Ayesha by H. Rider Haggard
An imaginative, entertaining adventure story.-E.F. Bleiler Enchantment is just what this writer exercised; he fixed pictures in our minds that thirty years have been unable to wear away.-Graham Green There are few equals to the thrilling adventure-fantasy novels of H. Rider Haggard, and of all of his series the Ayesha novels have been the favorites of his fans. In this final chronological installment of the novels, Ayesha: The Return of She (1905) the adventures of intrigue, the supernatural, and love continue, yet this time in the deep exotic wilds of the Asian continent. After the immortal African Queen Ayesha, or She, apparently perishes in a tower of fire, the Englishman Horace Holly and his adopted son Leo Vincey return home from their African journey. Twenty years later, the pair are still haunted by the strange memories of the beautiful but cruel supernatural being She, and eventually Leo is afflicted by powerful visions of her presence. In agreement that she is still roaming the earth, Holly and Leo set out for Asia, and eventually to Thibet, where they make perilous journeys through the jungles and mountainous peaks of the uncharted wild. Through battles with immortals, death-hounds and sorceresses they are finally re-united with Ayesha. As Holly and Leo are pulled further into the world of the occult it becomes clear that the Queen's ambitions are nefarious, yet they have inexplicably fallen into the allure of her powers. A classic of gothic-fantasy literature, this final installment of the Ayesha series succeeds at creating one of the most exotic and mysterious mythical worlds ever created.