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10 thoughts on “Queen of Kings

  1. Amanda Amanda says:

    Despite the fact that it combines two of my favorite obsessions vampires and Ancient Rome Egypt circa the lifetime of Cleopatra I almost didn t read this book I was leery that it was going to be a bodice ripper in disguise nothing triggers my gag reflex like the words paranormal romance or, worse yet, a poorly written, poorly researched historical novel with just a dash of fantasy so it could jump on the increasingly burdened Twilight bandwagon After weeks of circling it like a vulture o Despite the fact that it combines two of my favorite obsessions vampires and Ancient Rome Egypt circa the lifetime of Cleopatra I almost didn t read this book I was leery that it was going to be a bodice ripper in disguise nothing triggers my gag reflex like the words paranormal romance or, worse yet, a poorly written, poorly researched historical novel with just a dash of fantasy so it could jump on the increasingly burdened Twilight bandwagon After weeks of circling it like a vulture over highway road kill, what finally caused me to click the Add to Cart button onwas seeing that it had Neil Gaiman s seal of approval I live by the WWNGR code What Would Neil Gaiman Read and so it was done I m pleased to say that the book exceeded my expectations and avoided all of the pitfalls I feared.In Queen of Kings, Headley has taken a unique approach to reimagining the death of Cleopatra and I was surprised to find that this isn t exactly a vampire novel and it certainly isn t a rip off of Anne Rice s Queen of the Damned After losing the Battle of Actium, Cleopatra becomes desperate to stop Octavius impending conquest of Egypt She commands her scholars to search for a solution in the form of divine intervention What they bring her is an incomplete spell that will allow the pharaoh to call upon the gods of Ancient Egypt As the forces of Octavius invade Egypt and a dying Mark Antony is brought to Cleopatra, she uses the spell to call upon Sekhmet, a vengeful goddess of warfare also known as the Lady of Slaughter Sekhmet, angry over Egypt s worship of new deities as well as Ra s banishment of her, takes over the body of Cleopatra in return for bringing Mark Antony back to life Things go awry, Mark Antony still ends up dead, and Cleopatra is now a servant to Sekhmet s bloodlust Now immortal and possessing the powers of a goddess, Cleopatra has all of the weapons needed to wreak havoc on Rome and punish Octavius However, she struggles to maintain her humanity as the goddess within her begins to crowd out the woman she was.The first part of the novel skillfully weaves together historical detail with parts of the vampire mythos the reasons for why Cleopatra craves blood, can t withstand the light of the sun, is pained by exposure to silver are all cleverly tied to Egyptian mythology After that point, the novel becomes increasingly fantasy based but still manages to bring events back to historical correctness As Octavius begins to fear Cleopatra s vengeance, he surrounds himself with sorcerers an African tribesman with a gift for controlling serpents and the wind, a Norse seer with the ability to reweave fate, and a high priestess of Hecate who plans to harness the power of Cleopatra Sekhmet to free Hecate from her imprisonment in Hades All of these characters bring a fascinating array of possibilities to the story and, through them, Mark Antony s ghost is resurrected, gods and goddesses are called upon, and we are taken through Hades.There are flaws in the novel Another reviewer said that there s not enough violence given the elements at play here and I agree Cleopatra often talks a lot of smack about punishing her enemies in cruel and horrible ways consistent with Sekhmet, but, to quote Shakespeare s Antony, she never truly cries Havoc And let slip the dogs of war that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial There is violence, but it s watered down and certainly not of the kind one would expect as being the right of ancient gods and goddesses, emperors and pharaohs Also, it seems as though Headley doesn t want Cleopatra to come across as a villain or a monster, highlighting her true love for Antony, her children, and her country While I respect the attempt to show Cleopatra s humanity, there s little in this character to suggest the kind of ruthless intelligence she was capable of or her hubris as a goddess on earth It would have been nice to see Cleopatra givenof an edge she and Sekhmet probably hadin common than is shown here.In the end, the novel is a fun take on historical events that are as likely fictionalized as the novel itself The first part of a planned trilogy, I m definitely looking forward to the next novel I hope I m not wrong when I say it seems as though perhaps Headley has set the novel up to move out of the ancient period and intomodern times perhaps a vampiric Cleopatra causing mayhem in 2011 I m definitely game for that Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder


  2. Sarah Sarah says:

    Time of Death 6 39 PM, Tuesday, June 4th, 2019.DNF This isn t bad I just don t want to read it any.In defense of the book I was just expecting something different Cleopatra turned out kind of whiny, and for that matter so did Augustus, which is the opposite of everything I loved about The Mere Wife Maybe I ll revisit this in the future, but for now I just have no desire to pick it back up, and it s due back at the library soon.


