Romance, intrigue, jewels, gold-laden tombs, ancient curses, Egyptian princesses, a dysfunctional British family, a heroic archaeologist, a conniving thief, a wicked and vengeful heir to a 4,000-year-old line of Egyptian kings all come together on the Nile in 1900s Cairo in a tale only L. Frank Baum - creator of the Oz stories - could tell with his adventure-tipped and action-filled pen. And no finer adventure and action-packed tale came from Baum's quill than The Last Egyptian: A Romance of the Nile.
With her dying breath, Hatatcha, an Egyptian princess and grandmother to Kara - the last in the bloodline of Egypt's Ahtka Ra, the man behind the power of Rameses II - extracts from her grandson a promise to fulfill her desire for revenge on a British Lord who promised her marriage in London years earlier but cast her out - pregnant and ashamed - to return penniless to her meager hut in Abu Fedah along the banks of the Nile. In Hatatcha's final instructions, Kara discovers wealth beyond his imaginings in Ahtka Ra's treasure-filled tomb, and begins his rise from the desert's dust to the richest clubs and apartments in all of Cairo. And as he climbs the stairs to fame as Prince Kara, he plots his grandmother's revenge on the family that threw Hatatcha away, pregnant though she was with Kara's mother.
As Kara rises to the pinnacle of Cario's society, he is accompanied by Tadros, a two-faced, ever-greedy accomplice, known as a dragoman, whose only desire is to line his pockets with Kara's gold, find Ahtka Ra's tomb, and play any game necessary to accomplish his goal. The path toward that goal runs right though the Consinor family - Lord Roane and his son, Viscount Roger Consinor, and Roger's young daughter, Aneth. It is the Consinors whom Kara seeks to ruin, even to the point of deceiving innocent Aneth. From the gaming tables of one of Cairo's most private clubs to the Ministry of Finance, to a blackmail-threatened marriage, Kara lays the groundwork for Roane's, Roger's, and Aneth's downfall.
Eager to spoil Kara's nefarious game is the young, handsome, and noted British archaeologist, Gerald Winston Bey, a man of wealth and charm who, having been the one to discover Kara when the Egyptian was still a poor man in the dusty village of Abu Fedah, knows full well of what vile treachery the Last Egyptian is capable. With the clever help of Mrs. Everingham - Aneth's savvy and love-smart friend and confidant - Winston plots a counterplay in hopes of dashing Kara's hate-fueled scheme.
The Last Egyptian: A Romance of the Nile, like Cairo and the Egyptian tombs themselves, is filled with twists and turns, excitement and terror, harrowing near-misses, jewels a-plenty, and love that finds its way even through the darkest waters of the Nile itself.
Public Domain (P)2017 C. James Moore