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Warlock (Ancient Egypt #3)

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One of the world's most acclaimed adventure writers returns to the world of ancient Egypt with the stunning sequel to the New York Times bestselling River God. In the wake of a sixty-year war over the reign of the kingdoms of Egypt, two young pharaohs have risen to claim power, but only one can succeed, deciding the fate of his empire forever... The mission of Prince Nefer, One of the world's most acclaimed adventure writers returns to the world of ancient Egypt with the stunning sequel to the New York Times bestselling River God. In the wake of a sixty-year war over the reign of the kingdoms of Egypt, two young pharaohs have risen to claim power, but only one can succeed, deciding the fate of his empire forever... The mission of Prince Nefer, rightful heir to the throne, is to rebuild a magnificent kingdom in the stark and tumbled ruins of the embattled city of Gallala. The desire of Lord Naja is to destroy his rival and rule the land with unholy supremacy. But Nefer has on his side the warlock Taita, a matchless ally and legendary priest of notorious powers... To see their dream come true, Nefer and Taita must stay one step ahead of the depraved assassin, survive the tortuous shadow of her ever-pursuing armies, and outwit the shocking betrayals of is own flesh and blood. As Nefer's courage increases, and as Taita's magic grows more beguiling, so grows stronger the power of their tireless enemies.... Now, with the threat of tyranny and blood thundering closer and closer toward the vulnerable gates of Gallala, the ultimate battle for Egypt will begin...


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One of the world's most acclaimed adventure writers returns to the world of ancient Egypt with the stunning sequel to the New York Times bestselling River God. In the wake of a sixty-year war over the reign of the kingdoms of Egypt, two young pharaohs have risen to claim power, but only one can succeed, deciding the fate of his empire forever... The mission of Prince Nefer, One of the world's most acclaimed adventure writers returns to the world of ancient Egypt with the stunning sequel to the New York Times bestselling River God. In the wake of a sixty-year war over the reign of the kingdoms of Egypt, two young pharaohs have risen to claim power, but only one can succeed, deciding the fate of his empire forever... The mission of Prince Nefer, rightful heir to the throne, is to rebuild a magnificent kingdom in the stark and tumbled ruins of the embattled city of Gallala. The desire of Lord Naja is to destroy his rival and rule the land with unholy supremacy. But Nefer has on his side the warlock Taita, a matchless ally and legendary priest of notorious powers... To see their dream come true, Nefer and Taita must stay one step ahead of the depraved assassin, survive the tortuous shadow of her ever-pursuing armies, and outwit the shocking betrayals of is own flesh and blood. As Nefer's courage increases, and as Taita's magic grows more beguiling, so grows stronger the power of their tireless enemies.... Now, with the threat of tyranny and blood thundering closer and closer toward the vulnerable gates of Gallala, the ultimate battle for Egypt will begin...

30 review for Warlock (Ancient Egypt #3)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Allie Cross