  3. Christine Christine says:

    I really wanted to like this book I really truly did Maybe it s me Yes, that s it I m sure it s me for I never, ever saw Cleopatra as such a weak willed victim And stupid I don t see her as stupid.Either Neil Gaiman has very different tastes than me or something.


  4. Ranting Dragon Ranting Dragon says:

    to my keyboard lies the book I just finished Queen of Kings, the debut novel from Maria Dahvana Headley, author of The Year of Yes a memoir of the year she spent saying yes to anyone who asked her out Staring at me from the cover is a striking image of the Queen of Kings, Cleopatra, ruler of ancient Egypt.All of you have likely heard of Cleopatra, and many of you will probably love her like I do Hers is a story that speaks to our imagination It to my keyboard lies the book I just finished Queen of Kings, the debut novel from Maria Dahvana Headley, author of The Year of Yes a memoir of the year she spent saying yes to anyone who asked her out Staring at me from the cover is a striking image of the Queen of Kings, Cleopatra, ruler of ancient Egypt.All of you have likely heard of Cleopatra, and many of you will probably love her like I do Hers is a story that speaks to our imagination It is the story of a queen and Pharaoh of Egypt, loved by her people First the mistress of Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, Cleopatra later married Mark Antony, indirectly leading to a war with Rome When Octavian who later became Emperor Augustus invaded Egypt and Antony s armies deserted, Cleopatra killed herself by inducing an asp to bite her.A different CleopatraBut what if the story didn t end there What if there wereto the asp bite than history has recorded After all, rumors say the asp was never found These are the questions explored in Queen of Kings And let me tell you, the research behind the answers is absolutely extraordinary While this is a work of alternate history, every part of the amazing story told in Queen of Kings fits within the known history of Cleopatra This time, she wasn t bitten by an asp Instead, in a desperate attempt to stop Egypt s inevitable defeat at the hands of the Roman Empire, Cleopatra resorts to the ancient gods of Egypt But meddling with gods is not to be done lightly In an ultimate gamble, Cleopatra sacrifices herself to Sekhmet and is transformed into a shape shifting vessel of a deity bent on the destruction of the world, craving the blood of mortals And then there is Cleopatra s own desire for revenge against Rome and its emperor.Subtly wrought charactersWhile the idea of a shape shifting and divine vampire might sound a bit blunt, one of Headley s greatest talents is her subtlety Queen of Kings isn t your regular alternative vampire story Sure, Cleopatra or rather the goddess in her has a particular craving for blood, but this is hardly the defining feat of this new and immortal Cleopatra Instead, the attention is on her struggles with the evil deity within her Cleopatra isn t a killer All she wanted was to be with Mark Antony All she still wants is to die and join him in the afterlife, but she isn t herself any This conflict has been perfectly captured by the prose of Headley, who at times seems like a poet of old, writing a legendary tragedy the likes of which the world has never read before.The characters beyond our beloved Cleopatra have been carefully crafted, too Headley s masterful subtlety shows in all her characters It shows in Augustus, Emperor of Rome, who, in mortal terror of the undead queen haunting him, meddles with powers he knows nothing about It shows in Selene, the daughter of Cleopatra and Antony, who struggles with both feelings of betrayal and loyalty towards her parents, and is left to fend for herself in a hostile world And then we have Agrippa, loyal general of Augustus, who believes his emperor and friend is going mad, but feels obligated to stand by him nonetheless.Alternating eyesAll of these characters and manyare thoroughly explored in a variety of viewpoints In accordance with Headley s prose which seems at times very broad compared to that of other genre works these viewpoints are explored in a way I haven t encountered before Firstly, a multitude of major and minor points of view, each with their own small chapter, enhances the perspective of the story, giving it a very epic feel for a book in the paranormal and alternate history genres Secondly, the viewpoints in themonumental scenes, like battles, tend to switch continuously On one page, you might see a scene through three different sets of eyes For me, this peculiar style took some getting used to, but I definitely appreciated it in the end The multiple small chapters and varying viewpoints therein, however, reduced the pacing of Queen of Kings significantly, especially in the middle part of the story.Mythology, folklore, paganism, legendI have already mentioned that Queen of Kings fits nicely into the paranormal and alternate history genres More than those, however, this is a mythological fantasy Headley has managed to weave many different cultures together in a book that contains elements from Greek legend, Egyptian and Roman mythology, Norse paganism, and North African folklore Egyptian and Roman gods are seemingly effortlessly combined and lend the basis for some very interesting magic abilities In this, Queen of Kings has left me with a bit of a philosophical feeling I found myself contemplating how different mythologies would have coexisted in the world at the time of Cleopatra.Why should you read this book After being thoroughly and unexpectedly hey, don t blame me for staying for away from anything with vampires blown away by Queen of Kings, I know one thing Headley is a master storyteller Queen of Kings is a legend and a tragedy It is a sexy read and a comprehensively researched book It is at once a paranormal love story, an epic, and a fast paced thriller I recommend Queen of Kings to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy and loves the many myths of our past A truly wonderful debut from an author worth keeping an eye on Good thing this is just the first in a trilogy, too


