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The Quest (Ancient Egypt #4)

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Wilbur Smith returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to his thrilling Egyptian series. Following on from River God, The Seventh Scroll and Warlock. The Quest continues the story of the Warlock, Taita, wise in the lore of the ancient Gods and a master of magic and the supernatural. Egypt is struck by a series of terrible plagues that cripple the Kingdom, and then the ultimat Wilbur Smith returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to his thrilling Egyptian series. Following on from River God, The Seventh Scroll and Warlock. The Quest continues the story of the Warlock, Taita, wise in the lore of the ancient Gods and a master of magic and the supernatural. Egypt is struck by a series of terrible plagues that cripple the Kingdom, and then the ultimate disaster follows. The Nile fails. The waters that nourish and sustain the land dry up. Something catastrophic is taking place in the distant and totally unexplored depths of Africa from where the mighty river springs. In desperation Pharoah sends for Taita, the only man who might be able to win through to the source of the Nile and discover the cause of all their woes. None of them can have any idea of what a terrible enemy lies in ambush for The Warlock in those mysterious lands at the end of their world.


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Wilbur Smith returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to his thrilling Egyptian series. Following on from River God, The Seventh Scroll and Warlock. The Quest continues the story of the Warlock, Taita, wise in the lore of the ancient Gods and a master of magic and the supernatural. Egypt is struck by a series of terrible plagues that cripple the Kingdom, and then the ultimat Wilbur Smith returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to his thrilling Egyptian series. Following on from River God, The Seventh Scroll and Warlock. The Quest continues the story of the Warlock, Taita, wise in the lore of the ancient Gods and a master of magic and the supernatural. Egypt is struck by a series of terrible plagues that cripple the Kingdom, and then the ultimate disaster follows. The Nile fails. The waters that nourish and sustain the land dry up. Something catastrophic is taking place in the distant and totally unexplored depths of Africa from where the mighty river springs. In desperation Pharoah sends for Taita, the only man who might be able to win through to the source of the Nile and discover the cause of all their woes. None of them can have any idea of what a terrible enemy lies in ambush for The Warlock in those mysterious lands at the end of their world.

30 review for The Quest (Ancient Egypt #4)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Bird

    Really wasn't impressed by this book. I loved Warlock, and I loved the manner with which the supernatural was dealt; it could be real, but it could also be coincidence and natural phenomena that the people of those times would interpret as real. That's fine with me. However, The Quest treats magic as totally real and goes into far fetched stuff like astral projection and talking in each others minds. If you're going to write fantasy, write fantasy; don't start a series with historical fiction an Really wasn't impressed by this book. I loved Warlock, and I loved the manner with which the supernatural was dealt; it could be real, but it could also be coincidence and natural phenomena that the people of those times would interpret as real. That's fine with me. However, The Quest treats magic as totally real and goes into far fetched stuff like astral projection and talking in each others minds. If you're going to write fantasy, write fantasy; don't start a series with historical fiction and end it with fantasy, with a random modern adventure story in the middle. The plot isn't nearly as engaging as his other plots. The Big Bad is built up constantly through the book only for him to beat her in two pages. The fact that he's an aging eunach but the love of his life has been reborn as a child is neatly dealt with by him having his 'manroot' regrown and finding the font of youth just as she reaches maturity. Frankly, the relationship between Taita and Fenn/Lostris is disturbing. Speaking of disturbing, Taita beating the evil goddess by essentially raping one woman and having an odd sex battle with another is beyond wrong, especially trying to justify it with 'well she did a lot of evil things, and she was bad'. The book could have been good, but frankly it wasn't. The likable characters from Warlock made only brief appearances, Taita moaned and whinged his way through it and Fenn was by turns sickeningly innocent and irritatingly sluttish. Everything seemed very neat; Taita no longer a eunach, Lostris no longer dead, yawn yawn yawn.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 3.5* of five The Publisher Says: Wilbur Smith has earned international acclaim for his bestselling River God, The Seventh Scroll, and Warlock. Now, the unrivaled master of adventure returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to his thrilling Egyptian series with his most fantastic story yet. The Quest continues the story of the Warlock, Taita, wise in the lore of the gods and a master of magic and the supernatural. Egypt has been struck by a series of terrible plagues, killing its crops and c Rating: 3.5* of five The Publisher Says: Wilbur Smith has earned international acclaim for his bestselling River God, The Seventh Scroll, and Warlock. Now, the unrivaled master of adventure returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to his thrilling Egyptian series with his most fantastic story yet. The Quest continues the story of the Warlock, Taita, wise in the lore of the gods and a master of magic and the supernatural. Egypt has been struck by a series of terrible plagues, killing its crops and crippling its people. Then the ultimate disaster befalls the kingdom. The Nile fails. The waters that nourish and sustain the land dry up. Something catastrophic is taking place in the distant and totally unexplored depths of Africa, from where the mighty river springs. In desperation the Pharaoh sends Taita, the only man who might be able to find his way through the hazardous territory to the source of the Nile and discover the cause of all their woes. But not even Taita can have any idea of what a terrible enemy waits in ambush in those dark lands at the end of their world. No other author can conjure up the violence and mystery of Ancient Egypt like Wilbur Smith. The Quest marks his stirring return to the acclaimed series and proves once again why fans such as Stephen King praise him as the world's "best historical novelist." My Review: Okay. I started the series with an historical novel, shifted into overdrive as a fantasy element came to the fore in Warlock, and now we're in full-blown fantasy mode. The story isn't remotely believable as history, but it's s a good deal of fun. What's disturbing to me is the squicky sexual politics. A eunuch is de-eunuched supernaturally to make the beast with two backs with a (young) reincarnated version of his long-dead love. I'm not sure that makes me all warm and fuzzy about love spanning the ages or really, really uncomfortable with old men sexing up little girls. Well, okay, she's not an actual little girl. But something just doesn't sit right with me. I don't know exactly what it is, in that the author isn't in any way making this prurient and sexual but is presenting it as lovers separated by death being reunited. I am not, however, comfortable with it, and it significantly clouded my enjoyment of the exciting, adventurous, and action-packed Wilbur Smith novel surrounding it. The goddess battle was, I'm sorry to say, not a worthy end to the build-up we got. It was almost an afterthought, and it should have been a centerpiece. On balance, the Smith novel aspects are redeeming only to a middling extent. The pages turned, they will for all Smith readers, but the essential backing of history's known Egypt wasn't quite enough on this outing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I've enjoyed Wilbur Smith books for 25 years but this one will be my last. I only managed to read the whole thing because I was traveling and didn't have any good alternatives. Also, I couldn't quite believe how bad it was. The mystical elements, while out of place, were hardly the most jarring aspects of the story. I was able to accommodate the genre shift, but couldn't abide the predictability and juvenility of the storyline. The story reads like an old man's dirty fantasy of immortality. Wher I've enjoyed Wilbur Smith books for 25 years but this one will be my last. I only managed to read the whole thing because I was traveling and didn't have any good alternatives. Also, I couldn't quite believe how bad it was. The mystical elements, while out of place, were hardly the most jarring aspects of the story. I was able to accommodate the genre shift, but couldn't abide the predictability and juvenility of the storyline. The story reads like an old man's dirty fantasy of immortality. Where prior books in the sequence required genuine sacrifices of the main characters, this tale never asks the characters to make difficult choices. Moreover, sacrifices made in earlier books are undone and the main characters receive their every desire. Stories can, of course, end with the characters achieving their dreams and living "happily ever after," but in order to be dramatically satisfying, the characters always show evidence of personal growth and their dreams change as they mature. The characters in Wilbur Smith's Quest appear to do just the opposite... they devolve into children who, unfortunately, wield enough power to achieve their every want.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Phair

