Earlier today in a joint video on Facebook, authors Anne and Christopher Rice announced that not only had they been collaborating on a brand new novel, but that the new work is a sequel to Anne’s 1989 The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned. The new novel, Ramses the Damned, The Passion of Cleopatra is slated for release on November 21, 2017.
In the first novel, Ramses II also called Ramses the Damned awakens in Edwardian London after his tomb is discovered by the famed archaeologist, Lawrence Stratford. Stratford is poisoned by his alcoholic nephew, Henry, in an attempt to gain power and wealth. When Henry attempts to kill Lawrence’s daughter, Julie, in the same manner, Ramses is awakened and a terrified Henry flees in fear.
The ancient pharaoh had once learned the secret formula to the Elixir of Life and was granted immortality upon drinking it. Over the centuries, he had counseled the great pharaohs of Egypt, and eventually met and fell in love with the beautiful Cleopatra. As Julie instructs him in the wonders of modern London, Ramses discovers that his long lost Cleopatra’s mummy is on display in a museum. He recreates the Elixir of Life and administers it to Egypt’s famous queen. However, he does not use the entire vial and so Cleopatra awakes, a half formed monster, conscious of mind but psychopathic in spirit.
Ramses later rectifies his mistakes and Cleopatra abandons her schemes to murder the beautiful young Julie, though her hate for Ramses never falters. In the end, Ramses gives Julie the Elixir of Life and promises to stay with her for all eternity. They both think that Cleopatra has been killed in a horrific train crash, but it is revealed that she survived and vows revenge upon the ancient pharaoh.
The novel ended with a promise that the adventures of Ramses the Damned would continue, but Anne Rice said today that it never seemed to come together. Other books were written but fans never forgot the romance and horrors of Ramses. This marks the first time that Anne Rice has collaborated on a novel and her son, Christopher, seems the perfect choice. The younger Rice is a gifted novelist, himself, working in several different genres.
As an added bonus, the collaborators have started a special pre-order campaign. If you pre-order the novel and email the digital receipt of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org, the authors will send you a signed copy of one of the original manuscript pages after the release of the book. They did mention that it might take several months for those pages to be sent, but that each person who sends in their receipt will get their signed page as quickly as possible.
I, for one, can hardly wait to find out just how Cleopatra’s schemes unfold in a novel that will no doubt be filled with the same intrigue, romance, and sensual dangers, that delighted readers almost 30 years ago!