  5. Anne Anne says:

    Maria Dahvana Headley s book is something of a puzzle When I first read the description of a historical novel in which a shape shifting, vampire Cleopatra takes her revenge on Rome and Augustus, I was intrigued The novel is divided up into three parts, and throughout the first portion in particular Headley does a good job of integrating fantasy with the actual history of the relationship between Rome and Egypt and Cleopatra, Antony, and Augustus there is an appendix at the end of the book whe Maria Dahvana Headley s book is something of a puzzle When I first read the description of a historical novel in which a shape shifting, vampire Cleopatra takes her revenge on Rome and Augustus, I was intrigued The novel is divided up into three parts, and throughout the first portion in particular Headley does a good job of integrating fantasy with the actual history of the relationship between Rome and Egypt and Cleopatra, Antony, and Augustus there is an appendix at the end of the book whereof the history is explained I had hoped that the plot that was developed in the first part of the book would be continued throughout, but I found that the further I got into the novel, the fantasy elements almost became too much and overwhelmed the main story This was especially noticeable in the third section of the book, where the plot seemed to divide into too many divergent lines and never really came back together cohesively at the end To me, it seemed as if the author was trying to do too many things in one novel and the book would have been better served with a tighter focus on the main story and only a few of the numerous subplots


  6. Andy Zeigert Andy Zeigert says:

    Complete this brief survey to determine if Queen of Kings is the book for you Mark any of the following that you are into Cleopatra Marc Antony Rome Egypt Gods that fuck with human lives Blood sucking shapeshifters Ghosts arising from various underworlds Fate spinning sorcerers from Oceanus Priestesses from Thessaly who serve Hecate African sorcerers who control the wind Secret missions to steal an ancient weapon from a well guarded temple of Apollo Thunderous finalesIf you marked Complete this brief survey to determine if Queen of Kings is the book for you Mark any of the following that you are into Cleopatra Marc Antony Rome Egypt Gods that fuck with human lives Blood sucking shapeshifters Ghosts arising from various underworlds Fate spinning sorcerers from Oceanus Priestesses from Thessaly who serve Hecate African sorcerers who control the wind Secret missions to steal an ancient weapon from a well guarded temple of Apollo Thunderous finalesIf you markedthan a couple of the above items, you should really give Queen of Kings a read


  7. Marci Marci says:

    Very disappointing This could ve been really great Didn t enjoy this considering what a huge fan of Cleopatra, all things Egypt and Rome, and of vampires I am Boring, and a bit cheesy I had to stop reading towards the end Could not get into it Sorry, didn t do it for me very disappointed