    What bug got up Wilbur's *** in this one? Totally weird. The first third was nothing but philosophical ramblings about good and evil & 'inner eyes' and psychic powers. Then it turned into an Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure trek up the Nile with lots 'o fightin' and huntin' and hacking of limbs- mostly from the bestial 'lesser races'. THEN we get to the weirdest part which turns into a rant against stem cell/genetic research or something. Shades of Gorean sentence structure & description What bug got up Wilbur's *** in this one? Totally weird. The first third was nothing but philosophical ramblings about good and evil & 'inner eyes' and psychic powers. Then it turned into an Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure trek up the Nile with lots 'o fightin' and huntin' and hacking of limbs- mostly from the bestial 'lesser races'. THEN we get to the weirdest part which turns into a rant against stem cell/genetic research or something. Shades of Gorean sentence structure & description on top of the Burroughs-like action adventure. Really turned off by the continual wholesale slaughter of whole peoples deemed inferior by Taita and his crew. Seems to set us up for a sequel. Ugg- the mind boggles at where this could go next. [And I adored River God & Seventh Scroll!:]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Petra

    OK, so I loved 'River God' and the 'Seventh scroll' and I also liked 'Warlock' which are the only reasons I got lured into buying this book. The first two books of the "Egypt chronicles" were great because (I now realize) they are actually based on a true story. However, now that Taita has continued to live beyond reasonable age (200 years or so?) I think Wilbur Smith has finally lost all touch with reality in this last book, and has lost my attention along with it. Not that I'm not into Sci-fi OK, so I loved 'River God' and the 'Seventh scroll' and I also liked 'Warlock' which are the only reasons I got lured into buying this book. The first two books of the "Egypt chronicles" were great because (I now realize) they are actually based on a true story. However, now that Taita has continued to live beyond reasonable age (200 years or so?) I think Wilbur Smith has finally lost all touch with reality in this last book, and has lost my attention along with it. Not that I'm not into Sci-fi or anything, it's just not what I expected from this sequel. Honesty compells me to say I did not finish the book, I gave it back to the bookstore.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bettie☯

