Book Review – “Ramses the Damned Returns: The Passion of Cleopatra” by Anne Rice & Christopher Rice
|Anne Rice and her son Christopher collaborate again in the sequel to Anne’s solo piece The Mummy (1989), and the preface covers the major events and sums up the key characters from that book
The plot revolves around the Pharaoh Ramses waking from hibernation in 1914 and facing the consequence of his actions – namely the errant Cleopatra who is also immortal and holds a grudge and may have aligned other immortals against our protagonist.
The writing style is interesting, and the trademark depth and texture that so marked The Vampire Chronicles is evident here in the character development. None are wholly good or bad, although some of the flaws feel somewhat exaggerated and hyperbolic.
Ramses and his lover Julia consider Cleopatra insane, whilst Cleopatra thinks the same of them. Given the setting of Europe 1914, the metaphor of looming conflict is clear.
Each character narrates their parts, and it is interesting to see the change in writing style between each segment, although some are guilty of wallowing in unnecessarily detailed description which sometimes slows the plot development and action sequences.
The collaboration of mother and son is an interesting one, and the book is a fascinating treatise on the philosophical problems of immortality as well as the nature of personality insofar as it meditates on what can and cannot be changed about ourselves.
At just over four hundred pages, this is a great world to lose yourself come Christmas Day so be sure to put it on your list.
Final verdict: 4/6