    My God, this is hilariously bad writing. How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. Obi wan Taita is so ridiculously overpowered I never felt like the "Good Guys" could fail. Yes, he did do the "These are not the droids you're looking for" scene. He also managed to call up a sandstorm, fake someone's death, and communicate telepathically. Since he can also control people as well, I view the whole story as his fucking about with the world for a sense of amusement. It certainly explains away a lo My God, this is hilariously bad writing. How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. Obi wan Taita is so ridiculously overpowered I never felt like the "Good Guys" could fail. Yes, he did do the "These are not the droids you're looking for" scene. He also managed to call up a sandstorm, fake someone's death, and communicate telepathically. Since he can also control people as well, I view the whole story as his fucking about with the world for a sense of amusement. It certainly explains away a lot to me. :D The sex scenes were so hilariously ludicrous I'm convinced that Mr Smith has never bedded a woman, esp a virgin. Seriously, I want to hear from any woman that had three orgasms the first time she had sex. Everyone seemed to fall in love with the first person they so much as noticed; shockingly, these matches were also pretty much arranged by the Deux Ex Taita. I really got tired of reading about everyone's round buttocks. Seriously, that might be one of Amazon's unique phrases for this book with how many times he mentions it. There are other issues also, like the ridiculous cartoony villains and the severe lack of editing, but I don't really feel like bothering.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    This book is a cross between an ancient Egyptian bodice-ripper and "The Return of the Jedi," with a little Marquis de Sade thrown in for good measure. I had read the first two books in the series, "River God" and "The Seventh Scroll," and had found them interesting enough to carry on to the third, but as far as I am concerned Smith went completely off the track with this one. Taita, the eunuch slave, was an enormously talented MAN in the first book. He used his knowledge in the service of his bel This book is a cross between an ancient Egyptian bodice-ripper and "The Return of the Jedi," with a little Marquis de Sade thrown in for good measure. I had read the first two books in the series, "River God" and "The Seventh Scroll," and had found them interesting enough to carry on to the third, but as far as I am concerned Smith went completely off the track with this one. Taita, the eunuch slave, was an enormously talented MAN in the first book. He used his knowledge in the service of his beloved mistress Lostris and her lover and his friend, Tanus. He was enormously talented but still human. In this one though, he has become a Jedi knight of the highest order. He practices mind control over the enemies of the young pharoah he now serves, Nefer, the grandson of Lostris. Oh, and that is another thing: It appears that Taita is now immortal and ageless. He sprints around like a young man and his age is never revealed, although various characters speculate that he is at least two hundred. So we have Taita fulfilling the role of Obi Wan Kenobi, Nefer is alternately Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, and his lady love Mintaka is a spirited Princess Leia. Give me a break! It is just a mish-mash and, at 735 pages, a very long mish-mash at that. About halfway through, I began skipping long passages of rape and mayhem and torture. Just not my cup of tea, thank you. I love the history of ancient Egypt and I love historical fiction - especially mysteries - based on the true history of that remarkable civilization. But this series, as far as I can tell, is pure fantasy, designed perhaps to appeal to the wet dreams of 14 year old boys. I'm not a boy and I'm certainly not 14 years old, so it's not for me. I won't be returning here.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bettie☯

    If my memory serves me right, this return to ancient Egypt is rather a let down after the adventure of The Seventh Scroll. We shall see... Later: yes, Taita is just too capable to bear. Solid 3* adventuring though, and so onto the 4th book Summer 2013 Egyptian Encounters: Cleopatra (1963) 3* The Mummy Curse 2* Alexandria: The Last Nights of Cleopatra 4* The Complete Valley of the Kings 1* Ancient Egypt by George Rawlinson 4* Tutankhamen: Life and death of a Pharoah 2* The Luxor Museum 3* Tutankhamen's Tre If my memory serves me right, this return to ancient Egypt is rather a let down after the adventure of The Seventh Scroll. We shall see... Later: yes, Taita is just too capable to bear. Solid 3* adventuring though, and so onto the 4th book Summer 2013 Egyptian Encounters: Cleopatra (1963) 3* The Mummy Curse 2* Alexandria: The Last Nights of Cleopatra 4* The Complete Valley of the Kings 1* Ancient Egypt by George Rawlinson 4* Tutankhamen: Life and death of a Pharoah 2* The Luxor Museum 3* Tutankhamen's Treasure 3* The Black Pharaoh\ 3* Nubian Twilight.../ complimentary reading! 4* River God 4* House of Eternity The Egyptian (1954) Agora (2009) TR Justine Death on the Nile (1978) 2* Nefer the Silent 5* The Seventh Scroll 5* The White Nile CR An Evil Spirit out of the West Nefertiti Resurrected 3* Warlock Queen Pharaoh - Hatshepsut 03-07-2013: Egyptian army suspends constitution and removes President Morsi.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Siomha

    Well, damn...All of you guys are saying you read the first two books, and that this one was horrible, basically. But i haven't read the other two book, this is my first time reading a book by Wilbur Smith, and i LOVED it. As far as I'm concerned, this was a well-written thought out book, couldn't have been better. I realize you might not agree with me, and in order to see where you guys are coming from, I'll go read his other books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bex

    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 yo 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 Pharaohs 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. Smiths 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Charmaine Lloyd