    Pharoah sends for Taita, the only man who might be able to win through to the source of the Nile and discover the cause of all their woes. Lots of man-root action, and way too Blavatsky-esque for comfortable reading. No wonder I couldn't recall the storyline here. Re-read encounter drops this down to a 1* NEXT! 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* Tutankh Pharoah sends for Taita, the only man who might be able to win through to the source of the Nile and discover the cause of all their woes. Lots of man-root action, and way too Blavatsky-esque for comfortable reading. No wonder I couldn't recall the storyline here. Re-read encounter drops this down to a 1* NEXT! 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) CR 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 TR: The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile and Explorations of the Nile Sources Verdi: Aïda - San Francisco Opera (starring Luciano Pavarotti) FULL: The libretto does not specify a precise time period, so it is difficult to place the opera more specifically than the Old Kingdom. For the first production, Mariette went to great efforts to make the sets and costumes authentic. Given the consistent artistic styles through the 3000 year history of ancient Egypt, a given production does not particularly need to choose a specific time period within the larger frame of ancient Egyptian history. wiki sourced Asterix and Cleopatra (1968) [FULL MOVIE] 1* The Quest 03-07-2013: Egyptian army suspends constitution and removes President Morsi. Additional reading that flows from the above, much like a great river: TR Through the Dark Continent Chez Tintin. Congo river rapids TR A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries

  7. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    This is the fourth and perhaps final volume of Wilbur Smith's ancient Egyptian series, which began with the excellent "The River God" followed by "The Seventh Scroll" and "Warlock". Many folks have commented on the declining quality of this series and I see that, as well, to some extent. The first book was just so outstanding (it's in my top 10 list of all time great reads) that some deterioration was inevitable. This book seems to have received some brutal reviews though. The book continues the This is the fourth and perhaps final volume of Wilbur Smith's ancient Egyptian series, which began with the excellent "The River God" followed by "The Seventh Scroll" and "Warlock". Many folks have commented on the declining quality of this series and I see that, as well, to some extent. The first book was just so outstanding (it's in my top 10 list of all time great reads) that some deterioration was inevitable. This book seems to have received some brutal reviews though. The book continues the story of Taita, a "long-liver" sage who sets off to solve and set right a series of plagues that are hitting the Nile Valley. Turns out the source is the evil "God" Eos. The cat and mouse confrontation between these two form the basis of the novel. Another major plot thread is the reincarnation of Taita's true love from the first book in the series. Since Taita is an enoch from way back, the author finds a way to have his manhood regrown through a process akin to using stem cells. I'll admit to this whole sub plot being extremely convenient for the main characters, a bit too contrived for my taste. I think many people have problems with this book because it is not what they are expecting. This entire series is billed as "historical fiction" and the first book certainly seemed to be so but that moniker has long since worn off. The series has transposed into fantasy, pure and simple. The title itself is indicative of the genre and there are numerous examples of true magic throughout the book: pillars turning into faces that give directions, Taita turning invisible at will or mind travelling over great distances to give messages to others. Whatever historical accuracy might exist here is beside the point. Also, this is a fairly erotic novel with numerous sexual innuendos and some downright graphic sex scenes in it. This is my 6th Wilbur Smith book and although he does put in quite a few erotic encounters I think this is his rawest novel so far of the ones I've read. I've pointed out some of the negative aspects of this novel, but there are positive points also, particularly if you don't mind the fantasy aspects. The story itself flows well and urges the reader to keep turning pages to see what happens next. The author has a way of allowing the reader in to his characters' minds making it realistic despite the very nature of the fantasy involved. And it's a downright fun book to read. A grand adventure full of danger, excitement, pitfalls, triumphs, and a good, satisfying ending. There is a definite end but should the author wish to continue the series, there is room for it to keep going. If he does, I will continue along with him.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So I really like the first and second book in the series however, warlock was a bit of a let down with this total reversal of taitas character. This fourth installment, though, was so bad I barely even finish it. Had to push myself through even though it was so ridiculous. Now taitas characters not just some supernatural Obi-Wan Kenobi wanna be, now he some weird creepy freaky sex warrior. Now for some reason the way to get knowledge is to "ginnggaff" people and your knowledge will be making str So I really like the first and second book in the series however, warlock was a bit of a let down with this total reversal of taitas character. This fourth installment, though, was so bad I barely even finish it. Had to push myself through even though it was so ridiculous. Now taitas characters not just some supernatural Obi-Wan Kenobi wanna be, now he some weird creepy freaky sex warrior. Now for some reason the way to get knowledge is to "ginnggaff" people and your knowledge will be making stronger or improved by freaky sex. There is also a weird take on like ancient stem cell research genetic engineering cloning crap going on that was just way way outside the realm of believability for this novel. Very violent as well and as "learned" as Tate is supposed to be he still has no problem and mass murder of "lesser tribes". Leslie my biggest problem with this novel was the fact that the main love story between taita and fenn who is reincarnated from the queen from river God and now comes back completely in love with me. What happened to tanus? Wasn't tanus her soulmate? The great part about Taitas love story in River God was the fact that he loved her even though she was in love with someone else and he cared for both of them. Now for some reason she comes back in a weird almost pedophile kind away he's all up in there. Totally contrived and is a complete injustice to the first novel. I wish I just stop reading this series at the conclusion of river God.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katie Grainger

