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The Ghost Kings is a mystery-adventure novel by H Rider Haggard, set on the borders of Zululand in Africa. In this story Mr. Rider Haggard returns to the.
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- The Ghost Kings: A very fine novel from Haggard’s middle period
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Some years later, however, Rachel, not having seen Richard during all that intervening time, runs afoul of one of the author's patented lustful villains, Ishmael, a renegade Englishman who plots with the Zulu king to have Rachel for his own. This task is made complicated for the rogue when the Zulus come to view Rachel as their "Inkosazana y Zoola," or Great Lady of the Heavens; the embodiment and incarnation of their goddess.
After almost pages of fairly intricate plotting, Haggard's work settles into its second section, in which Rachel, accompanied by Noie, her faithful half Zulu attendant, discovers one of Haggard's "lost civilizations," the Ghost Kings: Haggard, of course, was the great popularizer of the "lost world" tale, and his Ghost Kings here are an interesting addition to dozens of others in the author's pantheon.
Similarly, the Ishmael character, who practically goes insane with lust over the beautiful Rachel, is a fine addition to the pantheon of similar Haggardian wretches, such as Frank Muller in "Jess" , Owen Davies in "Beatrice" , Samuel Rock in "Joan Haste" , Swart Piet in "Swallow" and Hernando Pereira in the Allan Quatermain adventure "Marie" For that matter, Noie must be placed in the pantheon of exotic Haggardian women who dare much for love and sacrifice more, a pantheon that includes Maiwa in "Maiwa's Revenge" , Mameena in "Child of Storm" and, of course, Ayesha, from the author's seminal "She" and its three sequels.
And although this section IS the most heavily fantasy oriented, it is by no means exclusively so. Rachel's mother and, to a lesser degree, Rachel herself are endowed throughout the tale with the gift of "second sight," a foreseeing ability that aids our heroine on several crucial occasions. And while the Zulu "umtakatis" wizards do not play a role in this novel, as in so many of Haggard's others, the magic of the Ghost Kings is shown to be very real and not a little eerie.
It shows clearly the sympathy and esteem that Haggard felt for the native races "they are not hypocrites, and they are not vulgar; that is the privilege of civilised nations". And, thanks to a journey that Rachel takes into the realm of the dead with the aid of the Mother of the Trees, we get to see what Haggard's conception of the afterlife is or, at least, ONE of his conceptions; it varies greatly from the descriptions given in his short story "Barbara Who Came Back".
The book even shows Haggard, who was once an avid hunter, beginning to take an antihunting stance, a position that would find its greatest expression three years later in the author's short novel "The Mahatma and the Hare. In all, it is a very fine novel from Haggard's middle period, and one that is well worth seeking out.
Feb 29, Julie Davis rated it liked it. I really enjoyed this - it was full of Haggard-y goodness. It is a story of heroic proportions with Rachel Dove mistaken for a white goddess by the Zulu people. They'd like her to stay with them always, for good fortune. She, luckily, has a fair share of smarts, intuition, and Scottish psychic powers to allow her to occasionally read the future.
These qualities and the help of heroic Richard also drop dead handsome, so its a nice package may help her to escape with her life.
The Ghost Kings: A very fine novel from Haggard’s middle period
Unfortunately, Rac I really enjoyed this - it was full of Haggard-y goodness. Unfortunately, Rachel must also thwart evil Ishmael's plans to force her to marry him. Haggard explains Ishmael's personality with one of the best summaries of the evils of not correcting spoiled children I've ever read. It was a cracking good adventure.
However, it was no People of the Mist, which remains my favorite. I miss Otter, who was such a great heroic sidekick, and Ishmael, while clearly nutso, is no match for Soa's batshit craziness. Apr 25, Katherine Holmes rated it it was amazing. As with other Haggard books, The Ghost Kings was a page-turner for me. Although there was some suspended belief going on, other story elements were enlightening.
Rachel is a missionary's daughter and she becomes a kind of friendly hostage with a Zulu tribe. She has the extreme belief that her father conveys, "The Shouter" to the Zulus. But even her mother considers her to be beyond harm because she somehow stands up to anything. The plot includes two English men, one violently set on marrying he As with other Haggard books, The Ghost Kings was a page-turner for me.
The plot includes two English men, one violently set on marrying her when he lives with a number of African wives, and the other a young man that she weathers a storm with and who she keeps in her heart because of prophetic dreams. She knows how to intimidate the Zulu's with spiritual power and with the Boer army threat.
And she has made a close friend and companion of a girl who is part pygmy, though pursued by the Zulu king. Noi's father was a dwarf, and the ghost kings, dwarves too, rescue her from the Zulu's eventually. It took me a little while to confirm that the story wasn't becoming totally speculative at that point. The dwarf tribe in the forest must have been a pygmy tribe. That word wasn't used but when I read some about pygmies, the religion and tribal description was very similar to the book's.
They finally hold Rachel too, and after her parents died. This book has a very sad ending for the pygmy tribe. It was fascinating, Rachel coming off almost like a female Tarzan at times, and the religious quests, done with a kind of meditation and written very beautifully. Haggard's adventure in this book seemed to have spun off into the speculative, it seems, but the story was a page-turner in that I stopped reading other books to finish it.
The Ghost Kings by H. Rider Haggard - Full Text Free Book
Feb 13, Pamellia rated it liked it Shelves: It was an interesting story of a couragous girl who grew into a strong and spiritually aware young lady. She was thought of by the Zulos to be a spirit, their own god!!! She played the part well and seemed to become the god they were seeking. There is a sweet little love story going on, but in typical Haggart fashion, it does not over power the story of the Zulos, their king Dingaan and the Ghost Kings from the Ppl of the Trees. I did not enjoy this book as much as I usually enjoy Haggart.
Still It was an interesting story of a couragous girl who grew into a strong and spiritually aware young lady. Still it was a good story and I'm glad I read it. I would recommend it to someone if I were ask. Feb 01, George rated it really liked it. Written in and another African tale set in Zulu country. This girl, they say, was very beautiful and brave, and had great power in the land before the battle of the Blood River, , which they fought with the emigrant Boers. Her title was Lady of the Zulus, or more shortly, Zoola, which means Heave Written in and another African tale set in Zulu country.
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It is also a love story between Rachel and Richard Darrien who fall in love as teenagers and, in typical Haggard fashion, under go years of trials and tibulations before they can actually be together. Then, of course, there is the rejected jealous suiter who provides all kinds of bad complications for the couple. The basic tale is very good, but drawn out with repeated complications. With Haggard, the road to true love and fulfillment is never easy and not always granted in this life.
The story also features elements of the mystical and supernatural.
Jan 25, Yani Daniele rated it really liked it. Jan 25, Victoria Vetterl rated it really liked it Shelves: Winners are announced in the comments. Just so you know, some of the books we review are received free from publishers. Much of our site's special functionality was coded by Zane Hooper. Best of the Years Fun! If you plan to buy this book, you can support FanLit by clicking on the book cover above and buying it and anything else at Amazon.
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