A sequel to Anne Rice’s (The Mummy), the story picks up immediately following the events of the last book, as promised by Rice with the postscript “The Adventures of Ramses the Damned Shall Continue”.
Co-written with her son Christoper Rice, RtD:tPoC is about Ramses, an immortal being who was Ramses II – existing incognito as “Reginald Ramsey”, an egyptologist (no really) and his fiancé Julie Stratford, an heiress, newly granted immortality by a secret ancient potion. Set in the Edwardian period, the couple’s adventures are leading them back to England for an engagement party thrown by Julie’s ex-fiancé, Alex, the nephew of the Earl of Rutherford who is himself a friend of Julie’s murdered father and also immortal.
Also in the mix is the other titular character, Cleopatra, who has been resurrected by Ramses and his magic potion – but is seemingly slowly going insane, and her lover Teddy who are making their way from Egypt to England to confront Ramses and get more of the magic potion to stave off her insanity (I think – it’s kind of vague).
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE:
- An American authour, who writes romance novels set in ancient Egypt – based on dreams/visions she has had that seemingly create a mind meld type situation with Cleopatra, who is also traveling to England in search of Cleopatra. Her maid.
- An ancient queen (the creator of the magic potion), her two servants and cat, also all immortal. She is set up to be tracking down Ramses ostensibly punish him for murdering her best friend to get said magic potion. She isn’t very impressed with her prime minister, and murders a bunch of kinda-immortals (see below) on behalf of Ramses who she is magically no longer mad at.
- Her prime minister and his rapidly dying 200 year old “children” and a pack of large killer dogs also searching for Ramses and his magic potion. Many people are murdered or otherwise subject to dastardly deeds at their hands. Also super mad at the ancient queen.
- The Earl of Rutherford’s wife – who has barely been holding together their estate together because they are broke (hence the previous engagement of Alex to Julie), but as soon as the Earl becomes immortal he also gets super good at gambling and keeps sending her money. So she’s happy, I guess?
- The Earl of Rutherford’s young lover – who is unaware the Earl is immortal, but is forced to reveal the Earl’s location to the prime minister’s thugs who have kidnapped his mother. This was the best part of the book for me – a romantic/sexy-time between the Earl & this lover and it seemingly to be leading to a later meet-up between the two, but after wrapping up the kidnapping we never hear from the lover again!
There are A LOT of contrivances to get all of the characters (and the dogs) to the engagement party and then… more plot happens… I just finished the book and I can’t really remember much of it except it ends with all the baddies dead; the ancient queen and her servants adopt the herd of previously killer dogs and set up house in a remote English castle that they have renovated in a week with their…hands..?; Alex and Cleopatra are reunited and in love on the Isle of Skye where the American authour finds them and shares back Cleopatra’s memories thus curing her “insanity”; Ramses and Julie are closing up their London house to travel Europe when the Earl shows up to be all “dudes! haven’t you seen the papers? there’s a war starting” aka WWI.
As with all of Anne Rice’s books that I have read, I found it to be well written and enjoyable at the time I’m reading it, but as soon as I’m finished I can’t remember half of what happened. Writing this review cast a sharp light on the ridiculousness of the plot, which was surprisingly not distracting as I was reading it.
On a scale of “GET ME BLEACH FOR MY EYES” to “I must re-read that immediately”, this was a “fine”.