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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  766 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The story is set in the Ptolemaic era of ancient Egyptian history and revolves around the survival of a dynasty bloodline protected by the Priesthood of Isis. The main character Harmachis (the living descendant of this bloodline) is charged by the Priesthood to overthrow the supposed impostor Cleopatra, drive out the Romans, and restore Egypt to its golden era.

As is the ca
Published 1889
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Youssab John
Never before in my life have I been so obsessed with a book as I have been with this one. The fact that it's based on a translation of a roll of papyrus found in Harmachis' tomb and within the mummy itself, makes it even more haunting. The idea that the fate of Ancient Egypt in all its might is at stake to be determined by a bunch of people namely, Harmachis, Cleopatra and Charmion, to have the power that could potentially change history itself, to have the choice of ending a civilization that l ...more
Read this on my Kindle from a file on the Internet Archive (I think). As these things go, it wasn't a bad scan. As for the novel itself, great fun, and most likely an extremely unreliable source of information about things Ancient Egyptian! As usual with literature of this period, the attitude towards women is infuriating, in entirely predictable ways, and Cleopatra's power is ascribed entirely to preternatural beauty (a notion that contemporary portraits tend to discredit). The first person nar ...more
This was a bit slow in the beginning and some other spots, but overall a very good book. Look forward to reading some of H. Rider Haggard's other novels.
Vicki Cline
This book is supposedly the contents of three scrolls discovered during an archeological dig, written by Harmachis, who was a descendent of the last Egyptian pharaoh. The first scroll tells of his religious upbringing and training and of the plot to throw out the Macedonians (i.e. Cleopatra) and assume the rule of Egypt. The second one is about how Harmachis insinuated himself into Cleopatra's entourage, how he fell in love with her and how she betrayed him in order to gain access to a treasure. ...more
He isn't a genial writer, but I enjoy Haggard's writing as entertaining and passionate about Pagan cultures and religions. This narration of Cleopatra's story with a magical and spiritual twist is a good example.
Like Ayesha, Rider's best known female character, Prince Harmachis is a servant of Goddess Isis who falls out of Her grace for love, and when his beloved, Cleopatra, betrays him, his vengeance on her and Mark Antony will be terrible.
A Tragedy of the Highest Order. This gut-wrenching novel is a masterpiece, a complex journey into the heart of Ancient Egypt. This story will touch your heart and unlock your imagination while delving into the ultimate conflicts between good and evil. Man and God. Glory and Sin. Triumph and Destruction. Spectacular!
Audrey Grant
Boreing...long and drawn out. Two of the characters were interesting but they showed up so seldom it was almost torture waiting for them to reappear! Quite a bit of hystorical info. if it can all be believed.
Anupam Sinha
A fantasy account of the life of Cleopatra; a magical facet of historical chronology.
Not what I expected but really interesting & a different view on Cleopatra
Very interesting and unusual book. Not what I expected from Haggard.
Krishna Giri
One of the finest historical novels ever.
This is certainly not Haggard's best work. While there are some fine discussions of Egyptian religion (doubtlessly caught up in some way with Haggard's seeming interest in Theosophy), many of the characters in this novel are shadows of the more interesting and complicated figures in _She_. I was struck by the deep feelings of sexual shame on the part of the narrator in this text. Haggard seems aware of this fact to a degree, but this awareness cannot make up for the book's obsessive return to th ...more
Dílo, jež ve starém jazyce popisuje úžasným stylem krásy a tajemství Egypta, jeho královny Kleopatry i učeného Harmachise, jež měl Egyptu navrátit svobodu. Dílo plné lásky, intrik, lží, naděje i bolesti. Dozvíte se zajímavé informace o náboženství starověkého Egypta i o příběhu, jež nedá spát umělcům celá staletí. Díky zachování starého jazyka se začátek knihy čte hůře, ale brzy si zvyknete a už Vám nic nebrání se díky několika stránkám přenést do doby dávné a čarovné.
a close look at the heart of Egypt...... mesmerizing
Interesting, but the "antique formality" of the language just got in the way of the story. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I could have with less formal, stilted language.
I read this as part of this. It was the first Haggard I've read and it didn't impress me all that much. Haggard drops his own character in the midst of the action and makes him the secret source for much of what happened in history. It's just a little bit of plot and a lot of flowery speeches. And yet I was surprised by how quickly it flew by. Maybe I'd like one of his more esteemed books better.
A long lost decedent of the Egyptian Pharaohs engages Queen Cleopatra in a struggle for the throne of the Two Lands
Katherine Holmes
Jun 20, 2011 Katherine Holmes rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of historical fiction
Though Harmachis' ponderings might be tedious at the beginning, Haggard's knowledge of Egyptian religion and rites is impressive for the 1800s. It looks as if the writers of the movie Cleopatra read and re-read this, however Haggard's Cleopatra is capable of extreme loyalty, deception, passion, and cruelty - like men in her position. Once in, this book galloped. I'm glad I read this author. I guess his King Solomon's Mines inspired Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Annette Radcliff
This story started out really slow because it was about someone else entirely for 1/4 of the way into the book. then it started to get good and we met Cleopatra, then it ended the last two chapters with the same charachter that started the book, Hamachis. I think the name could've been revised. The story of cleopatra as told by Hamachis the "Pharoh". or something along those lines. it seemed it was more his story than it was hers. but overall a good book.
Clayton Barr
The conceit of the book is that it tells the story of Cleopatra's rule of Egpyt and her eventual death, following her beoloved Antony, as if it were from the translated hieroglyphics on ancient papyrus pages found in Egpyt. It's written in a style that seems to be half King James Bible and half Shakespeare, which makes it difficult to slog through at times. But an interesting experiment for me in reading a different kind of book.
I liked the basic idea of this book, taking historical facts and putting an entirely fictional spin on them - I found it fairly plausible, actually, which is more than can be said for 'She' or 'King solomon's Mines'. The characters were credible and consistent - but it just went on too long, more plot and less pontificating would have made for a pacier read. So it was OK, but not a patch on She or KSM.
This book was good except for the fact that it was drawn out. Several times I had to put it down and read a different novel because I got bored, which does not happen very often for me. The facts were correct but the way that they were laid out made it very boring. I love Egypt and if I had more time then I might have read it more thoroughly, but I skimmed most of it because I just wanted to be finished.
Great historical novel for those who like historical novels. They were never my thing so sometimes I got a little bored with this book even though I've always had a fascination with Egypt. Cleopatra was a very complex and intriguing character. Harmachis got on my nerves a bit. I really loved the ending though, especially the last line with the bit about the scroll. Very fun way to end a book.
Haggards historical novel is a joy because of his exciting evocation of Egypt and of the confident way in which Cleopatra is presented- manipulative, deceiving but always attractive. The books weaves elements of the magical and the supernatural, exploring the historical and the mythical with a precision and energy that sits beside the best novels on the pharaonic culture.
Artem Huletski
Приключенческие романы с типичными героями (сила, смелость, красота и ум) и героинями (неземная красота, ум, властолюбие и коварство). Не нравится привычка автора прописывать будущее, вроде "...и они больше не встречались", которая вместе с небольшой долей проницательности убивает интригу. Впрочем, желание вспорхнуть ибисом над благословенным Кеметом у меня возникло.
Interesting take on the Cleopatra story.

