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Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra Paperback – November 21, 2017
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About the Author
Anne Rice is the author of thirty-six books. She lives in Palm Desert, California. Christopher Rice is the author of twelve books. He lives in West Hollywood, California.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
It was a tale told by the newspapers in 1914—of a spectacular find by a British Egyptologist in an isolated tomb outside of Cairo—a royal mummy of Egypt’s greatest monarch and, beside his painted sarcophagus, a vast collection of ancient poisons and a journal in Latin, written in the time of Cleopatra, comprising some thirteen scrolls.
Call me Ramses the Damned. For that is the name I have given myself. But I was once Ramses the Great of Upper and Lower Egypt, slayer of the Hittites, father of many sons and daughters, who ruled Egypt for sixty-four years. My monuments are still standing; the stele recount my victories, though a thousand years have passed since I was pulled, a mortal child, from the womb.
Ah, fatal moment now buried by time, when from a Hittite priestess I took the cursed elixir. Her warnings I would not heed. Immortality I craved. And so I drank the potion in the brimming cup . . .
. . . How can I bear this burden any longer? How can I endure the loneliness anymore? Yet I cannot die . . .
So wrote a being who claimed to have lived a thousand years, slumbering in darkness when the great kings and queens of his realm had no need of him, ever ready to be resurrected at their command to offer wisdom and counsel—until the death of Cleopatra and of Egypt itself drove him to an eternal rest.
What was the world to make of this bizarre tale, or the fact that Lawrence Stratford, discoverer of the mystery, died in the tomb itself at the moment of his greatest triumph?
Julie Stratford, daughter of the great Egyptologist and sole heiress to the Stratford Shipping fortune, brought the controversial mummy to London, along with the mysterious scrolls and poisons, to honor her father’s discovery with a private exhibition in her home in Mayfair. Within days Julie’s cousin, Henry, made frantic claims that the mummy had risen from its sarcophagus and tried to murder him, and talk of a mummy’s curse astonished Londoners. Before rumors could die down, Julie appeared in public with a mysterious blue-eyed Egyptian named Reginald Ramsey, who then journeyed with Julie back to Cairo in the company of beloved friends Elliott, the Earl of Rutherford, and his young son, Alex Savarell, and the aggrieved Henry.
More shocking events unfolded.
An unidentified corpse stolen from the Cairo Museum, grisly murders amongst the European shopkeepers of the city, and Ramsey himself sought by the Cairo police, and the disappearance of Henry. Finally, a fiery explosion left baffled witnesses and a frantic Alex Savarell grieving for a nameless woman who had fled the Cairo Opera House in terror, driving her motorcar into the path of an oncoming train.
Out of chaos and mystery, Julie Stratford emerged as the devoted fiancée of the enigmatic Reginald Ramsey, traveling Europe with her beloved, while in England the Savarell family sought to understand the exile of the Earl of Rutherford and the grief of young Alex for the woman he had so tragically lost to the flames in the Egyptian desert. Gossip dies down; newspapers move on.
As our story opens, the country estate of the Earl of Rutherford will soon be the location of the engagement party for Reginald Ramsey and Julie Stratford, as others far and wide hear echoes of the story of the immortal Ramses the Damned and his fabled elixir, though the mummified body itself, brought to London with such fanfare, has long since vanished.
Top customer reviews
These are the elements swirled together, to form the novel's core. Rice breathes life into the characters, while weaving a plot that is always engaging. After all the main characters meet at the party hosted to honor the engagement of Julie and Ramses, the rest of the novel demands to be read as quickly as possible. In fact, I read the book in about 3 days. In some ways, I was reminded of "Interview with a Vampire". The immortals in this work, like her vampires, are not the bloodthirsty villains of old Black and White horror films. Instead, they are complicated, sensitive creatures who walk the earth, suffering from the existential ennui of a life without end. Or, they can be power hungry creeps, who only wish to use the gift of immortality for their own advancement. In fact, the only thing that differentiates these immortals from us, is their ravenous appetites for food and sex, along with their bright blue eyes. If you're in the mood for a good mix of interesting characters, fast paced plot, exotic locales and some philosophical musing along the way, this is the novel for you. Anne Rice fans will not be disappointed. Actually, if I'm correct in my assumption, AR is giving us a bit of autobiography with the character of Sybil Parker. That provides this work a little bit of personal insight to this artist, that I found especially charming.
And I promise you, this book, too, will keep you on the edge of your seat! You'll not want to put this one down!
Ramses, the former Pharoah of Egypt, is discovered in a tomb in 1914. Along with scrolls that he had written more than a thousand years earlier. Along with vials of potions, and poisons.
And old Ramses, isn't quite ready to give up the ghost. And he doesn't want to play alone. He calls upon Cleopatra, who also returns.
As with all Rice books, her characters come alive in her pages. And that's what makes them so horrifyingly real! You know they are, simply by their descriptions! And you know that they are out there in the dark, waiting for you!
Seriously, get yourself a good bottle of vino, a long weekend, and plan on curling up with yet another great Anne Rice book. I read it through in two days straight. Yep, couldn't put it down! I even carried it to the loo with me! Yep, it's that good!
You can purchase the book on Amazon by pre-ordering it now (it's due out November 21, 2017 (yeah, I know, it sucks that I got a preview copy and you have to wait!). Paperback is $12.19 and ebook is $11.99. You really don't want to miss this one so purchase early!
I give Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra by Anne Rick and Christopher Rice five stars,
and a big thumbs up!
I read the first chapter or two and found myself clutching the book to my chest. It felt just the same, as if no time at all had passed. The characters were the same, the flow was the same. I found myself tearing through the book to find out what would happen to Ramses, Julie and the evil Cleopatra.
New characters were introduced that were a delight to read- Sybil. I fell in love with her character almost instantly. The new "baddies" are excellent as well.
If like me, you hoped to discover what would happen after the first book ended, this picks right up and swiftly carries the reader into Egypt, Italy and beyond.
As for my concerns about Anne collaborating with her son Christopher, I saw no evidence or hint that anyone but Anne wrote this book. The collaboration was an epic success. Well done to both Anne and Christopher! This book was everything and more that a reader could wish for in a sequel. I look forward to more collaborations between the two of them.
Overall, this book was worth the long wait and everything I wanted and hoped for. Ramses, Julie and Cleopatra have returned for another exciting adventure.