BACK COVER BLURB: Egypt is under threat. Taita, a freed slave and the Pharaoh’s closest advisor, must create a master plan to crush the kingdom’s historic enemy and return Egypt to its former glory.
He must call on his powers as both tactician and warrior to lead a great army up the Nile, through Arabia to the magical city of Babylon, then across the open seas to Crete.
This army will meet battle and betrayal head on. But their greatest challenge will not be found on the battleground and it will threaten not only Taita’s plan, but the very future of Egypt.
FIRST SENTENCE: Aton blinked his little eyes that were set deep in their rolls of fat, and then raised them from the bao board laid out between them.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 164}: I looked along the bottom of the wall and I saw her. It was not Tehuti but it was a memory of where she had recently been, like an echo or a shadow of herself. It was a smudge against the brightness, a tiny intangible cloud. It was not even human in shape or outline but I knew it was her.
MY THOUGHTS: Well, there's me with a dilemma. Do I read part six in Wilbur Smith's Ancient Egypt series or not?
An author whose books I either love or, well, don't. As far as me and Mr Smith go there isn't really a middle ground.
A series I've always loved .... until now.
Whilst Desert God was Ok, I'm sad to say I was disappointed.
I last read The Quest (book 4 in the series) some time ago and, with seven years between the publications (Desert God was published 2014, The Quest 2007), had considered re-reading the series from the beginning. Did my decision not to do so have an impact on my enjoyment of this instalment?
In a word, no. In fact I strongly suspect that had I re-read the books I may have found myself even more disappointed as it may well have re-enforced just how much I had enjoyed the previous novel(s).
A character with few flaws, like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way, but was protagonist Taita always this annoyingly arrogant in his self-righteousness?
Not that this was only this aspect of the book that I found annoying.
Normally a fan of the attention to detail the author pays to characters and plot alike. Here I found that minute detail to be missing in some aspects (namely the under-developed secondary characters) whilst Over The Top when it came to others - I'm sorry but alas I found myself verging on boredom by the military manoeuvres that formed much of the formative 'chapters'.
Then there were the 'secondary' characters. So obviously secondary, the emphasis strongly on the protagonist, I'm still working out whether this was a good thing or not as quite frankly I found many of them (perhaps because they were so underdeveloped) irritating.
Hmm, wondering if I've maybe been too lenient in my 'it was OK' rating. Re-reading certain passages, call me cynical, but is it possible that this isn't in fact the work of Wilbur Smith but that of a ghost writer?