    I love Wilbur Smith. He manages to write a book that espouses adventure, history, friendship and romance all at once. The central character Taita; though a eunuch, is a dashing “romantic” lead with his on-going love for Queen Lostris. In this world and time, it is refreshing to read of love beyond the physical. The story of ancient Egypt unfolds colourfully and the other lead characters are so relatable in their contrasts - Light and dark, love and hate, arrogance and compassion and the characte I love Wilbur Smith. He manages to write a book that espouses adventure, history, friendship and romance all at once. The central character Taita; though a eunuch, is a dashing “romantic” lead with his on-going love for Queen Lostris. In this world and time, it is refreshing to read of love beyond the physical. The story of ancient Egypt unfolds colourfully and the other lead characters are so relatable in their contrasts - Light and dark, love and hate, arrogance and compassion and the character development is relatable and realistic. The book is over a couple of hundred pages, but I got through it quickly as there is a plot behind every desert dune and it is very diffcult to put down. The only parts that I skimmed over were the Red Race and the last chariot fight – though intriguing, I found these too detailed and perhaps one chariot fight (detailed) too many. I have been reading Wilbur Smith since I was 13 years old. Whereas I have found that as an adult, I do not enjoy the style of writing of the other great story-telling authors that I read as a teenager, Wilbur Smith's style of writing is elegant and complements his story telling ability.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stef

    I really enjoyed the first book, 'River God'...couldn't put it down, and and was excited to read the next book which I think is 'Warlock' (which I can tell you in hindsight you should skip ...in fact you can go straight to what I think is book three). Warlock is the sequel to River God that details the later life of Taita 60 years on from the death of Lostris - Taita drops all scientific ways and becomes more supernatural. Don't get me wrong...I'm all over the supernatural, but Taita in this boo I really enjoyed the first book, 'River God'...couldn't put it down, and and was excited to read the next book which I think is 'Warlock' (which I can tell you in hindsight you should skip ...in fact you can go straight to what I think is book three). Warlock is the sequel to River God that details the later life of Taita 60 years on from the death of Lostris - Taita drops all scientific ways and becomes more supernatural. Don't get me wrong...I'm all over the supernatural, but Taita in this book is a *totally* different character. Warlock is a painful, painful, painful read. Frankly - jus skip it and move on to 'The Seventh Scroll (A Novel of Ancient Egypt)'.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Roxana

    No wonder Wilbur Smith was my mother's favorite writer, he is just awesome! Once you start reading any of his books, you can't put it down. And that is what happened to me with this book. I read the two previous books of this saga long ago, and because one of my nephew gave me as a present, wonderful present!, the last book fo the saga, I decided to read it all over again. The funny thing is, I couldn't find the first book. Bookstores that sells new books didn't have all his books, since he is no No wonder Wilbur Smith was my mother's favorite writer, he is just awesome! Once you start reading any of his books, you can't put it down. And that is what happened to me with this book. I read the two previous books of this saga long ago, and because one of my nephew gave me as a present, wonderful present!, the last book fo the saga, I decided to read it all over again. The funny thing is, I couldn't find the first book. Bookstores that sells new books didn't have all his books, since he is not in fashion now. About the book, I totally love the story. Of course Taita is the star here, helping his beloved Lotris's grandson, Nefer, after his father was kill... I can't get into details, I might fall into unwanted spoilers and this book definately needs to be read without spoilers. because even when some twist and turns might be predictable, you just enjoy the story reading it. So, if you like adventure, be my guess, read this wonderful book, you really won't regret it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Art Tirrell

