Brood of the Witch-Queen

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Author: Sax Rohmer (Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward)
Published: 1918
Language: English
Wordcount: 65,592 / 200 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 82.3
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 4,264
Added to site: 2006.11.04 15146
More Info:
Genres: Pulp, Adventure

paper appointment offered to him in London. It may have been due to some mysterious design of a hidden providence that Sime 'phoned him early in the week about an unusual case in one of the hospitals.

"Walton is junior house-surgeon there," he said, "and he can arrange for you to see the case. She (the patient) undoubtedly died from some rare nervous affection. I have a theory," etc.; the conversation became technical.

Cairn went to the hospital, and by courtesy of Walton, whom he had known at Oxford, was permitted to view the body.

"The symptoms which Sime has got to hear about," explained the surgeon, raising the sheet from the dead woman's face, "are--"

He broke off. Cairn had suddenly exhibited a ghastly pallor; he clutched at Walton for support.

"My God!"

Cairn, still holding on to the other, stooped over the discoloured face. It had been a pretty face when warm life had tinted its curves; now it was congested--awful; two heavy discolorations showed, one on eithe


Average Rating of 3.8 from 4 reviews: ****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1908) Occult / Adventure

Plot bullets

  • The Witch-Queen is log dead.

  • At one time, so was her son.

  • Can the son of that accursed brood reanimate the mother?

  • There are strong evil demons and the ancient arts of Egypt at his beckoning.

  • The Professor and his son will try to prevent the death of those dear, and the destruction of humanity at large.

From the author of the Dr. Fu-Manchu stories.


Reflecting the eraís fascination with all things Egyptian, this is a fast-moving adventure/horror/mystery. As the book progresses, itís clear that the real hero is Dr Cairn, a famed Egyptologist and doctor. The middle-aged doctor is portrayed as a healthy, adventurous and brave, as well as very learned man, a refreshing change from our own youth-obsessed era. Indeed, heís far better in a tight spot than many of the younger characters.

Yes, as an earlier reviewer said, the ending does let it down. So too do the scenes that should have been a counterpoint to the mysticism but were even more unbelievable, such as the endless refusals by the father to discuss his suspicions, and the stubborn refusal by the son to quit his chambers and go back to his dadís house in safety. Nevertheless, itís a rollicking adventure, and an exciting read.


A real page-turner. Aristocracy dying in locked rooms, dreams of ancient witch-queens, tracking vampires to cellars in old Cairo, being chased by an army of tarantulas, crawling on hands and knees through ancient pyramids - what more could you ask for?


This pulp adventure tale was good, with many vivid and exciting scenes.The only thing that spoils the fun is the rather abrupt ending. The action of the final scene takes place off-stage, with only the aftermath related by the hero in the end. If you like the Indiana Jones movies, or the recent remake of "The Mummy", you might want to give this book a try. Just be prepared for an abrupt ending.

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