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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the eminent storyteller's masterpieces
I've read many of Wilbur Smith books and I classify River God as the second best after 'The Sunbird'. Everything mixes perfectly in this book and Smith tells us the epic story of a great ancient nation who at a point lose everything and they have to fight for their lost glory. I think that what is unique in this book, comparing to other Smith's books, is that the main...
Published on 19 April 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A History Lesson
A great story but the number of spelling and grammatical mistakes, and never-ending typos sometimes made it difficult to read.

The final faux pas comes in the editorial notes at the end of the book where it is held that the author was born in 1993, the same year that the book was published.

Bring back proof-readers!
Published 16 months ago by JB


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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the eminent storyteller's masterpieces, 19 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: River God (Audio Cassette)
I've read many of Wilbur Smith books and I classify River God as the second best after 'The Sunbird'. Everything mixes perfectly in this book and Smith tells us the epic story of a great ancient nation who at a point lose everything and they have to fight for their lost glory. I think that what is unique in this book, comparing to other Smith's books, is that the main hero is not one of the superman-like guys but rather a castrated slave, Taita. Someone who uses his intelligence much more than he uses his muscles. It is through his eyes that we see all the story evolving, since as a slave he has a duty to be a historian in ancient Egypt, but he also plays an active role in influencing the policy of the Pharaoh. Further, the love story between Taita, the Queen, Pharaoh and the warrior Tanus is of unparallel beauty. As for the blood and violence, yes- you guessed rightly- they are as ever present in this Smith book. However, I believe that violence in River God is not exaggerated (as it happens in some of Smith's other books) but rather is well integrated with the other ingredients of the story (e.g. romance, description of daily life in ancient Egypt etc.).Further, since the action of this book doesn't take place in South Africa the readers won't have to question themselves of whether Smith is in favor of Victorian imperialistic ideas. For those reasons I believe that River God can be appealing not only to committed fans of W. Smith but to a more general audience who likes reading this type of literature. In the future this will be one of Smith's books that people will refer back to and it won't be forgotten.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The God of adventure books, 11 Feb 2006
This review is from: River God (Paperback)
This is a definate must read for all fans of adventure, intrigue, romance, action and a whole host of other genres.
River God combines an enthralling storyline, unforgetable characters and intense, bloody combat.
It's an exciting account of the egyptians' war with the hyksos, vividly showing us the world of the nile valley through the eyes of the humble, slave Taita. The sheer detail of the egyptians' way of life- their clothes, weapons, food etc really transports you back to the days of pharoahs and pyramids.
It's a long, detailed book that never bores or seems too brief.
There are plenty of epic battles, violence and other boyish features, but at heart it's a tragedy- an unusual love triangle between the princess Lostris, the warrior Tanus and Taita, the slave and eeunuch. It's a heart rending tale of an impossible love between a slave and a princess that caused one of the only times I have ever cried.
There is something for most people here- gore, love, adventure and friendship but some more sensitive readers may be put off by some unpleasent mental pictures and truly evil characters.
This book begins a deep story and family tree that continues in the just as spectacular sequel, Warlock.
So, this is a book for those who like an epic, inspiring read who aren't afraid to cry and who don't mind a bit of violence.
This is a VERY good book!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece from the world's eminent storyteller, 19 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: River God (Paperback)
I've read many of Wilbur Smith books and I classify River God as the second best after 'The Sunbird'. Everything mixes perfectly in this book and Smith tells us the epic story of a great ancient nation who at a point lose everything and they have to fight for their lost glory. I think that what is unique in this book, comparing to other Smith's books, is that the main hero is not one of the superman-like guys but rather a castrated slave, Taita. Someone who uses his intelligence much more than he uses his muscles. It is through his eyes that we see all the story evolving, since as a slave he has a duty to be a historian in ancient Egypt, but he also plays an active role in influencing the policy of the Pharaoh. Further, the love story between Taita, the Queen, Pharaoh and the warrior Tanus is of unparallel beauty. As for the blood and violence, yes- you guessed rightly- they are as ever present in this Smith book. However, I believe that violence in River God is not exaggerated (as it happens in some of Smith's other books) but rather is well integrated with the other ingredients of the story (e.g. romance, description of daily life in ancient Egypt etc.).Further, since the action of this book doesn't take place in South Africa the readers won't have to question themselves of whether Smith is in favor of Victorian imperialistic ideas. For those reasons I believe that River God can be appealing not only to committed fans of W. Smith but to a more general audience who likes reading this type of literature. In the future this will be one of Smith's books that people will refer back to and it won't be forgotten.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travel back in time with this blockbuster, 14 Sep 2002
By 
John (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: River God (Paperback)
Having read River God I feel as though I have travelled back 4000 years and experienced life in Ancient Egypt. Wilbur Smith has penned a masterpeice. His use of language and his rich descriptive style allows your imagination to run wild and build vivid pictures of the scene in question. There are some brilliant set-peices, the festival of Osiris, the battles with the Hyksos invaders, the journey through the Nile cataracts, and the return to Thebes, plus many more besides.
The plot is based around the relationships between the central characters of Taita the slave, Queen Lostris, and Lord Tanus. Taita can be irritating, supposedly a slave he has friends in high places and an over inflated ego. However, you are drawn into supporting him by his devotion and loyalty to Queen Lostris. She is loved by everyone (except her Father, the evil Lord Intef). Lord Tanus is a strong character and leads the army from the front, whilst being undying in his loyalty towards Queen Lostris and Taita. This is repaid by them in a very special way towards the end of the book.
The characters on the periphery are equally brilliant, you will love some, like Kratas, and hate others, particulary Raspher. They add a third dimension to the story.
There is also a twist with an unexpected author's note at the end that will leave you open mouthed and amazed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book of all time, 22 Mar 2007
By 
D. Berkeley "sirdanthethird" (Wigton, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: River God (Paperback)
I first read this book when I was 14 at school, I recently re-read it at whilst at University in a bored period between exams. I distinctly remember the first time I read it that not only could I not put it down, but that when I HAD to do other things, I couldn't really think of anything other than the story.