    This book has really divided Wilbur Smith fans and I can see why. I have read nearly all of Smith's books and this different to this others works. It focused much more on magic and witchcraft than the historical fiction I am used to. This is why I imagine other Wilbur Smith fans have disliked the book. The storyline was rather unbelievable but then I think this was the point, the book was supposed to be fantastical rather than seriously believable. If you could look beyond this then the story wa This book has really divided Wilbur Smith fans and I can see why. I have read nearly all of Smith's books and this different to this others works. It focused much more on magic and witchcraft than the historical fiction I am used to. This is why I imagine other Wilbur Smith fans have disliked the book. The storyline was rather unbelievable but then I think this was the point, the book was supposed to be fantastical rather than seriously believable. If you could look beyond this then the story was exciting and interesting. I however have mixed views, I think it was a well written story but ultimately it is not in the usual Wilbur Smith style. If you are looking for realistic historical fiction then this is not the book for you, however if you can look past the unbelievable this is a very enjoyable story, I however was disappointed, but I can't recommend Smith's other work highly enough if you are looking for incredible adventure stories give the Courtney novels a try they really do not disappoint.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rita Chapman

    The Quest goes from fantasy to being totally unbelievable.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sean Wylie

    The Quest was everything I love about a book. Epic historical adventure story with well-defined good vs. evil characters of an interesting time (ancient Egypt) with fascinating characters, magic, mythology, intrigue, battles, and surprises, set against an unlikely journey. You follow the adventures of the wise Taita, an old magus (wise-man / teacher / magician) who has already lived the life span of 4 generations of Egyptians, as he is sent by the Pharoah to uncover why the Nile has dried-up by The Quest was everything I love about a book. Epic historical adventure story with well-defined good vs. evil characters of an interesting time (ancient Egypt) with fascinating characters, magic, mythology, intrigue, battles, and surprises, set against an unlikely journey. You follow the adventures of the wise Taita, an old magus (wise-man / teacher / magician) who has already lived the life span of 4 generations of Egyptians, as he is sent by the Pharoah to uncover why the Nile has dried-up by traveling to its source deep in the unexplored depths of Africa. With a loyal following of 100 men Taita faces every challenge the journey has to offer from the un-relenting desert heat to the poisonous flies of endless bamboo swamps, all while withstanding the mental battering from a powerful witch and exploring the presence of an un-known yet familiar presence on the ‘ether’ that seems to be guiding his steps. This is actually the 4th book in this Tiata series, which I did not know until after I had finished the book. You do not need to read the earlier stories to enjoy this book. However, after reading the reviews on GoodReads it sounds like this 4th book was the least favorite for most people. I will absolutely be picking up the rest of the series. UPDATE: Finally reading this series in order and can say I truly love it more the second read as you have so much history with the characters! Ending sequence that just constantly gives you more thrills and highlights. I had an amazing time and one of the great ‘walk into the sunset scenes’ I can recall. UPDATE 2018: Having now read all books I wanted to share some notes on the chronology of the story. Things I would have liked to know before I started. Chronological order of the series: 1. River God (Book #1). Ends and is almost immediately followed by 2. Desert God (Book #5). End and is followed ~20 years later by 3. Pharaoh (Book #6). End and is followed ~60 years later by 4. Warlock (Book #3). End is followed ~40 years later by 5. The Quest (Book #4). End is followed ~3000 years later by 6. The Seventh Scroll (Book #2), which is set the 1970s. Order by my favorite: 1. River God (Book #1) 2. The Quest (Book #4) 3. Pharaoh (Book #6) 4. Warlock (Book #3) 5. Desert God (Book #5) 6. The Seventh Scroll (Book #2)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Antonio Rosato

    "Alle fonti del Nilo" è il quarto volume del bellissimo ed epico ciclo egizio di Wilbur Smith. I primi tre lavori sono stati alquanto meravigliosi e spettacolari, ma questo (purtroppo bisogna dirlo) mi ha profondamente deluso e lasciato con l'amaro in bocca... già a metà libro non vedevo l'ora di arrivare alla fine e, in più di un'occasione, sono stato lì lì per abbandonare il tutto! Intanto cominciamo col dire che moltissime situazioni (parecchio logorroiche) non avendo nulla a che fare con la "Alle fonti del Nilo" è il quarto volume del bellissimo ed epico ciclo egizio di Wilbur Smith. I primi tre lavori sono stati alquanto meravigliosi e spettacolari, ma questo (purtroppo bisogna dirlo) mi ha profondamente deluso e lasciato con l'amaro in bocca... già a metà libro non vedevo l'ora di arrivare alla fine e, in più di un'occasione, sono stato lì lì per abbandonare il tutto! Intanto cominciamo col dire che moltissime situazioni (parecchio logorroiche) non avendo nulla a che fare con la storia principale, mi hanno dato l'impressione di essere state inserite solo ed esclusivamente con l'intento di "allungare il brodo". La figura di Taita, l'eunuco protagonista di tutto il ciclo egizio, da intelligente, sapiente ed esperto di svariate arti (medicina, matematica, architettura e letteratura su tutte), in questa storia quasi quasi assume le sembianze di una vera e propria "caricatura" del suo stesso personaggio, diventando un potente mago e, colmo dei colmi, un uomo "virile" nel momento in cui la sua principale nemica gli dona un nuovo "membro". Ma ci sono anche tante, troppe, situazioni su cui io avrei da ridire. Alcune di queste, inoltre, sembrano palesemente scopiazzate dalla Bibbia; giusto per fare un esempio, ne cito due: all'inizio del racconto abbiamo l'Egitto che è colpito da svariate piaghe e, nientepopodimeno, il personaggio di Fenn (reincarnazione della regina Lostris, coprotagonista del primo libro), come Mosè, viene ritrovata in una palude all'interno di una cesta a forma di barchetta. Forse l'unica cosa positiva dell'opera di Wilbur Smith è la magnifica descrizione dei paesaggi egizi ed africani (sembra davvero di sentire il fruscio delle foglie e l'impeto delle onde dei fiumi); ma, e concludo, ancora una volta c'è da dire che l'autore non lesina dettagli e descrizioni anche di minimi particolari nelle scene di violenza e sesso. E' un po' troppo, direi... [http://rosatoeu.blogspot.it/2015/06/a...]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kindra

