with some juicy horror elements). Unlike her more well-known reincarnation romance, "The Life Everlasting", which had a perfectly predictable ending (not necessarily a bad thing), "Ziska" has a conclusion that is anybody's guess.
It may _still_ be anybody's guess. Though this novel was written only a mere century or so ago, it is dedicated to the present incarnation of Araxes. Where _he_ is, there Ziska-Charmazel shall also be. It's a nice, spooky thought.
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Format: Paperback
For my 25th birthday, a friend bought me a "shot" of 25-year-old Macallan single malt scotch. At that time, it cost $27.00, so needless to say, it was a sipper and not a shooter. Upon putting the small snifter to my nose, the bouquet was amazingly complex and brought about euphoric olfactory sensations not often experienced. Upon the first sip, my mouth was filled with an amazing plethora of sensations - one from each different side of my mouth. Similarly, I experienced such a bouquet of sensations while reading Ziska, by Marie Corelli.
While only 155 pages long, Ziska is filled with hints, suggestions, ideas, and symbolism. A reader encounters feminism and female sexuality, arguments against the upper class, questions about the definition of love, questions about life and death and the presence or lack of presence of an afterlife, and in the end, is filled with the desire to make amends for any wrongs she/he has accidentally or intentionally perpetrated upon other people. Even with all of this, or perhaps because of all this, the story remains cohesive, maintaining the attention of the reader throughout. This is certainly aided by the fact that the story is set in a place that has an intrigue and mystery of its own - Egypt. With the ancient pyramids, hidden tombs, hidden treasure, and secret entrances, this story easily fits with many of the trends in current literature. As Dr. Curt Herr, writer of the introduction tells the reader, Ziska was a best-seller in 1897, right along side Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Richard Marsh's The Beetle. Upon reading Ziska, it is easy to see why.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book! Once you start a Corelli novel, it is impossible to walk away from it. Ziska follows the life of a decadent artist as he experiences past life regressions when he meets Ziska in Cairo. Flickers of memories start to interrupt his thoughts, and as the book progresses he becomes more and more haunted by her face. I won't give away any plot spoilers here- but the final chapter is a wonderful read! I wasn't expecting Corelli's ending- and found my self thinking about it long after I put the book down. For a 100 year old book, Ziska is really modern. It is a simple tale filled with lush details, some social commentary (which is a riot to today's reader), and is a blast to read- from beginning to end, I was hooked.
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Format: Paperback
Thank God! Marie Corelli is back! She's been overlooked for too long and Ziska is a wonderfully inventive book- If you liked 'The Sorrows of Satan' and 'Wormwood', 'Ziska' is a must own. It is a cross between Noel Coward, characters from Dark Shadows, and a 1940's Mummy flick (though written in 1897). Ziska has returned from the grave to seek revenge on a lover from a past life, but Corelli's ending is far from predictable! Her descriptions are remarkable as well. It is easy to see why Corelli was a Victorian sensation! I'll consume every Corelli novel I can find- Thanks to Valencourt Press for re-issuing this great Victorian mystery-!
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Format: Paperback
Considered as one of her best fantasies, this fine tale of erotic horrors, transmigration of the soul and reincarnations from ancient Egypt culminates with a breathtaking climax in a secret underground chamber of a pyramid. A wild wonderful ride!
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