    THE WONDERFUL TAITA HAS LOST HIS CHARM I've read Wilbur Smith's novels, "River God" and "The Seventh Scroll", and although I thought both went on too long and tried to do too much, I loved them for their originality and the excellent drawing of the principal character and narrator, the eunuch Taita. In Warlock, as in the two "Taita" novels mentioned above, Smith again tries to bite off a smidge too much scope but where the earlier stories were so strong I found myself able to overlook this flaw, THE WONDERFUL TAITA HAS LOST HIS CHARM I've read Wilbur Smith's novels, "River God" and "The Seventh Scroll", and although I thought both went on too long and tried to do too much, I loved them for their originality and the excellent drawing of the principal character and narrator, the eunuch Taita. In Warlock, as in the two "Taita" novels mentioned above, Smith again tries to bite off a smidge too much scope but where the earlier stories were so strong I found myself able to overlook this flaw, now the novelty of the setting has worn off and this time the plot is less satisfying - much like Hollywood sequels that fail to measure up to the original films because they slavishly try to mimic the elements that made the original a success. Additionally (regrettably), Warlock grants POV's (points of view) to a veritable slew of characters, and the resulting stew ends up as a jumble of mid-paragraph POV swaps, pat dialogue, and thin characters. There's Taita, of course, but I much preferred him as the egotistical, lustful-but-incapable, boasting genius of River God and Seventh Scroll. There, his flaws glared but you'd roll your eyes and keep on loving him. Here, he is boringly perfect no matter who or what the opposition. Of the others, Young pharaoh Nefer is perhaps the most rounded. He experiences setbacks and tries harder the next time. Although we never really know him well enough to make the transfer into his skin, his character arc rings true as he grows toward manhood. Less convincing are the shallowly drawn love interests and the two bad guys. Between the antagonists they don't do a single redeeming thing in the entire story. Sorry, but I've come to like characters with a little depth, and here there isn't much to enjoy. To his credit, what Smith does give is a strongly imagined story painted in broad, colorful strokes. Smith is expert at setting the scene and Warlock holds the reader while trying hard to exploit the presumed familiarity of the reader with Taita. Sorry, it just doesn't convince. The plot is convoluted enough, but each "homestretch" is easily predictable, and I guess the broad strokes are to be expected when the writer is cranking out 650 page novels on a pace of one per year. In my experience with his works, Wilbur Smith is best when he uses his rich imagination to tackle an entirely new theme with fresh characters and an exciting original hook. The Courtney's come to mind. The initial novel was by far the best of the lot. Of course, as an author myself, I know starting fresh is also the most difficult way to write, and not the kind of thing that lends itself to the one-a-year pace this author has been keeping of late. In the end, I'm still a fan. I'll be reading the next one, and the one after that. If Wilbur Smith lived on the great lakes, he'd have written "The Secret Ever Keeps". He lives in Africa, so I had to do it for him. If you like Wilbur Smith, you'll love "The Secret Ever Keeps". Here's the Amazon page. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1601...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alex Telander

    There is a new magician to be added to the pantheon where the likes of Merlin and Gandalf reside: his name is Taita, a former eunuch slave, who is now the mighty and much-feared warlock of ancient Egypt. Wilbur Smith, bestselling author from South Africa, brings us his compelling sequel to River God, a novel of Egypt’s past, where a pharaoh and her eunuch slave evaded capture to fight against an evil conspiracy. The premise originally arose from a papyrus scroll that was brought to Smith, where t There is a new magician to be added to the pantheon where the likes of Merlin and Gandalf reside: his name is Taita, a former eunuch slave, who is now the mighty and much-feared warlock of ancient Egypt. Wilbur Smith, bestselling author from South Africa, brings us his compelling sequel to River God, a novel of Egypt’s past, where a pharaoh and her eunuch slave evaded capture to fight against an evil conspiracy. The premise originally arose from a papyrus scroll that was brought to Smith, where these two characters were show to have existed at some time in the past. Smith then set about novelizing this account and creating the amazing world of River God. He does exactly the same in Warlock, with just as much gusto and skill. The lovely pharaoh Lostris is now long dead, but her slave, now a warlock – who must be over a hundred years in age – is still revered and feared by many. A new pharaoh, the young prince Nefer, is about to take the throne, his father having been recently assassinated and the killers remaining unknown. Since Nefer is too young to take the throne, Naja, the former pharaoh’s right hand man, automatically appoints himself regent of all Egypt. He hatches a devilish plan, unbeknownst to the prince, where he will unite with the enemy, the Hyksos who control northern Egypt, and get rid of Nefer, and together they will rule, abusing their power in as many ways as they can, meanwhile gaining untold riches. Wilbur Smith has a writing style that is entirely his own. His imagery reaches the point of over-description but never passes it, keeping the reader so entrenched in the world, that once they put the book down, they wonder if they are not actually in Egypt during the time of the pharaohs. Smith takes you through all the emotions, even if you don’t want to tag along for the ride, making you sad then happy by the turning of the page, appalled and shocked then satisfied and appeased. There is a lot in this book, where any reader can get entirely lost, whether it be in the love between prince Nefer and his Mintaka, or the anxious deception concocted by Naja, or the great battles fronted by Nefer and controlled by Taita. There is even some magic in there for all you fantasy buffs. This book, quite simply, has it all. Originally published on November 5th 2001. For over 500 book reviews, and over 40 exclusive author interviews (both audio and written), visit BookBanter.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christian, Kelanth, Scala

