Book review: Ramses the Damned features a great mix of characters

Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra by Anne Rice & Christopher Rice

Horror

Published: November 21, 2017. Anchor

He was once known as Ramses the Great, pharaoh of all Egypt, but after discovering the elixir to immortality he has now become Ramses the Damned. After serving advisor to well noted pharaohs that reigned after him, Ramses fell in love with Cleopatra – the last queen of Egypt, but that was all a distance memory.

Now, we jump forward centuries to the Edwardian age where Ramses goes by the alias of “Reginald Ramsey,” and is engaged to Julie Stratford. But there is one person that stands between the happy couple and that is Cleopatra who was resurrected by Ramses when he found her as a shriveled up, unidentified mummy in the Cairo museum.

Unlike her creator, Cleopatra is having troubles “reviving” properly and is more of a soulless, murderess who struggles to remember bits about her past life. But one person she does remember is Ramses.

But instead of turning their wrath on each other, a new threat has also arisen in the form of two other immortals. One is named Saqnos, an ancient statesman whose goal is to use the elixir to wield unimaginable power through an unstoppable army of slaves. His former queen, Baktaten, who discovered the elixir’s secret, is the other immortal who is step to stop him. Another interesting character that’s added in this mix is the writer Sybil Parke who is set out to discover unexplainable connection to Cleopatra.

Sybilis in search of Cleopatra, in order to save herself from going mad, due to her visions of a life in Alexandria, from some distant past.

After all the main characters meet at the party hosted to honour the engagement of Julie and Ramses, the rest of the novel really picks up and gets interesting.

This can be a difficult book if you haven’t written the prequel, The Mummy, which was published in 2004. But after all, this is the second installment written by the queen of horror herself and her son – so better late than never right?

If you’re in the mood for a good mix of characters, fast paced plot (during the second part of the book), exotic location, this is the novel for you.

Kirsten Lowe studies at Athabasca University.

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