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The reader is plunged into a vividly realised evocation of life in ancient Egypt but one presented with insights into the various characters that infuse a very contemporary feel. In the secluded deserts of North Africa, Taita has spent the years since the death of his adored Queen Lostris studying to become a Warlock, steeped in the arcane arts of the ancient Gods and a master practitioner of magic. Responding to an occult summons, Taita abandons the desert and returns to civilisation, only to find himself at the centre of a massive conflagration in which dark and sinister forces are undermining the throne of Egypt and attempting to destroy the young prince Nefer. Soon, his hard-won skills are tested to the limit.
As in the previous books in the sequence, Smith knows that a strong and passionate agenda on the part of his protagonists will allow the reader to identify with them, despite the gap of centuries. Here, it is family ties: Taita is defending the young prince who is the grandson of his lost Queen, and we are quickly engaged in a narrative that rarely flags over its considerable length. The action set pieces are as impressive as one would expect:
The instant he was within range the Cobra struck again, but Nefer caught the blow on the thick leather folds of the bag. The beast's fangs snagged in the leather and held fast. As Nefer swung back the snake was dragged with him. It was hauled cleanly out of the nest, a writhing, seething ball of coils and polished scales. It thrashed against Nefer's legs, the heavy tail lashing him, hissing fearsomely, clouds of venom spraying from its gaping jaws and dribbling down the leather bag. So great was its weight that Nefer's whole body was shaken violently.--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Any book by Wilbur Smith, I buy without needing to check reviews.Published 5 months ago by Ahmed F. Hosny
I found it a little involved at times and hard to follow but on the whole I enjoyed the read.Published 9 months ago by joan
This story gripped me from the very first page and I could not put it down.Published 11 months ago by Jadyra
In an age of technology, it doesn't hurt to allow yourself the opportunity to dream of magical happenings, of great gains and equally great loss. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Randy Milanovic
A friend lent me the first book in this series (River God) and I was doubtful because I'm not a fan of historical-type adventure novels. BUT, this series is fantastic! Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2009 by L. Jeffreys
Mr. Smith has done a beautiful work of transcending us into the magical world of Egypt. With an easiness for writing that is characteristic he transformed historical places and... Read morePublished on April 13 2003 by Yellowstar
he likes to write long books, but this one is too much. The magic is too much, the boring conversation is too much & the constant references to an aging eunuch are especially... Read morePublished on June 8 2002
I was so incredibly disappointed with this novel. The beauty of it's prequel River God was that it was a touching, human story (with just a touch of mysticism. Read morePublished on May 28 2002 by S. L. Rayhon
One of the best authors teamed with one of the best narrators.
I preferred this book to both River God and the Seventh Scroll.