    Figli del Nilo, in originale "Warlock" è un romanzo d'avventura di Wilbur Smith pubblicato in Italia nel 2001 per le Edizioni Longanesi. Questo è il terzo di cinque romanzi che lo scrittore ha ambientato in Egitto nella terra dei faraoni. Gli altri romanzi della serie sono: Il settimo papiro Il dio del fiume Alle fonti del Nilo Il dio del deserto La trama è presto scritta: Morto il glorioso faraone Tamose, il paese è senza guida e il trono vacante. Se lo contendono il crudele reggente Naja e Trok, co Figli del Nilo, in originale "Warlock" è un romanzo d'avventura di Wilbur Smith pubblicato in Italia nel 2001 per le Edizioni Longanesi. Questo è il terzo di cinque romanzi che lo scrittore ha ambientato in Egitto nella terra dei faraoni. Gli altri romanzi della serie sono: Il settimo papiro Il dio del fiume Alle fonti del Nilo Il dio del deserto La trama è presto scritta: Morto il glorioso faraone Tamose, il paese è senza guida e il trono vacante. Se lo contendono il crudele reggente Naja e Trok, comandante dei temibili invasori hyksos, ma l'imperscrutabile volontà degli dei manifesta un altro progetto. Il loro favore ricade su Nefer, giovane figlio del defunto Tamose, la cui formazione è affidata a Taita detentore dell'immensa sapienza umana e di immensi poteri sovrannaturali. I due dovranno unire le loro forze per adempiere un glorioso compito e lottare, ognuno con le proprie armi, contro potenti nemici. Taita il mago diventerà terra, acqua, aria e fuoco affrontando le ombre del male con riti arcani; Nefer il principe diventerà un guerriero, imparando che nulla è più potente di un animo fedele alla giustizia e nulla più prezioso dell'amore di una donna. Wilbur Smith ha scelto di ambientare i romanzi di questa saga tra le sabbie del grande paese africano, nell'antico Egitto dove i suoi misteri affascinano da sempre intere generazioni, creando un'avventura che, in bilico tra passato e presente, spazia dai campi archeologici alle magie, dagli amori appassionati alle lotte dinastiche. Tra prove di forza, intrighi di corte e battaglie nel deserto si sviluppa un’avventura mozzafiato che diverte ed emoziona. Credo in ogni caso che il punto di forza sia la capacità dell'autore di descrivere con maestria e perizia di dettagli gli usi e costumi del popolo egizio e di quello hyksos, alimentando quell'atmosfera di magia, fascino e mistero che contraddistingue le civiltà antiche. Un punto di forza che può anche essere uno scoglio per il lettore poco interessato alla storia egizia in quanto può risultare un po' stancante la presenza di lunghe descrizioni. Per me un grande romanzo storico, degno seguito della saga dei faraoni di Wilbur Smith.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rithun Regi

    Warlocks have held great sway in ancient civilizations and this book shows why. The show of miracle and authority as displayed by a slave turned magus Taita is simply astounding. In the first installation of this book, Taita is seen as an underwhelming character and he has transformed into a legend who invokes awe and respect among the ancient kingdoms of lower and upper Eygpt. As the story plot turns, Taita is known to be more than 200 years old and is a master adept at magic. The two warring k Warlocks have held great sway in ancient civilizations and this book shows why. The show of miracle and authority as displayed by a slave turned magus Taita is simply astounding. In the first installation of this book, Taita is seen as an underwhelming character and he has transformed into a legend who invokes awe and respect among the ancient kingdoms of lower and upper Eygpt. As the story plot turns, Taita is known to be more than 200 years old and is a master adept at magic. The two warring kingdoms come to a peace only to see murder,betrayal and the rise of 2 pharaohs. Taita is a king maker and he has his personal battle with another magus and this story flows from the ancient city of Thebes to the fabled lands of Babylonia and the final battle fought near the ruins of an ancient city of Gellala. The Bedouins,Assyrians,Sumerians,Babylonians and all the ancient races are seen to be vassals of the mighty egyptians. Chariot warfare is at its best and the battles are typical David Goliath affairs with the wiles of David in full display. An amazing book and the author is a master weaver of words and magic.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christina Maxfield

