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Ramses the damned returns : the passion of Cleopatra
2018
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Reawakened in turn-of-the-20th-century England, Ramses the Second and Cleopatra must face a ruler more ancient and powerful than either of them if they are ever going to discover the origins of the Elixer of Life that brought them back from the dead. By the best-selling authors of The Mummy or Ramses the Damned. Original. - (Baker & Taylor)

After being reawakened in twentieth century England, Ramses and Cleopatra must face an ancient presence in order to discover the origins of the Elixer of Life that brought them back from the dead. - (Baker & Taylor)

From the iconic and bestselling author of The Mummy and The Vampire Chronicles, a mesmerizing, glamorous new tale of ancient feuds and modern passions.

Ramses the Great, former pharaoh of Egypt, is reawakened by the elixir of life in Edwardian England. Now immortal with his bride-to-be, he is swept up in a fierce and deadly battle of wills and psyches against the once-great Queen Cleopatra. Ramses has reawakened Cleopatra with the same perilous elixir whose unworldly force brings the dead back to life. But as these ancient rulers defy one another in their quest to understand the powers of the strange elixir, they are haunted by a mysterious presence even older and more powerful than they, a figure drawn forth from the mists of history who possesses spectacular magical potions and tonics eight millennia old. This is a figure who ruled over an ancient kingdom stretching from the once-fertile earth of the Sahara to the far corners of the world, a queen with a supreme knowledge of the deepest origins of the elixir of life. She may be the only one who can make known to Ramses and Cleopatra the key to their immortality—and the secrets of the miraculous, unknowable, endless expanse of the universe. - (Random House, Inc.)

Author Biography

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. - (Random House, Inc.)

First Chapter or Excerpt
Proem
 
 
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.

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Booklist Reviews

Ramses, once an Egyptian pharaoh, then an English Egyptologist, is no longer damned. His fiance, Julie, and his friend, Elliott, now both immortal, as is he, are at his side. His decades of loneliness have ended. But beings like himself, their intentions nebulous, have been called to Edwardian London. There's the beautiful Bektaten, creator of the immortality serum, who arrives seeking revenge. There's Saqnos, Bektaten's former adviser, whose endless jealousy has driven him to awaken from his long stasis. Finally, there's Cleopatra, Ramses' former lover, newly revived and slowly losing her mind. These mysterious forces swirl together to create a new and exciting story for Ramses and Julie, thrusting them into a magical world within the one they've grown so accustomed to. Rice (Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, 2016) continues the tale begun almost 30 years ago in The Mummy (1989) with the help of her novelist son, Christopher (The Heavens Rise, 2013), and it has been worth the wait. This thrilling read blends historical fiction, fantasy, and romance into a book readers will not be able to put down. HIGH-DEMAND BACK STORY: Readers will line up for this enticing return to a favorite character by the best-selling mother-and-son Rice duo. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

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