Khai of Khem

( 5 )


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 ...
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Khai of Khem

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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 attainingimmortality 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.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brian Lumley fans will welcome the reissue of the veteran British author's 1981 novel, Khai of Khem. Like his Necroscope books, this Egyptian thriller showcases Lumley's trademark blend of science fiction and horror. Agent, Dot Lumley at the Dorian Literary Agency. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hardcover reprint of Lumley's early-'80s mass-market paperback, a youthful and super-purple blast of Egyptology, clearly aimed at fans who've collected cloth editions of his 13-volume Necroscope vampire epic. Sheathed in a scarlet shift, her right breast exposed, dark-eyed, raven-haired Ashtarta, sovereign Candace of Kush, is to marry General Khai Ibizin formerly of Khem (to be known as Egypt in coming times). She looks into the magic pool of Yuh-Shesh, hoping to foresee the results of her army's battle against Kush's ages-old enemy Khem, ruled by pyramid-building Pharaoh Khasathut. Instead, she sees Khai in some strange place where great birds bear humans aloft in their bellies without eating them, where carts without oxen or horses speed with people in strange and wondrous garb, where giant ships without sails cross the seas. It turns out, when Khai is returned to Ashtarta half-dead, that Pharaoh's wizards have sent his ka into the future; unless it returns, his body will die. Khai's old friend General Manek Thotak, who desires Ashtarta for himself, surrenders his ka to be sent by Ashtarta's wizards into the future to bring back Khai. The wizards bury Ashtarta's funerary mask with a ring each from Khai and Manek. Manek is supposed to dig up the mask and rings, show them to Khai, and spirit him back to his homeland. In the future, Khai awakes in London as Paul Arnott, whose fellow Egyptologist Wilfred Sommers shows him the funerary mask of Sh'tarra. Khai does return to Kush, with knowledge of future weaponry he puts to use. Mystic arts! Dark forces! Despite the occasional "greased lightning" clinker, fans will find this classy stuff.
From the Publisher
“A youthful and super-purple blast of Egyptology. Mystic arts! Dark forces! Fans will find this classy stuff.”—Kirkus Reviews on Khai of Khem
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765310484
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 10/17/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,034,485
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong fantasy

    As the son of the royal chief architect, Khai Ibizin grows up believing that the Pharaoh Khasathut, ruler of Khem, is a god until he actually meets the man as a pathetic old man who cares only for young virgins to share his bed and obtain the eternal life. Having no respect for the God that fell from his mental pedestal, Khai defies the Pharaoh and flees to nearby Kush where he meets Queen Ashtarta, who gives him sanctuary.--- Ashtarta and Khai fall in love and plan to marry. However, war between her country and that of Khem is imminent. Ashtarta looks into a magic pool seeing something she does not comprehend. Khai is in a weird locale where silver birds fly humans inside their stomachs and carts with people inside their bellies move without animals amongst other strangeness. The Pharaoh's wizards have sent Khai¿s ka into the distant future; if not returned soon he will die. Khai's friend Manek Thotak is sent forward by Ashtarta¿s wizards to bring Khai¿s ka home. In modern day London Khai lives as Egyptologist Paul Arnott with knowledge of how weapons work.--- This is a reprint of a 1980s action packed tale in which Ancient Egyptian belief elements seem genuine. The key players (a withered pharaoh, a heroic champion, a benign queen, and a sacrificing friend) are all fully developed whether they are in the ¿present¿ or in late twentieth century England. However, what makes the tale still strong is the time paradox of whether Khai¿s return to the past could change ¿future¿ history by bringing back modern day knowledge to Ancient Egypt.--- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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    Posted November 16, 2008

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