Ancient Egypt Fantasy: A Guide to the Genre (2024 Edition)

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Fantasy novels that incorporate history into them are often some of the most captivating and intriguing novels out there. The melding of history and fantasy can make otherwise dry historical content more exciting! Historical fantasy is an amazing genre that has so much to offer. And ancient Egypt fantasy is a genre that is typically full of historical fantasy, but there are also many novels in this genre that take inspiration from ancient Egypt and do not actually reference anything historical. Ancient Egypt fantasy is a great genre to escape to. Keep reading to find out more about the genre and decide fr yourself if it is a genre worth reading. 

Ancient Egypt 

Ancient Egypt is a fascinating time period that is full of mystery. Experts do not always agree on the exact timeframe of ancient Egypt, but it was more or less from 3150 BCE – 332 BCE. This is a huge range of years, so it is often sectioned out into smaller time periods. Without a doubt, the most well-known element of ancient Egypt is the great pyramids of Giza. These pyramids are thought to have been built around 2580 – 2560 BCE. They still stand as monuments today in Egypt. 

While we do know quite a lot about ancient Egypt, there is still much that we do not understand. Many of the rituals and customs of ancient Egypt are still unknown and a source of interest for many historians. There are many mysteries and conspiracies that surround ancient Egyptian history. It is likely that we will not ever be able to answer all of the questions about the time period.

Ancient Egypt Fantasy 

Egypt Fantasy fanart

Ancient Egypt fantasy novels are often historical fantasies, but that is not always the case. Historical fantasy takes parts of history and makes them more exciting by adding in magic or supernatural elements. While there are many ancient Egypt fantasies that do this, there are just as many that are not historical at all. 

For a novel to be an ancient Egypt fantasy, it has to directly or indirectly reference the time period, the customs, or the culture of the time period. It could have characters that travel to the time period, or it could have characters that travel to the present-day from the time period. Alternatively, it could not have any direct relation to the time period and it could simply reference the ancient Egyptian gods. The history of ancient Egypt is so lush that there are any number of things that could put a novel into the genre of ancient Egypt fantasy. 

Also, ancient Egypt fantasies contain some element of magic or the supernatural. The time period itself is known for being full of supernatural occurrences, so these are often referenced in novels. There can be completely fictional magic and sorcery taking place, or even mythological creatures roaming about. What matters, in the end, is that the novel references ancient Egypt directly or indirectly and that there are elements of magic throughout. 

Examples of Ancient Egypt Fantasy 

Ancient Egypt is a time period that works so well with the fantasy genre. It is a time period that is known for mysterious happenings, interesting rituals, and supernatural occurrences. All of these things make for a great fantasy novel. In each of the novels or series below, ancient Egypt becomes part of the story in a different way. There is no one right or wrong way to write an ancient Egypt fantasy, and the authors below all have their own style. If you are looking for an ancient Egypt fantasy to begin your foray into the genre, look no further than the novels below.

The Anubis Gates

The Anubis Gates is a 1983 novel by Tim Powers. It is a slightly different take on ancient Egypt fantasy than the other novels in this article. This novel does not take place in ancient Egypt, nor are there any characters from the time period. What makes this novel an ancient Egypt fantasy is the history and references made to the time period. 

In this novel, the British have taken over control of Egypt and attempt to suppress the worship of the ancient Egyptian gods. A group of magicians attempts to bring the gods from ancient Egypt to the present time period, but they are unsuccessful. In their failed attempt, they open the Anubis gates which allow time travel. 

Throughout this novel, there is magic, time travel, and references to ancient Egyptian culture. It is not a typical fantasy novel. Readers will find historical fiction alongside ancient Egypt fantasy with sci-fi elements too in this novel. There are a lot of historical references and you will definitely walk away having learned something new about the culture. But there is also plenty of fantasy, magic, and mystery that will appeal to all kinds of fantasy fans. 

Ancient Evenings 

Ancient Evenings is a 1983 novel by Norman Mailer. This novel has an entirely different feel to it than The Anubis Gates, and it is a completely different take on an ancient Egypt fantasy. This novel takes place in ancient Egypt and follows a man who does not know who he is or where he came from. Eventually, the man figures out who he is, and the reader journeys with him as he moves on to the afterlife. 

This novel is full of ancient Egyptian history as well as supernatural events, mystery, and intrigue. Though it is considered historical fiction, it also contains a large amount of fantasy. The nature of ancient Egyptian history allows for supernatural beings and occurrences, and this novel does not shy away from these things. This novel is suspenseful and captivating. It is a great start for someone seeking a true ancient Egypt fantasy. This novel is rather long, but that should not deter readers away from it. The story, the history, and the fantastic elements will keep you hooked page after page. 

The Book of the Black Earth 

The Book of the Black Earth is a fantasy series by Jon Sprunk. This series differs from the other novels in this article because it is not directly set in ancient Egypt, nor does it directly reference ancient Egypt. The Book of the Black Earth is, however, largely influenced by ancient Egypt, which is what makes this series fit into the genre of ancient Egypt fantasy. Though this series takes place in an entirely fictional world, there is clear inspiration taken from ancient Egypt and its culture and history. 

This series follows a man named Horace as he travels through battles, across deadly oceans, and as he comes face to face with sorcerers. This series is full of action and there is never a dull moment. The various novels in this series could be classified as slave fantasy, dark fantasy, and high fantasy. There is a lot of depth to the world in which this series takes place, and readers will find captivating characters that they want to follow through all four books. 


I hope this article has helped clarify what this genre is all about and given you some ideas of books to read in this subgenre.

And if you want to read more about unique fantasy subgenres on this blog, check out:

Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another fiction-literature-related topic!

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