    Third installment of the ancient Egyptian series by this author. I really liked this book. Mr. Smith writes with the depth and attention to detail that I think other authors should take into consideration. The continuing tale of the warlock Taita and his life through yet another Egyptian dynasty is just as attention holding as the first book "River God". Didn't want it to end but there is more out there to read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lala

    I wish this could be made into a movie!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dimitris

    I loved it, everything he writes mesmerizes me!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Venter van niekerk

    Absolutely brilliant. Smith at his best.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edwin Kort

    Dit is pas het 2e boek uit de serie over Oud Egypte dat ik lees, kan dus niet veel vergelijken met de eerdere delen (Deel 1, Vallei der koningen, deel twee, Het koningsgraf) Het viel me heel erg op dat Taita, de magier in dit verhaal, wel heel erg de hand heeft in de loop van gebeurtenissen in dit verhaal. Hij roept een zandstorm op, laat iemands 'dood' gaan, etc. Taita was *te* goed in alles, de goeden konden niet verliezen. Wat me een beetje stoorde, was het feit dat er heel slecht met de dieren Dit is pas het 2e boek uit de serie over Oud Egypte dat ik lees, kan dus niet veel vergelijken met de eerdere delen (Deel 1, Vallei der koningen, deel twee, Het koningsgraf) Het viel me heel erg op dat Taita, de magier in dit verhaal, wel heel erg de hand heeft in de loop van gebeurtenissen in dit verhaal. Hij roept een zandstorm op, laat iemands 'dood' gaan, etc. Taita was *te* goed in alles, de goeden konden niet verliezen. Wat me een beetje stoorde, was het feit dat er heel slecht met de dieren werd omgesprongen. Zo liet Nefer een aantal jakhalzen bestrijken met een soort olie, die daarna in brand gestoken werd. Nu zal dat in de tijd waarin het verhaal zich afspeelde een heel ander ding zijn geweest dan tegenwoordig, maar het stoorde mij dus. Niet echt een aanrader. Ook niet al te slecht. 3 sterren

  18. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Reviews

    This was a truly enjoyable novel, and despite the elements of magic in it, this book still felt real, as far as descriptions of clothing, food, surroundings, etc went in this time and place of the ancient world. The author really managed to illustrate various settings, from the harsh clime of the desert to the lavish living of the royal courts, as well as how people of various classes were treated. Although this is written well, I'm just glad I didn't live in such a time and place where my life This was a truly enjoyable novel, and despite the elements of magic in it, this book still felt real, as far as descriptions of clothing, food, surroundings, etc went in this time and place of the ancient world. The author really managed to illustrate various settings, from the harsh clime of the desert to the lavish living of the royal courts, as well as how people of various classes were treated. Although this is written well, I'm just glad I didn't live in such a time and place where my life could be ended in a number of cruel ways.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    This book is the third book in Wilbur Smith's ancient Egyptian series although, chronologically, it is a direct follow-up to the first book, "River God" which ranks among my all time favorite historical novels. The second book of the series, "The Seventh Scroll" actually takes place in the present day and concerns some archeologists/anthroplogists that become embroiled in a mysterious adventure dealing with the events of the first novel. So now, here in the third novel, the author returns to the This book is the third book in Wilbur Smith's ancient Egyptian series although, chronologically, it is a direct follow-up to the first book, "River God" which ranks among my all time favorite historical novels. The second book of the series, "The Seventh Scroll" actually takes place in the present day and concerns some archeologists/anthroplogists that become embroiled in a mysterious adventure dealing with the events of the first novel. So now, here in the third novel, the author returns to the era of Taita, his protagonist of "River God", attempting to recreate the magic (and the hugely popular reviews) of that book. So the question is...did he achieve that? Was he able to garner the forces of whatever muse inspired him that other time? Pretty close. This isn't the super shining star that was "River God" but it is a shining star none the less. I think there are two main differences between the two novels that led this novel to be inferior to the first. One is just that: it isn't the first. Had this one been the first of a series or a stand-alone novel it might well have been held to the same kind of reverence. But since we have "River God" to which to compare it, it loses a little bit in the originality department. But not much I have to say. The prose is equally well done and the pace of the novel is spot on. It reads easily like a quick novel despite it's length and you have that same desire that all good novels inspire...wanting to sneak off and find time to read more of it. There were only a couple of spots where I wished events would speed up. The plot itself is not unique, basically a story of bad guys usurping power from the rightful good guys and how the good guys make things right and come back into power. But since the good guy's army is always outnumbered, he and his allies must use intelligence to find ways to win battles. It sort of reminded me of "Braveheart" in the numbers of ways outnumbered armies can find cool ways to win. The other main difference that makes this novel slightly inferior to "River God" is that it is told in third person point of view. This is probably necessary because this time Taita is not always where the action is occurring. We have multiple major characters all over Egypt making it impossible for 1st person POV. But the author loses the intimacy that comes with 1st person POV. In "River God" we really know the character of Taita and come to understand his foibles as well as his matter-of-fact superiority to those around him. We know his thoughts when he acts as puppet master whereas in this book, he seems more aloof and somehow, less interesting. There are times, especially during the climactic scenes near the end where he is hardly involved. All in all I enjoyed this book as a darn good read despite the inevitable comparisons I had to make to an actual masterpiece. 4 and 1/2 stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Riobhcah