    I only got through about 30 pages before I decided it wasn't worth my time and brain space to read more about the raging nymphomaniac goddess who sucks the souls out of the 'enlightened', strange sexual encounters between everyone conceivable and graphic physical operations. Really? All within 30 pages? Not sure if the author was just trying to grab your attention in the beginning to keep you interested, but if he was, I would have hoped he was capable of writing something at least remotely inte I only got through about 30 pages before I decided it wasn't worth my time and brain space to read more about the raging nymphomaniac goddess who sucks the souls out of the 'enlightened', strange sexual encounters between everyone conceivable and graphic physical operations. Really? All within 30 pages? Not sure if the author was just trying to grab your attention in the beginning to keep you interested, but if he was, I would have hoped he was capable of writing something at least remotely intelligent to do so rather than relying on sex and violence. Le sigh. Not sure why so many people seem to think that the more sex and violence a book has, the more 'mature' and 'sophisticated' it is, but this is one person who would rather pick up something else and feel uplifted or intellectually challenged. Perhaps this wasn't his best book, but for me it was yet another 'might as well call a spade a spade and buy a 10 cent romance novel instead.' That and a horror pick axe murder novel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jody

    I can't believe I'm rating a Smith book 1 star. His books were some of the first adult books I read, and I relished them. I loved River God and Taita was a great character. In River God there was intrigue, character development, clever manipulation, love and hate and all set in a luxurious, exotic Egypt. None of things were present in The Quest, instead we spent more than half the book traveling for years (How many times did they eat wild spinach along the way?), and nothing much happened. There I can't believe I'm rating a Smith book 1 star. His books were some of the first adult books I read, and I relished them. I loved River God and Taita was a great character. In River God there was intrigue, character development, clever manipulation, love and hate and all set in a luxurious, exotic Egypt. None of things were present in The Quest, instead we spent more than half the book traveling for years (How many times did they eat wild spinach along the way?), and nothing much happened. There were inconsistencies in the story that clashed with what I remembered of the earlier books. Then after all the build up regarding this monstrous evil, Taita managed to defeat it very easily, and manage to find a huge bonus as well. Everything was neatly tided up, and it was rather mediocre. I'm just going to pretend River God is the only book in the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it'a Taita the Inccredible armed with a lock of hair!! One of my all-time favourite protagonists needs to save Egypt (again) from an evil presence that suffocates the Nile. Gripping story as Taita and his band of warriors travel into the depth of Africa to solve this crises. Smith does a fantastic job of graphically describing the procedures and encounters of the group - from the Chima cannibals to the Inner Eye every snap, gush and sinewy twist reverberates ten fol Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it'a Taita the Inccredible armed with a lock of hair!! One of my all-time favourite protagonists needs to save Egypt (again) from an evil presence that suffocates the Nile. Gripping story as Taita and his band of warriors travel into the depth of Africa to solve this crises. Smith does a fantastic job of graphically describing the procedures and encounters of the group - from the Chima cannibals to the Inner Eye every snap, gush and sinewy twist reverberates ten fold. I rather liked his reunion with the reborn Lostris, thankfully there wasn't a "Lolitta" plot. That would place Taita firmly in the Kiddy-Fiddler pile. Terrific book and was read faster than the other two (despite bing 500 pages).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cornelia

    It's an exotic fantasy adventure set in ancient Egypt. The Quest has a strong sword and sorcery quality. Things in this book also tie in closely to the first one in the series, River God. It has a great ending line. Wilbur Smith is quite a story teller and I did enjoy the entire series though it's been a long time since I read the first two.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zaima Hamid Zoa

    The Quest is the fourth book in the ancient Egyptian series. And I have to say, I am disappointed at Smith. The first two books of this series- The River God and The Seventh Scroll were AMAZING! The third one, Warlock was okay for me. But the Quest was a very dull read for me. The protagonist Taita was a slave during the first two books but in this one he became a Magus and a magician and whatnot. I found him very pretentious and at times wanted to hit him with the book. It felt to me that the bo The Quest is the fourth book in the ancient Egyptian series. And I have to say, I am disappointed at Smith. The first two books of this series- The River God and The Seventh Scroll were AMAZING! The third one, Warlock was okay for me. But the Quest was a very dull read for me. The protagonist Taita was a slave during the first two books but in this one he became a Magus and a magician and whatnot. I found him very pretentious and at times wanted to hit him with the book. It felt to me that the book was filled with unnecessary and repetitive detail which could have been avoided. And the adult parts added another dimension to me disliking towards the book. I really am not into adult books and these sort of description sort of reduces my interest in a book. And the descriptions made me feel like I was reading a script of a pornography at times (sorry for my language). This book was not worth my time at all. I would give it 1.75 stars. :3