  8. Jeannie Mancini Jeannie Mancini says:

    In 30 BC, Rome s Emperor Octavian lays seige on Egypt s famous city of Alexandria, evoking rage from the beautiful Queen Cleopatra When Octavian tricks her into believing her husband Marc Antony comitted suicide, the depth of her pain and wrath causes her to summon Rome s historian Nicholaus the Damascene She asks him for a spell, one to summon up the Egyptian Goddess of Death and Destruction, Sekhmet Upon her success, Cleopatra stands before Sekhmet willing to do anything to bring Marc Anton In 30 BC, Rome s Emperor Octavian lays seige on Egypt s famous city of Alexandria, evoking rage from the beautiful Queen Cleopatra When Octavian tricks her into believing her husband Marc Antony comitted suicide, the depth of her pain and wrath causes her to summon Rome s historian Nicholaus the Damascene She asks him for a spell, one to summon up the Egyptian Goddess of Death and Destruction, Sekhmet Upon her success, Cleopatra stands before Sekhmet willing to do anything to bring Marc Antony back to the living world, and then and there sells her soul Not quite understanding what she will sacrifice or loose in the bargain, Cleopatra gets a rude awakening when Sekhmet turns her into an immortal Shapeshifter, vampire, creature, a demon to be wreckoned with Marc Antony returns to his living body, only to be tricked again and a second time killed Losing her lover once , Cleopatra now rages war with Rome and Octavian, hell bent on revenge for the loss of her country and her husband Losing control of herself, Cleopatra commences to now follow the path of a ravenous killer, rage penetrating her every passing minute, deeply suffering from her loss of Antony, her children, and her home.When at first it appears that Cleopatra had become a bloodthirsty vampire, I was excited to find a new author with an inventive twist on the love story of Marc Antony and Cleopatra, as well as a clever new twist on the ever popular vampire theme But for this reader, the story soon fell short of my expectations, and although I managed to finish the story, I was greatly disappointed.Maria Dahvana Headley writes well There is no doubt in my mind that she has great potential to be a remarkable storyteller, and author for the future if she continues to write I have given the book two stars One star for writing ability and style, and the other star for creativity I am a reader who loves creativity in all of areas of the arts, but especially within books for it is difficult to come up with a new idea that has not been tackled before by thousands upon thousands of authors in the past Headley has great depth and a grand command of the language, vocabulary, and has the ability to provide a literary achievement with her talented writing style The clever idea of making Cleopatra a paranormal being and with that, pulling in many mythical gods and goddesses from Roman, Egyptian and Greek Mythology, was also very inventive Two stars well earned.However, in my opinion, the book falls short on character development, plot, and focus The story is told and seen through the eyes of way too many characters leaving the reader never getting close to any one of them These many characters tend to pop in and pop out at random times with no rhyme or reason and never stay long enough to offer any value In fact, Cleopatra herself, shows up very little through most of the novel until the grand finale I can say that I felt the same with the players pulled from Mythology Too many of them, not enough individual attention to give them worth to the story or as important key players to the novel This melee becomes a big pot of stew that is stirred way too much creating a story without focus and one that tends to ramble on going nowhere to the point of often spiraling out of control The author continually brought characters in and out with no purpose neither for the current scene or as an important key to linking of the story as a whole as it unraveled Poor Marc Antony was brought back from the dead so many times only to be returned again and again to the underworld that it just made no sense Everytime I thought he was going to be kept alive he got tossed over the edge again Each time he was resurrected I rooted for him and his love for Cleopatra only to be disappointed repeatedly and left with an ending that led to pure frustration.The story felt to me like it had no redeeming life to it Chaos, pain, suffering, lost love, violence, revenge, hatred, and death 397 pages of it There were no happy moments to combat the sadness No love was brought to light after much darkness and loss No life renewed after many violent deaths The story needed balance, some good to battle evil, and angel or two to beat the devils of the underworld The final showdown that finally ends this long and drawn out war of the gods, is a bloody battle I found over the top and unecessary Truthfully I found the ending predictable and unredeeming after such a long haul of despair What the author decided to do with the fate of Cleopatra and Marc Antony s two sons, was the last kicker for me Was their fate truly necessary Did it add value or make this storylikeable Did it make any sense or give the storypurpose Not in this reader s eyes What was the point of the destiny she chose for them Because of the two strong stars I give the author for creativity and writing ability I would be very willing to try Headley s next attempt to see if there is improvement in other areas, but for me Queen of Kings just didn t happen I felt she had a great idea but was not able to follow through with it in order to make the novel make sense, or to turn it into a winner The beginning was intriguing, but I felt it went downhill very rapidly only to end in a very sad heap