    What a wonderful mystical adventure set in Ancient Egypt. This is one series of which I will be sad to reach the end. The wonderful Taita makes this book. Without him, it probably would not be as interesting. He has grown as a person until becoming one who lives in the spiritual dimension as well as the physical, as humans were meant to do according to Ancient Egyptian philosophy. So sad that many of us have lost this in so-called "modern" times. But there is some hope that it is being "discover What a wonderful mystical adventure set in Ancient Egypt. This is one series of which I will be sad to reach the end. The wonderful Taita makes this book. Without him, it probably would not be as interesting. He has grown as a person until becoming one who lives in the spiritual dimension as well as the physical, as humans were meant to do according to Ancient Egyptian philosophy. So sad that many of us have lost this in so-called "modern" times. But there is some hope that it is being "discovered" again. It's hard to believe that so many gave this book such a scathing review. I think the problem may be that there is an element of mysticism. Our so-called "modern" society is so skeptical when it comes to spirituality and mysticism -- some are even hostile to it. In Ancient Egypt, a society that in many ways was very superior to our own, a mystical meaning was seen in every facet of daily life. Humans are spiritual creatures and it's a shame that so many today would like to deny that. It's one of the reasons that our world is collapsing in on our heads. If we could get rid of the myth that ancient people's were superstitious and somehow inferior to "modern" society, and recover that realization that there is a mystical element in all things, we all would be a lot better off. This book maybe will at least make some realize that.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Neil Hanson

    I almost didn't read this book. I loved River God, but this one got disappointing reviews from others who loved River God. I will say that while I don't think it was nearly as good as River God, it's still a very good story, and well worth the time reading it. I liked the first person voice of Taita better in River God, but using this narrative form allowed the author to more easily be telling several different lines of narration at the same time, which was perfect for this story. It got a bit slo I almost didn't read this book. I loved River God, but this one got disappointing reviews from others who loved River God. I will say that while I don't think it was nearly as good as River God, it's still a very good story, and well worth the time reading it. I liked the first person voice of Taita better in River God, but using this narrative form allowed the author to more easily be telling several different lines of narration at the same time, which was perfect for this story. It got a bit slow for a bit in the second half of the book, when the detail surrounding the preparation and running of the "Red Road" was being described, but with this exception, the story kept me engaged throughout. Lots of adventure, a little magic, and great storytelling. I'm going to stop at this one though, as the next in the series gets such universally terrible reviews. I think I will pick up and try some of Wilbur Smith's other books though, as I think he's truly a master of storytelling.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Will Hogarth

    There is no getting away with the fact that Wilbur Smith is a great wordsmith and story teller, but this book fell short of the mark for me. The characters are all well formed to a point where you cheer the heroes on and the plot is woven well to maintain pace, in what is a lengthy novel (over 500 pages) and at times the imagery conjured up by smith is second to none, but it still left me feeling underwhelmed. For me smith at times seemed to go too far with areas of gratuitous and sexual violence There is no getting away with the fact that Wilbur Smith is a great wordsmith and story teller, but this book fell short of the mark for me. The characters are all well formed to a point where you cheer the heroes on and the plot is woven well to maintain pace, in what is a lengthy novel (over 500 pages) and at times the imagery conjured up by smith is second to none, but it still left me feeling underwhelmed. For me smith at times seemed to go too far with areas of gratuitous and sexual violence, seaming to dwell too long over the detail of the event and thus distracting from the impact that the event would have had otherwise. Yes there are times when something needs to have more time spent over its telling and there are times when enough is enough and, in my opinion, Smith crossed that line to many times in Warlock I can see why this book has, generally, such a high rating, but for me – it misses the mark.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elishua Loh