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rosario Marcantonio

    Questo è un libro fantasy, punto. Assodato questo devo dire che è quello che mi è piaciuto di più dell'intera saga (finora). Finalmente ho ritrovato l'avventura nel cuore dell'Africa, pieno di descrizioni di luoghi, popoli e animali che mi ha fatto innamorare della scrittura di Wilbur Smith. E devo ammettere che anche Taita mi è sembrato meno antipatico in questo capitolo della saga...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Antonio De la rosa

    Appalling. Meet Taita, the lead character: writer, sculptor, painter, architect, engineer, surgeon, strategist, politician, warrior, athlete, historian, geographer, philosopher, mystic, philologist, adventurer, musician, chess player, veterinarian, actor, utterly handsome and wise beyond measure. He is also a caucasian 154 years old eunuch living in the ancient Egypt. He is a slave too, but he does and goes as he pleases. "The Quest" starts with Taita going to a lama monastery in the middle of Dark Appalling. Meet Taita, the lead character: writer, sculptor, painter, architect, engineer, surgeon, strategist, politician, warrior, athlete, historian, geographer, philosopher, mystic, philologist, adventurer, musician, chess player, veterinarian, actor, utterly handsome and wise beyond measure. He is also a caucasian 154 years old eunuch living in the ancient Egypt. He is a slave too, but he does and goes as he pleases. "The Quest" starts with Taita going to a lama monastery in the middle of Dark Africa to get his inner eye opened. A nun does that by extracting Taita's right eye with a spoon and piercing his eye socket with a bamboo needle. Once the inner eye has been properly opened, Taita is able to enjoy a new set of mystic goodies like aura sighting and mind reading. He gets better too at astral traveling, concealment charms and dream interpretation. That's how he is able to get a very bad vibe: back at home, his chum, the Pharaoh of "that very" Egypt, is in trouble. The Nile has dried up, the country is afflicted by a number of horrible plagues and the queen has a crisis of faith. The enhanced Taita goes back and very soon realizes that the culprit of all these bad things is an evil sexy witch, thousands of years old, who lurks very far away, to the south of Egypt, close to a lake and a volcano. Right away Taita enlists a company of brave and insignificant men and down they go for country and king. On their way to the witches' lair Taita happens to find his future female companion: a blond child of 7 years of age. He knows in his heart that the girl is the reincarnation of his old flame, the only woman that he truly ever loved (platonically): queen Lostris of Egypt. He adopts the child and begins her education. She turns out to be exceedingly bright. They find out that the evil witch has an appetite for geniuses. That makes Taita the best possible prize. But there is a problem, the witch feeds on geniuses only through sexual intercourse, and that is just the only thing that Taita cannot do, being castrated and all. Never fear, Eos (that is the name of the witch) has a whole team of evil but highly skilled medical minions. They will be able to help Taita grow a penis (and new teeth too as a bonus). The operation consists of embedding pieces of slaughtered newborn babies in the right cavities of Taita's body and watching them grow. Once Taita has a penis, he gallantly goes into a genital confrontation with Eos. This turns to be a battle of epical proportions, but in the end Taita prevails because is one of the good guys. He literally fucks the evil Eos into oblivion. By doing so, he gets all her wicked but extensive knowledge of the world too, we are talking about thousands upon thousands of years worth of wisdom. Afterwards Taita doesn't stop for a smoke, no, using the memories of the witch he goes down to the basement in the volcano and finds the fountain of eternal youth, and there he takes a long and life changing shower. Behold Taita 2.0: a perfect mind of unmeasurable deepths within a perfect young body that will never grow old. He gets back, tenderly teach the blond little girl (that has turned sixteen in the meantime) how to make love, unblocks the Nile, obliterates the surviving minions of the evil Eos (black and brown alike), liberates all the good people and guides them back to "that very" Egypt of them in a merry river procession. I found the precedent three books bad but enjoyable. This one is just amazing. I have read it out of curiosity, how insane can it get? I do hope for the mental health of Mr. Smith that Taita is not his alter ego. I will read the next (and last one), just to assert whether this was just a crisis of sorts. One of the first books I truly loved was Sinuhe the egyptian by Mika Waltari. I wasn't expecting that when I started this series, but I wasn't expecting this either. Just one last thing, on the jacket of my edition of Sinuhe, the font size of Mika Waltari's name is much smaller than that of the title. Exactly the opposite applies to this book: the Quest, by Wilbur Smith. Bad things happen when people or fictional characters take themselves too seriously.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shahrun