  9. Amanda Amanda says:

    Queen of Kings, by Maria Dahvana Headley, should have been a book that I adored It has a fantastic premise it involves one of the strongest female characters from history it has both Egyptian and Roman flavour some of my favourite periods of history and it includes a cover quote from Neil Gaiman I should have been proclaiming my love of this book from the rooftops and yetI liked it, but didn t love it Headley s prose is dark and elegant, and her imagination is vivid The tale comes Queen of Kings, by Maria Dahvana Headley, should have been a book that I adored It has a fantastic premise it involves one of the strongest female characters from history it has both Egyptian and Roman flavour some of my favourite periods of history and it includes a cover quote from Neil Gaiman I should have been proclaiming my love of this book from the rooftops and yetI liked it, but didn t love it Headley s prose is dark and elegant, and her imagination is vivid The tale comes across very much as an historical epic such as The Odyssey or The Iliad It is fantastical and gripping in many ways, but at times I found myself turning the pages only because I had read so far and ought to at least finish, which is not what I envisaged when I started Queen of Kings.Despite the fact that Queen of Kings is deemed to be meticulously researched, I found that Headley didn t imbue her writing with a true feeling of the time period Egypt could be exchanged wholesale for Rome, with no issues I didn t see any of the colour and attitude of the Egyptian people Certain historical facts seemed to be thrown in just because Headley had discovered it, not because it fit that particular scene I especially disliked a couple of situations where characters told other characters myths and legends that were incredibly dry and felt as though they d been taken from Mythology 101.Added to this, I completely failed to engage with Cleopatra as a character Now, this is a Queen who ruled at a time when women were deemed only fit for childbearing She seduced famous generals of the time She was romantically associated with two of THE most famous Roman personalities Mark Antony and Julius Caesar This is a woman who doesn t need any real dressing up to be fabulous and interesting and someone who should leap from the page Unfortunately, Cleopatra in Queen of Kings is relatively lifeless and I don t intend any pun there I couldn t understand her motivations at all at one point she seems entirely focused on Mark Antony, then suddenly her children are what she is concerned about.Like I say, Headley s writing is very skillful and hence I m sure there are others who will adore this dark fantasy about Cleopatra in fact, this review details many of the plus points from another reviewer s point of view For me, the characterisation of this famous queen was lacklustre and I didn t feel the historical aspect If you have any interest in Ancient Egypt, then do yourself a favour pick up River God by Wilbur Smith and avoid Queen of Kings


  10. Angela Angela says:

    You know those movies that are so bad due to silly stories, bad casting and hideous special effects that they end up being unintentionally epic This book was exactly like that I honestly have no clue how to rate it, because it was thoroughly hideous on every level, but in such completely awesome ways There are things done with this plot that defy history, sanity, and good common sense, yet I kept turning the pages to see what kind of madness the author would unleash upon us next I was never You know those movies that are so bad due to silly stories, bad casting and hideous special effects that they end up being unintentionally epic This book was exactly like that I honestly have no clue how to rate it, because it was thoroughly hideous on every level, but in such completely awesome ways There are things done with this plot that defy history, sanity, and good common sense, yet I kept turning the pages to see what kind of madness the author would unleash upon us next I was never disappointed


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Queen of Kings [BOOKS] ⚣ Queen of Kings By Maria Dahvana Headley – Thomashillier.co.uk There s than one path to immortality QUEEN OF KINGSMaria Dahvana HeadleyA thrilling, chilling reimagining of the story of the most famous woman in historyOnce there was a queen of Egypt a queen who be There s than one path to immortality Queen of KingsMaria Dahvana HeadleyA thrilling, chilling reimagining Queen of Kindle - of the story of the most famous woman in historyOnce there was a queen of Egypt a queen who became through magic something else The year isBC 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 scholar 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 bloodIt 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 decidedBlending 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 RR 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 Epub ´ Queen of Kindle - 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 scholar 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 bloodIt 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 decidedBlending 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 RR 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."/>
  • Paperback
  • 496 pages
  • Queen of Kings
  • Maria Dahvana Headley
  • 07 April 2019
  • 0857500392

About the Author: Maria Dahvana Headley

Maria Dahvana Headley is the New York Times bestselling author of, most recently, THE MERE Queen of Kindle - WIFE out July , from MCD FSG Upcoming in is a new translation of BEOWULF, also from FSG As well, she is the author of the young adult skyship novels MAGONIA and AERIE from HarperCollins, the dark fantasy alt history novel QUEEN OF KINGS, the internationally bestselling memoir THE YEAR OF YES, and THE END OF THE SENTENCE, a novella co written with Kat Howard, from Subterranean With Neil Gaiman, she is the New York Times bestselling co editor of the monster anthology UNNATURAL CREATURES, benefitting DC Her Nebula,Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy award nominated short fiction has appeared on Tor, and in The Toast, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Apex, The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Subterranean Online, Glitter Mayhem and Jurassic London s The Lowest Heaven and The Book of the Dead, Uncanny, Shimmer, andIt s anthologized in Best American Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as the and editions of Rich Horton s The Year s Best Fantasy Science Fiction, Paula Guran s The Year s Best Dark Fantasy Horror, in The Year s Best Weird Volume , ed Laird Barron, and in Wastelands, Vol , among others She s also a playwright and essayist She grew up in rural Idaho on a sled dog ranch, spent part of her s as a pirate negotiator and ship marketer in the maritime industry, and now lives in Brooklyn in an apartment shared with a seven foot long stuffed crocodile.