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Warlock [Paperback]

Wilbur Smith
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 6 2007 Egyptian Novels

Hidden away in the vast and forbidding deserts of North Africa, Taita has passed the years since the death of his beloved Queen Lostris in prayer and study. He has become the Warlock, wise in the lore of the ancient Gods, an adept of magic and the supernatural.

Now Taita answers the summons from the beyond. He leaves the desert vastness and returns to the world of men, to find himself plunged into a terrible conflict against the forces of evil which threaten to overwhelm the throne and the realm of Egypt, and to destroy the young prince Nefer who is the grandson of Queen Lostris.

With vivid depictions of battle and intrigue, of love and passion, with fascinating characters both good and evil, Wilbur Smith brings to life in colourful detail the world of ancient Egypt. This is a masterful feat of story telling by one of the world’s best selling authors.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Wilbur Smith (a name synonymous with the massive blockbuster thriller) has recaptured the verve and impact of his earlier work in Warlock. This Egyptian epic thriller follows on from the equally accomplished and and re-establishes Smith at the top echelons of thriller writing. The customary continent-spanning canvas is here, with a key new element in an adroitly handled supernatural aspect that gives the sequence the feel of fantasy whilst still retaining the plausibility that was always Smith's strongest asset.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Lengthy but seamlessly composed, this epic historical drama by veteran author Smith (The Eye of the Tiger, etc.) tracks a power struggle in ancient Egypt between false pharaohs and a true royal heir, evoking the cruel glories and terrible torments of the era. The kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt have been at war for 60 years. Upper Egypt is ruled by Tamose, Lower Egypt by Apepi, king of the Hyksos. Treachery and assassination eliminate both rulers, allowing two false pharaohs to unite in an orgy of tyranny and oppression. Tamose's son, Prince Nefer, is his father's rightful heir, but the false pharaoh, Lord Naja, denies Nefer's birthright and plots to kill the young prince. Aided by the royal sorcerer, a warlock named Taita, Nefer escapes Naja's plots. Nefer and Taita outwit assassins, evil magicians, pursuing armies and even the treachery of Nefer's own sister, as they raise their own army in the lost desert city of Gallala. Taita's magic spells and occult powers protect, teach and guide Nefer on his tortuous path to regain the throne and save the woman he loves, Princess Mintaka, daughter of slain King Apepi. However, as Nefer's strength grows, so does that of his enemies, and it will take all of Nefer's courage and Taita's mystical powers to prevail when the chariot armies of evil sweep across the desert wasteland to the gates of Gallala. This is a very bloody and violent yarn, set in an age when merciless combat, torture, rape and sacrifice were common. Though timorous readers may wish to steer clear, those willing to brave the blood and gore will be carried away by the sweep and pace of Smith's tale. National advertising.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful escape Nov. 17 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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. Thank you for this gift Wilbur Smith.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you loved River God, you'll hate this novel May 28 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.) I love the book so much I have read it many, many times. In this "sequel" the author chooses to discard or ignore characters from the first novel, and instead focuses on extremely unrealistic magic. It almost made me ill to see such wonderful characters brought so low. And be warned: it was written to allow for at least one more book. I certainly will not read another book based on this rubbish. (I will however read River God again. And again.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A weak story full of Smith's sexual fantasies April 28 2002
I hate novels where authors take a plot with interesting possibilities and ruin it with mind vomit. Literary license does not include dumping every boring fantasy that enters your thoughts. There's so much focus on sex that he wastes the reader's time with it. Smith is busted to private for this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! Sept. 16 2009
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! I surprised myself completely and couldn't put it down! I ended up purchasing the remaining novels in the series and had all of them read in a month!

Wilbur Smith writes an easy to follow story with adventure always popping up out of nowhere to keep me turning pages. I can't attest to the accuracy of his historical facts, and I don't care. This is a fictional series that left me missing the main characters when I had finished, like they had been house-guests for the month!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a travel through time April 13 2003
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 events into a wonderful kingdom of fiction. Excellent book !!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Warlock locked in war May 30 2002
This book cetainly is a journey of exploration in teretory unknown. Wilbur Smith is one of the few authors that manages to avoid making 20th century western hang-ups into BC hang-ups, and that makes his story so much more believeble. In this book the attitudes towards life and death, violence, nobility, religion and clothes are probably a lot closer to ancient thinking than in other works. This is my first historical novel by W. Smith, but the others will be on my bookshelf soon.
Having said all this, I must admit that some of the historical accuracy, or rather lack of it, was somewhat jarring. If the story is set at about 1600 BC, (time of the expulsion of the Hyksos)there would not have been any falluca's, dhows, centurions, galeys and matrasses around. Nor would a Thebes based Pharaoh have called his son Seti (based on the Hyksos god Seth), even Pharaoh Seti I, who lived a lot later, changed his name towards the end of his life.
It is somewhat bizarre to read about a Dhow (a ship of AD times) rigged with a lateen sail (Invented after AD, and not used on Dhows anyway) sailing down the Mediteranean (Dhows sailed the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean)
Having said all that I still maintain that this book presented for me the most enjoyeble reading adventure this year (so far). There may not be a lot in the way of character development, but there is action, suspension, and adventure galore, and there is never a dull moment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Return of Taita May 29 2002
By Annie
The third in a series of books about ancient Egypt, WARLOCK returns to Taita, an eunuch slave who has served several pharaohs. Readers who met Taita in the first books of this series will love being able to read about him again in his latest mission. After getting a vision from the deceased Lostris, the queen Taita faithfully served and loved, he returns from his solitary life in the desert to help her grandson, Nefer Seti. Taita protects Nefer as he is thrust into a dangerous position at the young age of fourteen. He aids Nefer in honing his natural warrior and intellectual abilities, all the while helping Nefer reclaim the throne from Naja, a traitor who killed pharaoh and assumed leadership of Egypt.
This book is exciting from the very beginning, opening with a scene of the Pharaohï¿s fighting chariots racing towards battle. The plot keeps up its breakneck pace from there to the very end, filled with battles, tests of courage and endurance, as well as some magic and mystery. Wilbur Smith does a great job of adding extra twists to the story, which makes it all the more interesting. Smithï¿s vivid language also draws the reader in, though in some scenes the action described is nauseatingly gruesome. Though this book is thick, the pages fly by in no time at all. Those who enjoyed RIVER GOD and SEVENTH SCROLL will love Warlock.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent May 22 2002
By A Customer
One of the best authors teamed with one of the best narrators.
I preferred this book to both River God and the Seventh Scroll.
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