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Paperback River God : A Novel of Ancient Egypt Book

ISBN: 0330331973

ISBN13: 9780330331975

River God : A Novel of Ancient Egypt

(Book #1 in the Ancient Egypt Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New


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Book Overview

City of Thebes. The Festival of Osiris. Loyal subjects of the Pharaoh gather to pay homage to their leader, but Taita - a wise and formidably gifted eunuch slave - sees him only as a symbol of a kingdom's fading glory. By the author of Where the Lion Feeds.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Ancient Egypt richly comes alive in this spellbinding and amazingly detailed novel of passion, longing, intrigue, violence, and war. Written so well that at times, I could feel the heat of the sun on my own shoulders as did the characters. The bond between Lostris and Taita is a heartbreaking one that made me weep with laughter and rendered me speechless with shock. At most times, I found myself absolutely unable to put this book down and have re-read it at least a dozen times. I highly recommend this breathtaking masterpiece to anyone who has an interest in Ancient Egypt, or anyone who has an appreciation for fantastic historical writing.

An amazing epic

River God centres around three characters. Taita, a eunuch slave and the storyteller, Tanus, the warrior hero, and Lostris the Princess. Tanus and Lostris share a forbidden love which Taita helps them to fulfill. Taita narrates the story, taking the reader through his life, how he serves his master and, subsequently, his mistress. The book is a combination of historical fact and 20th century invention, but the result is a superb account of the rise and fall (and rise) of an Egyptian kingdom.I don't think it's stretching a point to call River God a stylish masterpiece. It is a powerful, awe-inspiring epic that narrates historical facts whilst eliciting the full range of human emotions. The characters are BIG. The battle scenes are monumental and epic, even on the scale of a Cecil B. de Mille. The descriptions are breathtaking. The narrative (though there is little of this) is credible. River God has the ability to amuse, engross and entertain us throughout. Wilbur Smith succeeds as never before in transporting the reader into ancient Egypt with his amazing imagery and action packed plot. River God is a book to which I am happy to give five stars (more if they were available).

Absolutley astonishing, the best book I've ever read!

So some people may quibble that the historical facts are inacurate, but when the book is as stirring and as emotional as this who cares! It centres around three characters Taita; the eunuch slave with a notourious reputation and a heart of gold, Tanus; the mighty warrior hero and Lostris the Princes and, what you could call the "star" of the novel. Smith takes us on a journey through Egypt; which are depicted with such astonishing detail that after a while the setting almost surrounds you and thus are able to feel every heat wave and hear every chariot or dessert bird that flows from the fictional surroundings. From here Taita narrates you through his life and makes you feel for everything he describes about. Never has there been such a monumental character invented; you feel and breath for him, you eventually will feel as you have known him all of his life...which you have! It would take an eternity for me to say to you how magnificent each sentance and paragraph is, so I'll just say this: You will end up knowing the characters so well that you'll feel everything they do. You get to know the land so well that you will be emersed in the atmosphere. And because of this, you will be taken on an emotional rollercoaster of Godzilla like proportians. It has one of the most emotional scenes I have ever read. But if it wasn't as well written or as brilliantly portrayed as this IS than you would never feel such kind of emotion. So I have to say a massive thumbs up to Wilbur Smith for such an awe inspireing novel and two thumbs up for anyone who has the sense to take the time out to read one of the best books ever written!

nmc's opinion of River God

River God is one the best books that I have ever read. It is a wonderful example of the imagination of Wilbur Smith. I have read three of his books so far, including the sequel to River God, and River God is the best of the three. The book is a combination of love, fear, desperation, leadership, and triumph. The main plot is the love between Lostris, the wife of the Pharoah of Egypt, and Tanus, a commander of an army of Pharoah and a trusted friend of the narrator. The story is told from the perspective of a lowly, yet loved and respected slave named Taita. His mistress is coincidentaly Lostris and he helps to maintain the love between her and Tanus. All through the book, the two lovers try to secretly share their love. The story goes on through battles not only between nations but between individuals. It is not only another "love conquers all" book with mushy, romantic love scenes, but is also a book that offers a historical perspective of ancient Egypt. It is obvious throughout the novel that the author went to great lengths to research the topic and make it sound so truthful you would think it wasn't fiction. One of the best aspects was that it held my interest more than any other book that I have ever read. I was not able to put it down. Wilbur Smith is an expert at making the reader seem that he or she is actually a character in the book. The emotions of the characters were explained wonderfully with the use of metaphors and similes. They were portrayed throughout the novel and it was as though I was actually there seeing the battles and landscape and experiencing the love and hate. I laughed and cried and just plain thouroughly enjoyed the entire book. I strongly recommend it for anyone old enough to handle detailed war scenes and love scenes.

Bad history; Great fiction

One can quibble about the historical innacuracies in Smith's The River God and be a bit put off by the the lead character's propensity to be smarter than anyone else in the story, but really - is this a great story, or what? A departure for Smith, whose previous books focused almost exclusively on his native South Africa, this book deals with Egypt 4000 ago. But as typical of his novels, this one speeds along with great action and wonderful characters.Taita, the brilliant eunuch slave who narrates the story, is an inspired creation. Larger than life while being, as a eunuch, somewhat removed from the passions that move many of the characters in the book, he is the perfect spectator/participant. He sees and understands everything and his inventions and interventions move the plot in unexpected ways. The book meanders a bit because it follows a whole life and its many turnings, but it is fascinating at every juncture.This simply is one of the most FUN books I have read in years. Being transported to an unfamiliar time and place, and having that milieu come alive so vividly - to be able to vicariously experience the rise and fall of pharohs, cities, kingdoms, suffering and success - this is the best kind of vacation from the ordinary world we inhabit.I highly recommend this book. It is intelligent, exciting, creative and memorable. What more could one want?
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