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Queen of Kings

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  735 ratings  ·  172 reviews
There’s more than one path to immortality…

Once there was a queen of Egypt…a queen who became through magic something else…

The year is 30 BC. 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 prote
Paperback, 442 pages
Published 2011 by Bantam Press
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Community Reviews

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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 ...more
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.
Ranting Dragon

Next 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
Feb 27, 2013 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King
I was ecstatic about reading this book, as a fan of Cleopatra, vampires, and historical fantasy. When I started it, things were looking up. I was following the traditional story of Cleopatra's and Marc Antony's demise, and I was impressed with how the author was weaving her version into how things really happened. All the way into the "tomb scene" I stayed impressed (if you know anything about A & C's love story you'll know what I'm talking about)...
Then, about halfway through, I started to
Andy Zeigert
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 finales

If you marked
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 ...more
Jen (Red Hot Books)
We've all heard the stories about the great love of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Well, that story is getting a whole new twist here. Queen of Kings opens with the Egyptian queen and her husband on the cusp of war with the Roman emperor Octavian and his legion. They are outnumbered. But Cleopatra has one last idea on how they can defeat Rome. She summons an ancient Goddess to suffuse her with power. But things go terribly wrong.

Octavian finds a way to trick Mark Antony into suicide, which sets off
The enduring love story of Anthony and Cleopatra has been retold many times throughout history. In Queen of Kings, Headley has given this famous tale a darker and more mythological twist.

We join the lovers at the point in history when Octavian Caesar, great nephew of the late Julius, is camped outside the city of Alexandria. Octavian sends a false message to Cleopatra's beloved Anthony and he kills himself believing his queen has betrayed him. On discovering the deceit, Cleopatra is driven to m
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 yet...

I liked it, but didn't love it. Headley's prose is dark and elegant, and her imagination is vivid. The tale comes
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 ...more
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!
Apr 15, 2015 Sandra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like ancient history, mythology and fantasy (particularly vampires)
Reading challenge 2015: A book you own but have never read


If you like ancient history and mythology revolving around Egypt, Rome and Greece, this is definitely the book for you. A brilliant supernatural take on Cleopatra's "death" by a snakebite - because what does a snake's fang look like but not a pair of vampire teeth?
Alright, she's not bit by a vampire, but... yeah, you'll find out if you read this, and I highly recommend that you do! The characters are brilliantly written and yo
Jeannie Mancini
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 ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean Menon
Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley was a book about the immortal life of Her Majesty Queen Cleopatra. The book is mostly historically accurate but involves many Egyptian and Roman gods. Many of the events were made from the authors imagination but the people involved were all real. In the beginning of the story, Egypt is invaded by Roman forces. Antony- (Cleopatra's husband) continues to fight and Cleopatra preforms a deadly ritual. The ritual involves the Egyptian goddess Hecate and Cleop ...more
Mein Hime
I started out a sceptic. After all vampires and ancient Egypt has already been done rather well (thank you Anne Rice) and vampires have been done to death (no thanks to urban fantasy becoming the new chick lit). Still, the eye catching cover drew me in and I succumbed to yet another vampire story (YAVS for acronym lovers).

To say this story is rich in historical detail, enthralling in twists and turns and aside from one or two spots of weakness, gripping, would be selling the author short. The st
Fiction Fool
Feb 07, 2014 Fiction Fool rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of mythology, historical & paranormal fiction, Clash of the Titans, The Odyssey
Rating: ( )
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.

...Something moved quickly in front of him in the dim light, a form barely visible and impossible to define. He pressed his sword
What a fun read! Part love story, part historical fiction, part mythology, part monster story, all very cleverly woven together in a real page-turner. The book is loosely based on the story of Marc Antony and Cleopatra, throwing in a twist around Cleopatra's supposed suicide by asp. What if the fang marks on her neck weren't from a snake? What if she only appeared to be dead? What if Cleopatra made a pact with something evil, in order to save her country and her one true love? And what if she go ...more
Jocelyn (foxonbooks)
History merged with magic is an intriguing idea, and that’s what Maria Headley sets out to do in Queen of Kings. The trick to this sort of story is how well you pull it off: is it realistic, despite the magic? Do the characters stand up? Is the narrative clear? Here’s what I thought of Headley’s execution:
It’s 30BC, and Octavian Caeser and his legions are determined to take Alexandria. Having always wanted Cleopatra for his own, Octavian devises a ruse that leads Cleopatra to believe her beloved
I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. First, its not actually a vampire book. Don't get me wrong, I love a vamp book. However, this book combines elements of the vampire tale with other monsters and god of ancient times in an entertaining and different way.