    I remember absolutely loving Wilbur Smith's Ancient Egypt Trilogy a few years back - so I was super excited to find the series had been expanded! That was until I actually read this. It wasn't total shite, but was sorely lacking in that Wilbur Smith Magic of the earlier page turners, that left me hungry for more. What we have here could have been the most epic, action, adventure, dangerous and exciting story, but somehow fell short. I felt the dialogue was sometimes quite atrociously cliched, th I remember absolutely loving Wilbur Smith's Ancient Egypt Trilogy a few years back - so I was super excited to find the series had been expanded! That was until I actually read this. It wasn't total shite, but was sorely lacking in that Wilbur Smith Magic of the earlier page turners, that left me hungry for more. What we have here could have been the most epic, action, adventure, dangerous and exciting story, but somehow fell short. I felt the dialogue was sometimes quite atrociously cliched, the plot lacked a bit of imagination (things were just too perfect to be believable) and there was a massive anti climax with the battle between Truth & the Lie. But then there were some interesting characters (like the Shilluk and female warriors). I'm only so picky because when Wilbur gets it right he's so good. There are two more books in the series, I have ordered the next one and am prepaired to delve into it with an open mind. Let's hope I'm rewarded...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm not sure all of what I read here, and really, I'm only still finishing it because once Taita offed the big bad with his magical unicorn "manroot" by turning her into what seems to be a giant cockroach or something, I am just committed at this point. Really, I've survived the nonsense this far, I might as well see where this mess ends up. Suffice it to say that this was my first, and possibly last, Wilbur Smith book. I try to keep an open mind (I have read all the Anne Rice books, even the on I'm not sure all of what I read here, and really, I'm only still finishing it because once Taita offed the big bad with his magical unicorn "manroot" by turning her into what seems to be a giant cockroach or something, I am just committed at this point. Really, I've survived the nonsense this far, I might as well see where this mess ends up. Suffice it to say that this was my first, and possibly last, Wilbur Smith book. I try to keep an open mind (I have read all the Anne Rice books, even the ones where she's clearly lost her marbles, and I'm not above a good trashy romance novel) but so far, I got soul-sucking sexins with strangers in the first few chapters (which evidently will kill you, but what a way to go, man), the old dude waxing poetic about the breasts of a prepubescent girl, stem cell research with actual live babies, giant toads, crazy people, magical horses... I don't even know what I'm reading here. I love me some Egyptian fiction novels, every time I see one I want to read it even if it ends up being terrible, which I think is why I'm sticking this one out to the end. Previous reviewers suggest that these books are not all so insane, but now I'm leery of getting into more of this insanity with another book from Mr. Smith.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ram

    Taita the warlock magician goes on a quest to save ancient Egypt and restore the waters of the Nile. I read the three previous related books (two are chronologically previous and one is related but happened in modern time). I liked the two that occurred in ancient Egypt. There was some magic but it was slight and could be interpreted as natural too. In this book the magic has a dominant part and is completely unnatural. Except for the fact that I did not expect it, it affected the book. The book Taita the warlock magician goes on a quest to save ancient Egypt and restore the waters of the Nile. I read the three previous related books (two are chronologically previous and one is related but happened in modern time). I liked the two that occurred in ancient Egypt. There was some magic but it was slight and could be interpreted as natural too. In this book the magic has a dominant part and is completely unnatural. Except for the fact that I did not expect it, it affected the book. The book is loaded with long and boring descriptions of , magic performances, mind battles between magicians, spiritual revelations, spiritual/religious experiences and ceremonies, dreams and visions and love making descriptions. I would say that about 30% of this book were these descriptions that basically are boring and I usually skip them. Except for that there is a nice story, exciting war stories (at least some of them, some of them with the intervention of magic become very unreliable). I enjoyed the descriptions of the ancient life, the hunting, cooking, technology and more. I do not think I will read another book of this series, I got the picture and now it is boring repetition .

  23. 4 out of 5

    Greer Andjanetta

    An epic story but needs to be grouped in the fantasy category. A very interesting story but based throughout on magic, reincarnation, out-of-body transportation, mind reading, etc. It is much easier to create a captivating story when the author does not have to keep within reality. Just as certain writers give their heroes immense personal wealth which lets them possess or acquire highly specialized, exotic or restricted equipment to help them escape impossible situations or track their targets, An epic story but needs to be grouped in the fantasy category. A very interesting story but based throughout on magic, reincarnation, out-of-body transportation, mind reading, etc. It is much easier to create a captivating story when the author does not have to keep within reality. Just as certain writers give their heroes immense personal wealth which lets them possess or acquire highly specialized, exotic or restricted equipment to help them escape impossible situations or track their targets, thereby allowing the authors to create wildly imaginative solutions to impossible situations, Smith's use of the impossible in this book lets him create a story that supercedes reality. An interesting story but totally unbelieveable, yet seemingly presented as fact.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christina Maxfield

    There are 4 books in this series and I actually started with this the last one which led me to reading the rest of them and then this one again. The first and third books of the series were books based on fact with generous fiction thrown in. Well, this one is packed to the brim with fiction with only a splattering of fact. Still a great read as I am into science fiction as well as historical based novels. This book continues main character Taita's already long life story (he's getting up to 200 There are 4 books in this series and I actually started with this the last one which led me to reading the rest of them and then this one again. The first and third books of the series were books based on fact with generous fiction thrown in. Well, this one is packed to the brim with fiction with only a splattering of fact. Still a great read as I am into science fiction as well as historical based novels. This book continues main character Taita's already long life story (he's getting up to 200 year old mark or older by this story). Very interesting read for those who enjoy this author and science fiction related to fact bases. Mr. Smith is a great writer.