For those familiar with Cleopatra, the devoted servant Charmion is here the key individual acting behind the scenes who is responsible for Cleopatra's fall and the end of Egyptian independence. Not a bad tale if you can get past the stereotypes inherent in the plot which is somewhat distracting to the modern reader
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eleanor Lux
Its been fun reading most of Haggart's books especially if you can find one with the original illustrations in it. They're wildly imaginative and about an era that never really existed but fun to pretend that it did
Gracee it was written in 1889. Maybe the time period just didn't lend itself to "happy" stories. Really, what was I expecting? Still a good story, but the ending.... one of those... "WHAT the h*ll just happened".
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What if ? 1 4 Sep 14, 2012 08:46PM  
  • Pharaoh's Son
  • Cleopatra
  • The Parthian (The Parthian Chronicles, #1)
  • Chained to the Barbarian (Palace Brides #2)
  • Caesar and Cleopatra
  • The Monastery
  • Treasures of Tutankhamun: National Gallery of Art, Field Museum of Natural History & the University of Chicago, New Orleans Museum of Art
  • House of Corruption
  • Strategos - Born in the Borderlands (Strategos, #1)
  • The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis
  • Bone Wires
  • Tutankhamen: Life and Death of a Pharaoh
  • The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, Volume Two (Miss Temple, Doctor Svenson, and Cardinal Chang #1.2)
  • The Mortal Immortal: The Complete Supernatural Short Fiction of Mary Shelley
  • The Fortunes of Captain Blood
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder: Young Pioneer (Childhood of Famous Americans)
  • The Scottish Chiefs
  • The Ghost Pirates
Sir Henry Rider Haggard was an English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations, predominantly Africa, and the creator of the Lost World literary genre. His stories, situated at the lighter end of the scale of Victorian literature, continue to be popular and influential. He was also involved in agricultural reform and improvement in the British Empire.

His breakout novel was King Solomon
More about H. Rider Haggard...

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“The fool!" I broke in—"the fool! Thou callest him great; but how can the man be truly great who has no strength to stand against a woman's wiles? Cæsar, with the world hanging on his word! Cæsar, at whose breath forty legions marched and changed the fate of peoples! Cæsar the cold! the far-seeing! the hero!—Cæsar to fall like a ripe fruit into a false girl's lap! Why, in the issue, of what common clay was this Roman Cæsar, and how poor a thing!” 0 likes
“For Woman, in her weakness, is yet the strongest force upon the earth. She is the helm of all things human; she comes in many shapes and knocks at many doors; she is quick and patient, and her passion is not ungovernable like that of man, but as a gentle steed that she can guide e'en where she will, and as occasion offers can now bit up and now give rein. She has a captain's eye, and stout must be that fortress of the heart in which she finds no place of vantage. Does thy blood beat fast in youth? She will outrun it, nor will her kisses tire. Art thou set toward ambition? She will unlock thy inner heart, and show thee roads that lead to glory. Art thou worn and weary? She has comfort in her breast. Art thou fallen? She can lift thee up, and to the illusion of thy sense gild defeat with triumph. Ay, Harmachis, she can do these things, for Nature ever fights upon her side; and while she does them she can deceive and shape a secret end in which thou hast no part. And thus Woman rules the world. For her are wars; for her men spend their strength in gathering gains; for her they do well and ill, and seek for greatness, to find oblivion. But still she sits like yonder Sphinx, and smiles; and no man has ever read all the riddle of her smile, or known all the mystery of her heart. Mock not! mock not! Harmachis; for he must be great indeed who can defy the power of Woman, which, pressing round him like the invisible air, is often strongest when the senses least discover it.” 0 likes
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