Wilbur Smith has written over 30 books I think now, most of them are similar in many ways expecially his most recent offerings, this book stands out amongst his because it is so different. It is basically an epic tragedy played out on the banks of the Nile about 3000 years ago. The main theme of unrequited love between a slave, Taita, castrated as a punishment when 16, and his charge Lostris is absolutely heartbreaking, but somehow the way it is written makes the story uplifting!

You really must read this, even if you have read another of Smith's books and not enjoyed it, this is something else, read it, reread it, and it will always stay in your thoughts. Wilbur Smith truly is a legend, and this is his Magnum Opus.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply the best, 29 July 2005
By 
Steve (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: River God (Paperback)
I don't think there are any words that can really describe how great this book is. It is my personal favourite out of any book i have ever read. I was only 13 when i first read this, a lot of my friends thought me a bit odd for being so excited about a book. I had tried reading other W Smith books before this one but found i couldn't get into the story, but i picked this one up and instantly i was captured. Like all good books you can never put it down the descriptions he has used in it are amazing, it really is like an emotional roller-coaster when you read this. You will laugh, you will cry, it will make you feel like you are really there living through Taita. Brilliant book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A whirlwind epic of a book., 9 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This book has to be read by anyone who has ever had even the briefest of interest in ancient Egypt. Wilbur Smiths narrative never fails over the entire course of the novel. He describes the life and times of ancient Egypt at the time of the Hyksos invasion and a time when we know little of what occured in this magnificent civilisation. Love, death, honour and nobility are all themes explored in the story of the slave TAITA and his political manouverings to bring his beloved mistress Lostris to the throne of Egypt and into the arms of her lover Tanus. Read it and weep at it's majesty. Incidently, although it reflects actual historical events, the characters are fictional. When you have read it, read The Seventh Scroll, it's sequel set four thousans years later. It's a blast.....
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 7 Mar 2007
By 
Mrs. A. M. Chadwick (Lancashire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: River God (Paperback)
I read this a little time ago.

I basically bought it because I loved Egyptian history. It was an excellent story and I enjoyed it. Don't want to say anything about the story because I don't want to spoil it for you.

It was an enjoyable read and the story caught you right from the start, it takes you on a great journey.

Compulsive read. :-)
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RIVER GOD, 19 Nov 2006
This review is from: River God (Paperback)
Having read over the years all of Wilber Smith's books I can say that River God is probably the best. It pulls you into the world of the ancient egyptians like nothing else i've known, its riviting, fasinating and entertaining. Once you have read River God you have to read Warlock which continues the story. The Seven Scrolls then brings you to the present day and the search for the pharoh's tomb. All three books I can read over and over again, when I loan them out I usually end up buying them again, you can't put them down. Just wish Wilbur Smith would write the final part of Taita's life story - I want to know who he hands over the reins to. !!!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant!, 12 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This was my first read of a Wilbur Smith novel. It was highly recommended by my boyfriend so I took it on holiday with me. I have never been so involved in a novel before. After the first chapter I was drawn in to Taita and in awe of the love between Lostris and Tanus. I would definitely recommend this book. It has a nice balance of adventure, taita's cool humour, honour, love and grief. I could not put the book down and had never cried at a book before - but the excellence in Wilbur Smiths writing is enough to bring tears to anyones eyes. Not only is it a wonderful epic, but the time and location that the book is set makes the novel even more successful (well in my eyes anyway). It is a book that really truly touches your emotions and makes you think for weeks after finishing the novel. The first thing I wanted to do when I had finished was to turn to the front and read it again.
A definite read for anyone who loves an involving epic story.
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River God (Egyptian Novels)
River God (Egyptian Novels) by Wilbur Smith (Paperback - 6 April 2007)
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