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Warlock: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Novels of Ancient Egypt) Mass Market Paperback – February 5, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this sequel to River God, the ancient wizard Taita finds he is called by his deceased queen, since elevated to goddess, Lostris, to use his prodigious magical powers for the protection of Pharaoh-to-be Nepher-Seti, ensuring the continuance of Lostris's dynasty in Egypt. It takes all the magus's skills to give Nepher-Seti any chance at all of survival since two pretenders to the throne of Egypt look to kill him to validate their claims to the Upper and Lower Kingdoms. There is more sex, graphic violence, and gore in this than can be easily imagined, but it's placed in a setting that allows credibility. Life is cheap, power and wealth are everything, immortality is available to all who have the strength and position to proclaim and defend their divinity from other would-be gods. The narrative, brilliantly read by Dick Hill, is a wonderful blend of history and speculation tinged with enough magic and sadism to carry it off magnificently. Smith is at the top of his game in weaving exotic adventures in this work. Very highly recommended, but for adults only. Cliff Glaviano, Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Novels of Ancient Egypt (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; 1st edition (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031294599X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312945992
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wilbur Smith was born in Central Africa in 1933. He was educated at Michaelhouse and Rhodes University. After the successful publication of WHEN THE LION FEEDS in 1964 he became a full-time writer, and has since written 30 novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His books have been translated into twenty-six different languages

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Garth on April 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In 'River God' Wilbur Smith created magic, intrigue and character with Taita - the slave, eunuch, Pharoah's confidant, artist, architect and bombast. Readers could not get enough of him, and salivated at the prospect of his return, finding glimpses of him in 'The Seventh Scroll'.'
In Warlock, Taita returns : ancient, arcane and mystic from his hidden desert cave, where he'd been communing with his beloved mistress Lostris-she's now a Goddess in the pantheon and his protector. She wants him to return to action and save her grandson, Nefer Memnon-the boy pharoah from the turmoil and intrigue that will arise with the assassination of her son and present pharoah Tamose.
It's open season for the slaying of gods as both Tamose and Apepi, the Hyksos pharoah are brutally murdered by rivals who plot to rule both the upper and lower kingdom and rule the world. From this turmoil, Taita extricates Nefer and Mintaka-Apepi's daughter and smoothens their ongoing romance, even as they rebuild their lost kingdoms in the deserted city of Gallala.
In the midst of the battles and the political intrigue, Taita's formidable new weapons of magic and his shadowy presence overlook all the principal characters: he is 'the magus'- the warlock and adversary to his enemies, and 'Tata'- the father figure to his friends.
The 'River God'is by far, the best book that Wilbur Smith has written and you can see him trying hard to replicate his success by building on the character of Taita. But without Tanus and Lostris-Taita's god and goddess, he struggles to find inspiration. Or, did Wilbur Smith make the fatal mistake of forgetting that we liked Taita when he told us his story in a first person narrative, so that we could laugh and cry with his charms and foibles?
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko VINE VOICE on June 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
What a great summer read. I took Warlock everywhere I went, including my daughters wedding to be sure that when I had a free minute I could slide off somewhere quiet and read. I found Warlock to be a suspenseful and intriguing read. While I am still somewhat new to Wilbur Smith (I've read Birds of Prey, Monsoon and River God) I feel like I've just watched a Errol Flynn movie when I've finished with his books. All of the books I have read are full of high adventure. Warlock is the best one yet.
The young Nefer orphaned by the underhanded assassin Naha. The old Warlock's work is cut out for him. The book is comprised of one adventure after the other until the new king is victorious and settled in his throne with his young queen.
Great characters. Plot is wonderful and finely spun like a spider web. Scenes are so well described that you can taste the Nile or feel the heat of the desert.
I'll read it again.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Levs on May 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It seems I await every new Wilbur Smith novel with an increasing level of expectation, probably since his last few books, starting with 'Birds of Prey' are some of my favourites. In 'Warlock', WS takes us back to Egypt and most importantly to Taita, one of his most beloved characters. Once again, treachery threatens to overthrow Egypt and the House of Tamose, built by Tanus and Queen Lostris of 'River God' fame. Taita is back and ready to serve his long dead Queen, however this time his powers are stronger than ever.
To be in the "presence" of Taita again, as well as the descendants of Lostris and Tanus, was a pleasure, and I relished every second spent imagining the vital, thriving world of ancient Egypt under the strong guidance of WS.
Full of convincing heroes (like always), hissable villains, entertaining plot twists and a swift narrative, 'Warlock' is the epitome of adventure fiction and demonstrates Smith's gift for creating interesting characters and exciting stories. Go buy it and see for yourself.
PS I loved the plot point involving Heseret - it seems there is always a bad egg in Smith's families.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By goodoldmac on May 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Wilbur Smith returns to the ancient Egypt of "River God" for this one. Unlike "River God" this one is not told from the standpoint of the slave Tatia, but in the third person. Tatia, now a old man and the warlock of the title, is advisor to pharoah Mamose, the son of Queen Lotsris. However both Mamose and his Hyskos rival are murdered through some complicated plots, (even a writer of Smiths caliber has trouble pulling this off, since Mamose most trusted advisor, and assasin, is a cousin to one of the hated Hyskos) The two new "false kings" decide to cement their new union with interstate marriages and the plot becomes far more complicated from there. As I said, even a master wordsmith such as Wilbur Smith has trouble keeping all this straight, let alone readable, but somehow he does it. The rapid pacing that is the hallmark of a Smith novel is there, although it is a bit slower, action-wise, than is usual in one of his books. (River God was also like this.)Any Wilbur Smith is worth reading, since at his worst, Smith is better than 90% of the other writers out there, and Warlock is far from his worst. This book totally stands alone from "River God", not being a sequel so much as another book using a few of the original characters. For what its worth, of the three "Egypt books" I would read them in the order they were written... "River God", "Seventh Scroll" (which takes place in modern times oddly enough), and then "Warlock" since I think you will enjoy "Scroll" a lot more if you read it immediatly after "River God". (Those two are far more "connected" that "River God" and "Warlock" are.) "Warlock" is an excellent Wilbur Smith, which in itself is reason enough to check it out.
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