Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Queen of Kings” as Want to Read:
Queen of Kings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Queen of Kings

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  870 Ratings  ·  189 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Queen of Kings, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Queen of Kings

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Help by Kathryn StockettCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Seasonal Reading Challenge Recommended Books
378th out of 679 books — 534 voters
Path to Peace by Angie Ransome-JonesThe Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. MaasA Secondhand Lie by Pamela CraneSkogens systrar by Petrus DahlinJag är Love by Mårten Melin
My 2015 reads
43rd out of 58 books — 2 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 22, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 27, 2011 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 17, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephan

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
Dec 17, 2015 Talita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Неожиданно интересная история. Неожиданно - потому что, прочитав о Клеопатре-вампире, я приготовилась фейспалмить на тему, мол, не минула чаша тренда упыриного и этого автора тоже. Однако в итоге прочла всю историю на одном дыхании.
Вампиризм здесь не смакуется и не утрируется. Есть характерные признаки: непереносимость солнца и серебра, жажда крови, сверхслух, -зрение и -сила, превращения в змею/тигрицу. Однако акцент делается именно на одержимости Клеопатры богиней-разрушительницей Сехмет. И ис
Andy Zeigert
Jul 01, 2011 Andy Zeigert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 27, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  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
May 10, 2011 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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
Jun 27, 2011 Marci rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
Oct 02, 2011 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 25, 2016 Rose rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction
I haven't read Historical Fiction since 2013, and it used to be my favourite genre.

I saw Queen of Kings sitting there for $8, and I just HAD to buy it after reading the synopsis. There was this nagging thought at the back of my head that I'd heard of Maria Dahvana Headley, and I later realised it was because I'd seen copies of Magonia everywhere.

That day, I read the prologue. The next day, I continued and read chapter 1, 2, 3 and ta-da, I was hooked. I had to read it in parts, but it was a brill
Sandra (LadyGrey Reads)
Sep 23, 2015 Sandra (LadyGrey Reads) rated it it was amazing
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
Jen (Red Hot Books)
May 06, 2011 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
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
Jul 20, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it
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
Jun 15, 2011 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 28, 2011 dria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-recommended
Not worth reading for either historical fiction fans or vampire novel fans. Odd, strangely boring mish-mash that still didn't seem to have any real action 20% of the way in. Didn't bother finishing.
I did not enjoy reading this book at all. It's boring and the writing just goes on and on about inconsequential things.

And I'm sorry, but if you're going to write about famous, powerful people in history, you cannot write them to be so weak. Cleopatra was called the Queen of Kings. She was a master manipulator who was involved with powerful men and held her own in a time when women were thought of as less. You cannot write how she easily, stupidly and without much thought, gives up the location
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean Menon
Jun 12, 2011 Sean Menon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 21, 2012 Mein Hime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 really liked it  ·  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
Jul 04, 2011 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
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
Jun 25, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I just... Can't get into Queen of Kings.

Cleopatra, it seems to me, has turned from a strong queen to a weak woman who heavily relies on sex to get whatever she wanted. Since I particularly hate these sort of characters, I hate Cleopatra. But I love her powers though.

Too long winded. In stories there's always a middle part where, typically, the protagonist travels to his/her destination. The middle part is either action-packed or so slowly paced it's boring as hell. Unfortunately, Queen of King f
Brian Taylor
Jan 01, 2016 Brian Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. This was a fun and easy read. A few things felt rushed, but over all a pleasant surprise. If you like action, intrigue, and revenge, pick this one up. You won't be disappointed!
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.
May 30, 2011 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-fiction
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
Aug 15, 2011 Caitlyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 08, 2011 Shelby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Cleopatra's Secret: Keepers of the Light
  • Cleopatra's Heir
  • Cleopatra Confesses
  • Kleopatra (Kleopatra, #1)
  • Song of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter, #2)
  • Throne of Isis
  • When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra
  • Alcestis
  • Kiss of the Rose (Tudor Vampire Chronicles, #1)
  • Cleopatra and Antony: Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World
  • Asenath
  • The Second Duchess
  • Clarkesworld Issue 55
  • Cleopatra's Moon
  • Black Ships (Numinous World, #1)
  • Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus
  • Delilah
  • The Search for Nefertiti: The True Story of an Amazing Discovery
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...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“There’s more than one path to immortality.” 4 likes
More quotes…