  25. 4 out of 5

    María Ciancio

    There's more to dislike than to enjoy from this book, and it'd be a hard time trying to convince me that this one was ACTUALLY written by Wilbur Smith. Besides the continuity errors (and possible mistranslations, why not) it didn't seem to me as if the character's were themselves. But what is the worst, I felt as if Taita's, and every other character's story was bastardized. The esoteric content was an interesting and pleasant surprise to me -though I'm pretty sure many readers would disagree, as There's more to dislike than to enjoy from this book, and it'd be a hard time trying to convince me that this one was ACTUALLY written by Wilbur Smith. Besides the continuity errors (and possible mistranslations, why not) it didn't seem to me as if the character's were themselves. But what is the worst, I felt as if Taita's, and every other character's story was bastardized. The esoteric content was an interesting and pleasant surprise to me -though I'm pretty sure many readers would disagree, as it was quite a change in the genre, and admittedly not a wise move to keep the same audience-, but I did not like the manner in which it was used.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Saviour

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wilbur Smith's books always have a broad sweep which I enjoy, particularly the 'Taita' novels which are based in ancient Egypt and are crammed with details of life in that civilisation. Readers looking for a similar hit here might be disappointed with this one, though. The story starts off in India, only very briefly visits Egypt and then takes off to central Africa, with the climax set in a Xanadu-like city peopled with immigrants from around the world. It's really Harry Potter with weird sex an Wilbur Smith's books always have a broad sweep which I enjoy, particularly the 'Taita' novels which are based in ancient Egypt and are crammed with details of life in that civilisation. Readers looking for a similar hit here might be disappointed with this one, though. The story starts off in India, only very briefly visits Egypt and then takes off to central Africa, with the climax set in a Xanadu-like city peopled with immigrants from around the world. It's really Harry Potter with weird sex and spells. In my humble opinion, not a patch on River God or even Warlock.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessa

    Racist, sexist, and chock full of rape & pedophilia.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Wilbur Smith books were a familiar fixture in our household when I was growing up. As I grew older and went looking for more ‘interesting’ things to read, Mr. Smith was amongst the first ‘adult’ reads that I gravitated to. I read everything he had written up to that point, and then through the years I kept up with each new release. It had been many years since I last read one of his books, but in the past few months have found myself exploring them once more. Wilbur Smith is one of my mother’s f Wilbur Smith books were a familiar fixture in our household when I was growing up. As I grew older and went looking for more ‘interesting’ things to read, Mr. Smith was amongst the first ‘adult’ reads that I gravitated to. I read everything he had written up to that point, and then through the years I kept up with each new release. It had been many years since I last read one of his books, but in the past few months have found myself exploring them once more. Wilbur Smith is one of my mother’s favourite authors, and as she has been in and out of hospital over the past 6 months, I had given her a Kindle so she would have something to read while she was in there. On the days she isn’t well enough to read for herself, I read them to her- but I also read each book she is reading, too, so she can discuss them with me in detail when I am there to visit her. It has been a great bonding experience for us, and I have enjoyed revisiting Mr. Smith’s work. The Quest is the fourth book in the Ancient Egypt series and is a fantastic, epic, action-packed, sometimes brutal and quite graphic, adventure that has the author’s special twist on Ancient Egyptian history. There is war, plagues, catastrophes, disasters, magic, a little of the supernatural/paranormal, drama… and so much more. I have always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt, so this book/series completely enthralled me. Mr. Smith has a great knack for writing a great suspenseful and exciting read, and even though my tastes have evolved as I have gotten older, I still really enjoyed revisiting this book/series. So if you are a history buff, love everything Ancient Egyptian, want a book that will hold your interest and that you can immerse yourself into- then this may be the book/series for you!

  29. 4 out of 5

    David

    Excellent book, but borderline historical fiction and tending to fantasy. Still, an excellent read. This is the fourth in the series involving Taita, the once slave who is now more of a mystic/warlock. There's lots of mysticism and set in ancient Egypt that works really well but the reader has to suspend some belief. The journey is certainly epic as Taita seeks the source of the Nile and the reason for years of drought. There's giant, killer toads and an ancient goddess to contend with. Smith's Excellent book, but borderline historical fiction and tending to fantasy. Still, an excellent read. This is the fourth in the series involving Taita, the once slave who is now more of a mystic/warlock. There's lots of mysticism and set in ancient Egypt that works really well but the reader has to suspend some belief. The journey is certainly epic as Taita seeks the source of the Nile and the reason for years of drought. There's giant, killer toads and an ancient goddess to contend with. Smith's descriptions are beautiful and his knowledge of Africa brings the books alive. A great read for historical fiction (with some tongue in cheek) and fantasy fans alike.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jara Beaubien

    Another book that I got totally lost in, as we follow Taita and Fenn and a few other characters that have been in past books. Many things have occurred that were begining to spell doom for Egypt. And Taita comes to the front as going to the ends of the Earth to look and see where the problem is and during this trip Fenn comes into his life. Great story and love the characters, well not the bad ones but the good characters are fantastic

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