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Brood of the Witch-Queen

Sax Rohmer

Book Overview: 

A swan suffers a mysterious death, its neck wrung by apparent supernatural forces. A young woman dies alone in a hospital room, apparently strangled by mysterious means. Sir Michael Ferrara is found strangled in his bedroom with no one else there. Dr. Bruce Cairn and his son Robert are faced with a mystery that involves deeper, darker, more ancient forces than they could have imagined. Who is Sir Michael's adopted son Antony really? And who is the brood of the Witch Queen?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The clocks had chimed eleven when I gave up, and I felt physically sick. The air by this time was poisonous, literally poisonous. I dropped into the easy-chair and began to wonder what the end of it would be. Then, in the shadowy parts of the room, outside the circle of light cast by the lamp, I detected—darker patches. For awhile I tried to believe that they were imaginary, but when I saw one move along the bookcase, glide down its side, and come across the carpet, towards me, I knew that they were not. Before heaven, sir"—his voice shook—"either I am mad, or to-night my room was filled with things that crawled! They were everywhere; on the floor, on the walls, even on the ceiling above me! Where the light was I couldn't detect them, but the shadows were alive, alive with things—the size of my two hands; and in the growing stillness—"

His voice had become husky. Dr. Cairn stood still, as a man of stone, watching him.

"In t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book was written nearly a century ago, so maybe that accounts for my negative feelings about it. I guess he was using cheesy phrases and syntax before it was cheesy.
The story is not bad, although it's a little too predictable. My real issue is the use of over-the-top language and lots and lo...more

Although not the best of Sax Romer’s novels, it certainly is one of the creepier and scarier of his works. Certainly it is a wonderful book for that cold, dark autumn night while sitting by the fireplace. Romer’s "Brood of the Witch-Queen" is set around World War I in post- Victorian England; mos...more

I liked it. It's the WWI equivalent of a full-season arc on Buffy where they fight one especially scary vampire.

There's a lot of good spooky post-Victorian magic in here. I especially liked the mummy skull full of magic beetles.

The ending is such a resounding anticlimax that I almost like it. Roh...more

at times, the tone of this story seemed highbrow, hoity-toity, as you're reading along, taking it all in, trying to get a handle on the bad guy...this brood who is....doing things...doing things says something w/o spoiling it...

...and...you're (i was) wondering, why? why is he? well, cause he is...more

The writing in this book felt surprisingly almost modern. I mean, surprisingly for something written almost 100 years ago. I also got the impression that the chapters were published in a series of periodicals, the references to earlier events sometimes felt like the author expected people to have...more

A wonderful black magic/Egyptian novel that takes place during the early 20th during the height of the Egyptology crazy. For the most part the story in this book is fantastic as the adventure of the main characters takes them from London to Cairo has they chase down and ancient evil force of magi...more

Fairly interesting story. Not nearly up to horror standards of today, but it had its moments. Due to this being written in London in the early 1900s, the language can be difficult to follow at times.
I would have given this 3 stars, but the ending was like a Steven King ending - no idea how it sho...more

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