Maria Dahvana Headley‘s novel, Queen of Kings, the first book in a trilogy, hit stores yesterday, and is listed as one of USA TODAY’s 10 books not to miss in May!
Here’s a description:
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 Queen Cleopatra that her beloved Mark Antony has died by his own hand. Desperate to save her kingdom and resurrect her husband, Cleopatra turns to the gods for help. Ignoring the warnings of those around her, she summons Sekhmet, goddess of death and destruction, and strikes a mortal bargain. But not even the wisest of Egypt’s scholars could have predicted what would follow…
In exchange for Antony’s soul, Sekhmet demands something in return: Cleopatra herself. Egypt’s queen is possessed, transformed into a vampiric creature of mythical proportions, an immortal shapeshifter with superhuman strength—at once ferocious and seductive. Fighting to preserve something of her humanity, Cleopatra pursues Octavian back to Rome: she desires revenge, she yearns for her children…and she craves human blood.
Clashing against witches and monsters, gods and warriors, Cleopatra journeys from the tombs of the Pharaohs to the great amphitheaters of imperial Rome to the ancient underworld—where she will meet her love once again, and where the battle between man and beast will determine the fate of the world.
Blending history, mythology and the darkest of fantasy, Queen of Kings brings the timeless story of Cleopatra to life like never before in this stunningly original and spellbinding debut.
“The dark, romantic novel Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley mixes history with vampire lore, imagining Cleopatra as a vengeful, bloodthirsty queen who travels to the underworld to save her kingdom and her king.” ~Tres Sugar-Pop Sugar’s May Must Read
“You may think you know vampires, and you may think you know Cleopatra, but in Maria Headley’s inventive and sweeping historical fantasy, Queen of Kings (Dutton, May), the rulers of ancient Egypt and Rome grapple with bloodlust, magic, and betrayal in ways you’d never expect…Readers of Guy Gavriel Kay will love the rich storytelling, laden with historical detail.” ~Publisher’s Weekly
Just when you think the subject and the character of Cleopatra have been exhausted, Headley adds a new twist to the timeworn legend by blending history, fantasy, and epic battle scenes in this intriguing genre bender, the first volume in a projected trilogy…Can Cleopatra defeat Octavian, bring Rome to its knees, and even conquer death itself? Readers will keep turning the pages to find out. ~Booklist
And here’s the trailer: