Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ayesha: The Return of She by H. Rider Haggard

Ayesha: The Return of She
H. Rider Haggard
3/5 stars
H. Rider Haggard

She, the first volume of the "She" stories, ends with a thrilling conclusion.  Ayesha begins shortly after that, with Leo seeing a vision of where he can find Ayesha now.  He and Horace spend 16 years hunting for the place of the vision.  Leo faces a great trial, a fantastic battle occurs, and Haggard gives another of his excellent endings.

Ayesha is not as well-plotted, nor as exciting, as She.  At times, it seemed to lag, and I even found my attention roaming a bit in the middle.  The divinity and mortality of Ayesha , to my disappointment, was not resolved.  What I would really have liked was more of the 16 years of travel, and less of the daily life in the College of Hess.

The battle was excellent though, and the supernatural elements were just creepy enough to satisfy.  I also enjoyed the uncertainty of just where this story was going, of what Ayesha would do, and the tension this created.

I like Haggard's novels, and while this wasn't his best, it was still a good yarn.  I highly recommend She, and only then should Ayesha be read--with the understanding that it's just not as good.

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