    Reread because I simply don't remember most of the story. I would strongly advise people to read this serial now in reverse order so that you can still enjoy this book without comparing this with the first or second book. This book is like the second season of Spartacus, more blood, more gore, more sex and with another guy playing Spartacus. I watched the first season and fell in love with the first Spartacus and was most grieved when I realised towards the end of season one that the actor died. Reread because I simply don't remember most of the story. I would strongly advise people to read this serial now in reverse order so that you can still enjoy this book without comparing this with the first or second book. This book is like the second season of Spartacus, more blood, more gore, more sex and with another guy playing Spartacus. I watched the first season and fell in love with the first Spartacus and was most grieved when I realised towards the end of season one that the actor died. I tried to watch the second season, which has just more of everything except the heart of the show, the original actor. All the sex, gore and blood just couldn't make me respond enough to continue watching. So if you wanna enjoy this book, read the series in this sequence : Warlock, Seventh Scroll, River God. This way, you can enjoy all the books in increasing flavor without losing any joy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patience

    Took me 2 years to get through this book. It was slow to start. Rather dull. Then when things finally got a bit exciting, it took a turn for the worse. Disturbing to read how one sister kills another by stabbing a knife into her private parts. Sure, things like that may have happened at one time or another, by some sick individual, but it is uncomfortable to read it. And seemingly perverse to write it. Not a book I felt comfortable keeping, donating, or selling to anyone else. I destroyed my copy. I Took me 2 years to get through this book. It was slow to start. Rather dull. Then when things finally got a bit exciting, it took a turn for the worse. Disturbing to read how one sister kills another by stabbing a knife into her private parts. Sure, things like that may have happened at one time or another, by some sick individual, but it is uncomfortable to read it. And seemingly perverse to write it. Not a book I felt comfortable keeping, donating, or selling to anyone else. I destroyed my copy. I won't be reading anything from this author ever again. Big turn off.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maxi Shelton

    Wilbur Smith is one of my favourite authors to listen to on audio book. He is not for the faint hearted or weak stomached. He doesn't hold back with any of the descriptions on anything, truly! He will take you on a journey thats full of riches to just basically disgusting. You can almost hear, see and smell each scene he describes, you want to reach out and touch the riches and shrink away from the filth. It's something we all need to experience, great listen/read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pat Anderson

    As usual, Smith makes you feel as if you are right there along with the characters. I've read some reviews saying that he strays too much into the supernatural but he has done this before - the Umlimo in the Ballantyne books, for example. I have read this book three times now and still found it a page-turner every time. Taita has developed as a character in this book; he is still as wise as ever but has added magic to his repertoire. Ignore the sneerers; this is a great adventure story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Im almost halfway through this third book of the series and IM LOVING IT! I SO Love the way Taita has spirited Pharaoh away under the illusion that is dead... I can not WAIT to find out how he "comes back" and gets revenge! Was really wishing he had gotten his God Bird right then too just as he was healed!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy B

    Once again, Wilber Smith shows great skill and craftman ship in tying together storyline with historical context and human inter-relations. Seemless! A long read but well worth it. The tension is raised in all the right places and the characters come alive. You are drawn into this ancient way of life and so colourful is Smiths writing that you can't help but get emotionally involved! Stunning!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    On 20 CDs and narrated by Stephen Thorne this book takes on a whole new life and made even better the second time around. Heroic, heart-rending,romantic, barbaric, magical - indeed, the stuff of legend. Although the third book in the series built around Taita it is still a tale unto itself and I loved it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rick Brindle

    I'm more a fan of Wilbur Smith's earlier novels, but this isn't bad, it is just that he has definitely done better. A rather drawn out, in need of editing down story from the ancient Egypt group of novels, this tells the story of life in Egypt after Lostris' death, and how Taita the slave saves the day. Would have been better if it was a bit shorter and more punchy.

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