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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After the death of his beloved Queen, Taita retreats into the North African desert to become a hermit. Over the years he devotes himself to the mysteries of the occult and until armed with these extraordinary powers, he gradually transforms himself into the Warlock. An epic novel of love, battle and action from one of the world's bestselling authors.