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Warlock - Wilbur Smith


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Wilbur Smith

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Pages: 500 (Paperback)

ISBN: 033044994X

Pub: Pan

Pub date: 2007-04-06 Sales Rank: 6373

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Editorial Review:

Wilbur Smith (a name synonymous with the massive blockbuster thriller) has recaptured the verve and impact of his earlier work in Warlock. This Egyptian epic thriller follows on from the equally accomplished River God and The Seventh Scroll and re-establishes Smith at the top echelons of thriller writing. The customary continent-spanning canvas is here, with a key new element in an adroitly handled supernatural aspect that gives the sequence the feel of fantasy whilst still retaining the plausibility that was always Smith's strongest asset.

The reader is plunged into a vividly realised evocation of life in ancient Egypt but one presented with insights into the various characters that infuse a very contemporary feel. In the secluded deserts of North Africa, Taita has spent the years since the death of his adored Queen Lostris studying to become a Warlock, steeped in the arcane arts of the ancient Gods and a master practitioner of magic. Responding to an occult summons, Taita abandons the desert and returns to civilisation, only to find himself at the centre of a massive conflagration in which dark and sinister forces are undermining the throne of Egypt and attempting to destroy the young prince Nefer. Soon, his hard-won skills are tested to the limit.

As in the previous books in the sequence, Smith knows that a strong and passionate agenda on the part of his protagonists will allow the reader to identify with them, despite the gap of centuries. Here, it is family ties: Taita is defending the young prince who is the grandson of his lost Queen, and we are quickly engaged in a narrative that rarely flags over its considerable length. The action set pieces are as impressive as one would expect:

The instant he was within range the Cobra struck again, but Nefer caught the blow on the thick leather folds of the bag. The beast's fangs snagged in the leather and held fast. As Nefer swung back the snake was dragged with him. It was hauled cleanly out of the nest, a writhing, seething ball of coils and polished scales. It thrashed against Nefer's legs, the heavy tail lashing him, hissing fearsomely, clouds of venom spraying from its gaping jaws and dribbling down the leather bag. So great was its weight that Nefer's whole body was shaken violently.
--Barry Forshaw

Reader Reviews:

5/5 stars

Wilbur Smith at his best (0/0 people found this helpful)

I am in awe every time I close a Wilbur Smith book. This one is an epic, one of his greatest historical fictional masterpieces... A MUST READ.

5/5 stars

dave-b (0/0 people found this helpful)

thoroughly enjoyable read. interesring follow on to the previous novel with a few twist and turns.

4/5 stars

Very good sequel to the River God (0/0 people found this helpful)

If you have read the River God, this will be a good sequel for you to read. A long time has passed since the death of Queen Lostris and Taita has become a Warlock in the wild desert, with supernatural powers and abilities.

On the other hand, an evil force has gathered in the Upper Kingdom and Pharaoh Tamose was murdered by his trusted general Naja who was plotting to take control of both the Upper and Lower Kingdoms with his Hyksos cousin. Taita answered a calling from Queen Lostris and came to save Prince Nefer, only surviving son of Pharaoh Tamose, from all the tournmoil and assassination from Naja.
With his skills and clever plans, Taita managed to save Nefer from the evil hands of Naja and they went on to settle down in an ancient city in the desert. They later also rescued the Hyksos Princess Mintaka, who was betrothed to Prince Nefer, from the evil hands of the false pharaoh in the Lower Kingdom. While they developed their forces and resources to take their revenge, the two false pharaohs engaged in campaigns to conquer more lands.

Finally, they met in a big battle and both false pharaohs were slayed and Nefer became the pharaoh of both the Upper and Lower Kingdoms.
Similar to the River God, it is an epic tale of revenge, violence and sex. It is a long story with ups and downs along the way but overall I think it is a good read. There are chapters in the middle which could be boring but be patient and you will enjoy it as it progresses.

5/5 stars

Don't miss out on this. (0/0 people found this helpful)

If you are thinking of reading this book, I urge you to do so. The Egyptian series is fantastic! True excellence.

3/5 stars

A bit much? (0/0 people found this helpful)

On a whim I decided to pick up this book because it seemed interesting. While I do not fault Wilbur Smith's writing skills, his writing style seemed a bit over the top in places. The romance aspect was overshadowed by the gratuitous sexual violence. Was that really necessary? It detracted from the incredibly absorbing military and political machinations that were taking place. Pity because otherwise this would have got all five stars.

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