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River God: The Egyptian Series 1 Paperback
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I suppose I have read everything Wilbur Smith has ever written and have enjoyed most of it. RIVER GOD was no exception although he has deviated from his usual stories that have Africa as their theme, to Egypt – and ancient Egypt at that in the time of the pharaohs.
The story is related through the eyes of a slave, Taita, a brilliant and compassionate man who is the advisor to Queen Lostris. The book contains all the old favourites of Smith’s novels – revenge, bravery, love, and slaughter interspersed with swathes of facts that must have sent his research team into paroxysms of despair. All well worth it as the reader will learn much of the customs and culture of ancient Egypt.
An excellent light read although the editor needs a slap on the wrist (I read this on Kindle so I don’t know if that makes a difference) as there were many typos and spelling errors. Words were joined together (no space between them) and this was especially noticeable in the second half.
However despite this annoyance, RIVER GOD was a good read and Smith has lived up to his reputation yet again.
This is not just a simple book. It is a masterpiece of the greatest historical author .
It is a narrative of more than 30 years in the story of the slave Taita and the saga of the Egyptian people before and during the invasion of the Hyksos. It is a novel worth reading .
If you' ve read it, it is worth reading again.
Very descriptive in detail of events during that time of history.
The people come alive and you feel as tho you are there and witnessing
the times and perils. Once you start to read, it's hard to put down.
Recommend this book highly!!!
The story is filled with action and intrigue and is overall very interesting reading. It includes the life style, inventions and daily life of that time period, right down to the toilet habits and politics. It is a long book, but is quick to read. It really is well researched and well written. I recommend River God to those who do not find raw descriptions of that time and place to be a problem.
Top international reviews
I bought the digital copy to protect the original as its very fragile.
This book is brilliant and was one of the first books I ever read as a kid as I used to hate reading. If it wasnt for Wilbur Smith and his Egyptian series I probably wouldnt have taken it up. (I now have so many books I cant fit them anywhere lol)
The flow of the story is great and the sex and violence dosent overpower it and tells the story instead of 'just because' like many other books.
really love the characters and love the next one 'Warlock'
His newer books that have been released in last few years are very disappointing so if you pick up the Egyptian series just read River God, Warlock and 7th Scroll.
So Wilbur Smith delivers if that's what you want. And there's plenty of interesting historical background and detail (if you can believe in it when every main character is either beautiful or hideous). And indeed there's a lot of fascinating stuff about how they moved the boats up the River Nile. I definitely got a strong feel of the Great River and the journey along it (no idea if this journey ever really happened?).
Overall if this kind of big semi-historical pageant with great heroes and beautiful heroines is your cup of tea, go for it.
I enjoyed the historical information but in general prefer something a little less Hollywood and more subtle.
The first in Wilbur Smith’s Egyptian series which according to the preamble is based on the findings from a tomb containing an unknown Egyptian Queen believed to have ruled around 1760BC. Smith according to his comments was a member of the dig team and from that involvement he developed the character of Egyptian eunuch slave, Taita.
Taita is a member of the household of Lord Intef a senior member of the Egyptian nobility. Lord Intef is a man of distinct tastes and avaricious needs. Taita is highly talented which makes him extremely valuable to his master who uses him in a range of ways. Principal amongst his responsibilities is the welfare of his master’s daughter Lostris a young girl who Taita has known from her birth.
Despite having many wives Pharaoh has failed to father a son and sees in Lostris his last opportunity to preserve his dynasty. Lostris however has her eyes on Tanus the soldier son of another noble family who have fallen on hard times. Lord Intef was instrumental in bringing down Tanya’s family and will not consider a match with Lostris and Tanus. Instead he marries her to Pharaoh but has to accept the price of losing Taita who Lostris insists accompanies her to her new home. Intef is not happy with this outcome as he believes Taita knows to much about his affairs.
Egypt is invaded by the Hyksos a war-like people who have developed significantly the art of war. They sweep the Egyptian Army aside forcing the nobility and the remaining army segments to flee up the Nile. Forced to travel in the wilderness Taita uses the time to build up their armed forces and develop their military skills before returning to Egypt and attempting to win back their country.
In a tale that moves at remarkable pace Smith creates a picture of Taita that is not always positive. Vain, arrogant and full of his own self-Importance the tale comes through Taita’s eyes. There appears to be nothing he cannot turn his hand or brain too. Despite his slave status he carries a sphere of influence not normally associated with someone in such a position. Indeed when Lostris offers him his freedom through the book he regards it as being something he should abhor.
I really enjoyed this and intend moving on to the second book in the series at some point in the near future.
The book has it all, forbidden love, power struggles, epic fights etc. The story is told in first person singular by the main character a slave. Though this is no ordinary slave, he is also a surgeon(one of the finest in Egypt) a military tactician, weapons designer, political adviser, expert lip reader, a brilliant horseman even though he had never even seen one since adulthood, horse breeder, vet, wheel designer, astrologist, the list goes on.
The book is quite graphic at times, goes into detail describing torture,castration and animal cruelty. There's not much wrong the main characters can do. Can the hero and his men defeat a group of bandits when outnumbered ten to one?
A good read for someone who likes 650 page novels about ancient Egypt.
I would probably rank this below When the Lion Feeds, but it is certainly deserving of 5*.
In this case the story line was quite good and it was based on some true events regarding the invasion of Egypt many years BC.
The story is related to the reader through the musings of a slave Taita who, if only half of his abilities were true, was a talented person indeed. He was amongst other things the right hand man of Kings and Queens with his numerous talents of linguist, architect, war strategist, prospector, lip reader, astrologist, chemist, horseman, artist, engineer, explorer, geologist, poisoner, nursemaid, diplomat, inventor, charioteer, poet, philosopher, singer and modest.
Taita told the tale of Queen Lostris from young girl onwards with all her trials and tribulations during the turbulent times of the Egyptian occupation by the Hyksos with crimes such as rape, paedophilia, torture, mass murder, looting, drunkenness and war crimes.
Not really what I expected for a story about ancient Egypt but a good read nevertheless if just a bit long winded.
The other characters are very convincing, too......Lostris, his mistress, her lover, her husband, the Pharaoh, and the son she bears......
Another aspect is the exodus they make through what we know as Upper Egypt, along the Nile, into real Africa.......and what they discover there...... it is a tale of redemption of a people, too, as they eventually make their way back to reclaim the land of theirs that has since been invaded.......
Well I am immediately moving on now to 'Warlock', which is part 2 of this trilogy.........
I can thoroughly recommend this book with respect to so many angles it would take me hours to enumerate them here........!!
This isn't helped by the main protagonist of the book endless self-congratulation and bottomless conniving.
An almost wholly unpleasant slog of a read.
The book has a really fascinating story, mixed in with a very in depth detail of Egyptian life. I would recommend this to any fans of history novels, although the story is a mix of an adventure with a strong romance throughout.
You should note that the writing style may not be to everyone's tastes. The wording does use a large, slightly dated vocabulary. Parts, especially dialogue, reminded me of Homer's Odyssey, in that everything seems a tad dramatic. He wept this, she exclaimed that and so on. This is as the book is read as a narrative from the perspective of a scholar at the time, which I find adds greatly to the atmosphere and our understanding of that character, but it might not be to your tastes. There are also adult themes throughout, both romantically and in scenes of violence or torture, which are quite graphically described. They are very well written and do not detract at all, but again this may not be to your tastes.
If you would like a very interesting and well written adventure-romance about life in Egyptian times, this is a must have!
Would highly recommend to people that like historical fiction
River God to The Seventh Scroll are wonderful books to read as Wilbur Smith is simply my favourite author.