Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley

Genre: Dark Fantasy,
Historical & Paranormal Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Adult (Penguin Group)
Read an Excerpt || Book Trailer
Author Links:
Author Website || Goodreads
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Where to Purchase:
Amazon || Kindle
Reviewed by: Aimee
Source: Amazon Kindle Purchase
Rating: Win! 4 out of 5

He could see light coming in from somewhere, a fissure in the side of the ship. He walked toward it, stepping carefully, his feet slipping on something he chose not to think about. He could not find her at first. The ground was covered in straw and--
His feet nudge against solid objects, strangely frail. His eyes began to adjust, and he recoiled.
Bodies...

...Something moved quickly in front of him in the dim light, a form barely visible and impossible to define. He pressed his sword out before him, slicing the air.
Nothing there.
"You will not be able to kill me that way," someone whispered from close behind him. He felt breath on his ear.
He whirled, the blade cutting through the place the sound had come from. His shoulders clenched. His heart pounded, and he suddenly realized that--
He knew the voice.
Maria Dahvana Headley's Queen of Kings was not at all what I expected. What did I expect? Well... I guess I was expecting something similar to Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned. But I was surprised to find something refreshingly different than the typically overdone Vampire novel. In fact, I'm not sure I would even call this a vampire novel. A unique blend of history, mythology, and fantasy, Queen of Kings brings you a story of a monster undefinable. And the horror of it all doesn't come from the thought that the monster is coming FOR you, but from the realization that YOU are the monster. This is the connection Mrs. Headley allows readers to make with Cleopatra. Who discovers, with horror, that she is the one doing monstrous things and has little power to stop herself.

In this story, Cleopatra summons the Egyptian God of War, Sekhmet, to request her aid during the epic battle with Octavian over Alexandria. Unfortunately, things don't go as intended. It's the age old dilemma, "Be careful what you ask for." The lesson herein would be, never ever make deals with Gods or Demons. It just never works out well... ever. I might be more inclined to call Queen of Kings a story of possession; of rash decisions made in haste with far reaching and regrettably tragic consequences.

Each chapter in Queen of Kings plays out like a scene in a movie and many things that happen in the book, also happen according to history [minus the mythology and fantasy, of course.] Ms. Headley did extensive research on all the the characters, their recorded histories, the mythologies of the time and even included verses from various texts. Then she worked her magic to make it all blend together in a creepy yet tragic tale of love, betrayal, despair, horror, rage and finally redemption. It was definitely different and very interesting. I truly enjoyed it.

I would recommend Queen of Kings to history and mythology lovers; fan's of dark fantasy and paranormal fiction. Also people who enjoy movies like Clash of the Titans, The Odyssey, and HBO's Rome.

ratingFiction Fool

Other Reviews:
Goodreads Reviews (3.44 average)

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