Second, I love this time period in history and have read many of the sources the author used for her background material so it was a fun read from that standpoint. THe author also did a nice job of using the historical information in a
Krishna *needs a pink katana*
I thought Stephanie Dray's books were bad, but this travesty tops them all.
Artistic license does not equal free pass to nonsense.
Not recommended.
Maria Dahvana Headley, welcome to the world stage with The Immortal Story of Cleopatra- Queen of Kings, what an entrance Headley has made with this novel. This book has horror, magic, deities and very well researched history combined to create a book that will leave the reader stunned. Historical figures such as Cleopatra, Marc Antony, and Octavian are treated with historical respect while intertwining dark and fascinating fiction to create a book that is fresh and one of a kind. Readers of all ...more
QUEEN OF KINGS is a fantasy novel that tells the tale of Cleopatra's death and the events that happened after. Admittedly, this book was a little hard for me to read, partly because it was so dark and partly because it was so well written. This isn't to say I don't love an easy read, but even more than that I love a book that challenges my mind, which is exactly what QUEEN OF KINGS did. I eagerly await Maria Dahvana Headley's next book in the trilogy and look forward to reading her memoir, THE Y ...more
This was kind of a different book. It's based so impressively close alongside actual historical events, and then there's A LOT of magic, sorcery, mythology, etc. thrown in... it made for a fun new perspective on Cleopatra's life.

My only real complaint is that it felt kinda wordy & repetitive at times, but I think once the author writes another book or two she'll fine tune her style a little bit and she'll only get better.

I am curious to see if this turns into a series...
I loved Margaret George's the Memoirs of Cleopatra so I immediately picked this book up ready to be immersed in the world of ancient Egypt. Much to my surprise I found a type of Fantasy surrounding the stories of Cleopatra. The story loosely follows the historical narrative, but then goes hard-core into the realities of the Gods and goddesses. Cleopatra instead of committing suicide,makes a dark spell and becomes possessed by a dark and powerful goddess,Sehkmet. She seems to become a type of blo ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Matthew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: Robert
Shelves: fantasy, historical
A fascinating alternate history involving Cleopatra and all the major characters of her time, and a great deal of magic. I think one of the best strengths of this book is the characterization. It's hard to say if Cleopatra is the villain, or someone whose good intentions got her into something too deep. Should I sympathize with Antony or Augustus? This made it very interesting to me, and I greatly enjoyed it.
Oh my goodness, this book is wonderful. I love Ancient Egyptian culture & then to throw Mythology into it just makes it ten times better. Now, if you are expecting this to be a book based on fact then this is not the book for you, but if you are wanting a book that is based on fact with a lot of fiction & fun then read this. It is really good.
This book is amazing, the weaving of fiction, mythology, and history produces a novel where saying cleopatra is a vampire is merely a word that pales to what she really is within the novel. The plot keeps your interest, sad at times, but full of revenge, action, and magic. The best part is that this is the first of a trilogy
Nicole MacDonald
A dark, full on, challenging read. I LOVED it. I also enjoyed the note at the end where the author clarify's what things were real (or as close to real that history always is). The character of Cleopatra has always fascinated me, along with Sekhemet and to have the two brought together this way made for a very exciting read.
I bought the kindle version but with this cover. I bought this 2 weeks ago after seeing the paperback in Waterstones. Yesterday, I noticed it is now 4 cheaper on Amazon kindle. This so annoys me!

Loved this and whizzed through. Discovered at the back page that it is a trilogy!
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Maria Dahvana Headley is the author of the upcoming young adult skyship novel MAGONIA 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 ...more
More about Maria Dahvana Headley...
Magonia The Year of Yes The End of the Sentence The Tallest Doll in New York City The Traditional

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