Ramses the Great has reawakened in opulent Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth. He is tormented by searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, his beloved queen of Egypt. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger.
I was instantly swept up in the narrative. I wanted to be Julie and take
this ancient figure on a tour of the world. Its like Tarzan and Jane in London! There so much innocence and discovery in the first half. There was also a darkly hidden sinister layer that continued
to boil and bubble. I loved it!
The second part of the book was more suspenseful but also full of soft erotica sections. I was disappointed in the way Cleopatra was portrayed. It just felt too much like the Roman stereotype of her. Ramses would talk about how history got her wrong, yet the book seemed to portray her as history has. I appreciated her evolution and how she began to realize that life was precious, but her final scene seemed to fall back to the monster that had just been awakened and hungered for “handsome” faces. And I really could have used less sex scenes. Almost every combination of the different characters seemed to jump into bed together. Love is not sex, which is what the first part of the story built between Ramses and Julie – loving someone, not bedding them and then falling in love.
I really liked the characters and the parts they played in the shaping of the plot. I did become disappointed in Julie as in the first part she felt like a strong independent woman. In the second half, she felt simple and weepy, and she did not resemble the person we had first met.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. Rice included enough detail so the reader could easily imagine London and Egypt without being overwhelmed. The pace of the novel was also perfect. The story did not feel rushed nor did it drag. I could not help but to be drawn to Ramses with his mixture of worldly knowledge and amazement at what had changed since Cleopatra's time (which is also a different time period for me to explore as well). His struggle and human qualities were enduring and heartfelt. This book had good conversations, good development, a good cast of characters, a dreamy setting, a fantasy-style romance, and magical elements that are indescribably delicious. I was hooked from the first pages. And I want more…
Just released December 2016: "The Forgotten" volume 2 "Heir of the Heretic"
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse