Alexandria is a fascinating city. Founded by the legendary conqueror Alexander the Great and later ruled by the Egyptian-Greek dynasty known as the Ptolemies, it was an epicenter for culture and learning for thousands of years. If you’re looking for a deep dive into the fascinating story of the city, its founder, its gods, and its dead, then we’ve got some books you’ll probably love.
10. Lion of Macedon by David Gemmell
Want to read some fantasy fiction inspired by Alexandria’s founder? David Gemmell’s Lion of Macedon focuses on a lowly Spartan boy fated to become a great warrior and companion of Alexander the Great. The twist here is that a demonic entity has selected Alexander to become its vessel. You can see how this might be a problem …
9. Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault
If you want more fiction about Alexander the Great, but would prefer something more grounded, then you’ll probably like Mary Renault’s The Alexander Trilogy. Volume one, Fire from Heaven, is the tale of his boyhood and early education. Boring? Not a chance: Remember, this is a kid who killed his first enemy soldier at age 12.
8. The Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield
Want something a little more action-oriented? Try Steven Pressfield’s The Virtues of War. In this novel, Alexander the Great tells his own story of blood and heroism. Ride beside him as he describes a life of near constant conquest.
7. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
We can hardly mention Alexandria without singing the praises of Rachel Caine’s Ink and Bone, an imaginative fantasy series in which the Great Library of Alexandria is never sacked and burned, instead becoming a powerful institution with a monopoly on the flow of information.
6. The Rise and Fall of Alexandria by Justin Pollard and Howard Reid
Ancient Alexandria was a complex, beautiful city that was never entirely Greek and never entirely Egyptian: a center of learning famed for its Great Library and wondrous lighthouse — one of the seven wonders! Learn its history from Howard Reid and Justin Pollard, a historical consultant to television and film.
5. Religion and Magic in Ancient Egypt by Rosalie David
Religion and magic were integral parts of Egyptian culture that informed every aspect of life, from beginning to end. This comprehensive guide includes new translations of authentic Egyptian spells, along with the historical context needed to understand them.
4. The Egyptian Book of the Dead by Wallace Budge (Translated)
Maybe you’re more interested in the funerary aspects of Egyptian magic and religion. If so, The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a must-read. This collection of translated ancient papyruses cover each stage of the soul’s journey to the underworld and rite of final judgement.
3. Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice and Christopher Rice
We had to take a little detour, but we’ve finally returned to fantastic fiction with Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra. Written by Anne Rice, and her son Christopher Rice, this is the story of Ramses: an ancient pharaoh returned to life in Edwardian England, and his quest for love and immortality.
2. Mummies!: Classic Monsters of Pre-Code Horror Comics by Steve Banes
Is Ramses the Damned not scary enough for you? Say no more. Try this anthology of mummy horror comics from the days when pastors, teachers, parents, and even a few scientists believed funny books were just one step on the path to perdition.
1. Pharaoh by David Gibbins
How about an adventure involving another ancient Egyptian mystery? In Pharaoh by David Gibbins, a team of underwater explorers diving the Nile come across a submerged temple devoted to a god of Death. Dark forces gather, determined to keep their discovery a secret.