Khai of Khem
By Brian Lumley
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765310477, 320pp.)
Publication Date: September 23, 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Considered by many to be among Brian Lumley's greatest works, the exciting Khai of Khem is little-known in the US. This time-traveling adventure story spans centuries and cultures in Lumley's trademark mix of horror and science fiction, much like his internationally-bestselling Necroscope series. Like the Necroscope novels, Khai of Khem is packed with fast-paced action, hair's-breadth escapes, all-consuming love, endless horror, and, in the person of Khai himself, quick wits and bravery in the teeth of danger.
Khai begins life in ancient Egypt as the son of Pharaoh Khasathut's chief architect. Believing Pharaoh to be a god, Khai is stunned to learn that the supposedly great and wise leader is a shriveled, ancient fossil of a man whose chief desires are to deflower young virgins and achieve eternal life through the powers of his black magicians. When Khai dares to raise a hand to Pharaoh, he is condemned to be a slave.
Escaping, Khai flees to neighboring Kush where he earns the rank of general in the army of Queen Ashtarta . . . and a place in Ashtarta's bed. In the heat of battle against Pharaoh's armies, Khai is betrayed by his best friend and falls victim to the evil spells of Khasathut's magicians, who send his soul winging centuries into the future.
In modern America, Khai searches for the reincarnated souls of his love, Ashtarta, and of his betrayer. Khai is amazed by many of the wonders of the modern world-television, air conditioning, and especially guns, bombs, and other weapons.
Returning to his own time, Khai uses the technologies he saw in the future to rewrite the past. But will he and Ashtarta be in time to prevent Khasathut from attaining immortality and using newly-gained alien powers to destroy all of Khem and Kush?
Originally published in the US in mass market in the early 1980s and unavailable for nearly twenty years, Khai of Khem is one of Brian Lumley's most sought-after novels. Tor Books is pleased to bring it to a new generation of Lumley's readers.
Brian Lumley is the author of the bestselling Necroscope series of vampire novels. The first Necroscope, Harry Keogh, also appears in a collection of Lumley's short fiction, Harry Keogh and Other Weird Heroes, along Titus Crow and Henri Laurent de Marigny, from Titus Crow, Volumes One, Two, and Three, and David Hero and Eldin the Wanderer, from the Dreamlands series. Recently, a volume of critical analysis and popular responses to Lumley's work, The Brian Lumley Companion, was published.
An acknowledged master of Lovecraft-style horror, Brian Lumley has won the British Fantasy Award and been named a Grand Master of Horror. His works have been published in more than a dozen countries and have inspired comic books, role-playing games, and sculpture, and been adapted for television.
When not writing, Lumley can often be found spear-fishing in the Greek islands, gambling in Las Vegas, or attending a convention somewhere in the US. Lumley and his wife live in England.
“A youthful and super-purple blast of Egyptology. Mystic arts! Dark forces! Fans will find this classy stuff.”--Kirkus Reviews on Khai of Khem