The Quest Hardcover – Unabridged, 6 Apr 2007
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"Best historical novelist: I say Wilbur Smith."--Stephen King
"Smith brings to life...the world of Egypt so much so you can almost feel the heat and taste the dust as the narrative builds to cracking pace."--"Irish News"
A spectacular epic adventure set in ancient Egypt from one of the world's most celebrated novelistsSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are into fantasy then the book is quite a good read; Smith describes fantasic and colourful scenery and characters.
The problem is that almost all of Smith's fans aren't. If you are used to the realism of his great books like When the Lion Feeds and Birds of Prey then you will barely believe what you are hearing. To an average Smith fan, the plot is outlandish and at times laughable. It's sad to see that so many people hate this book, because it really isn't all that bad, but Taita is one of Smith's most loved characters, and perhaps his first dive into fantasy shouldn't have used him as the Guinea Pig.
There are also quite a few consistancy problems with the earlier novels in the series which serve to annoy long term fans. (When did Wilbur decide that Lostris' baby name was Fenn?!)
Wilbur Smith has set a very high standard for his novels, and this one does indeed fall short of it, however i get the feeling that if this was his first book there would be lots of fantasy fans giving it four stars rather than the miserable ones and twos it's getting. He's done a very brave thing jumping into the genre of fantasy, but it looks like it's not going to pay off for him unfortunatly.
Also it's really, really, really long! It could be a series in itself - Perhaps that would have worked better; a fantasy series about the fight against the lie...
Nice try Wilbur, but lets have a good old African adventure in 2009 before you put all your fans off for good. I'd like to see what happpens to the Courney family after Blue Horizon!
However this book feels more like a cheap imitation of one of his than the real thing. If I hadn't read his previous work I would have thrown it down in disgust as fantastical rubbish.
I have nothing against fantasy novels and enjoy reading them, but this takes it too far. We are supposed to believe that Taita and other 'long livers' have been around for thousands of years? And as for the childish nonsense about 'the truth' and 'the lie'- well, it would be funny if it wasn't contained in what is supposed to be an adult novel.
I finished reading it only on the authors reputation and the one redeeming feature - his wonderful description of events and setting. But as for the events themselves? Maybe Smith should stick to what he does best, writing entertaining but generally historically accurate books. Magic was present in his previous books I know, but for me in 'The Quest' magic seems to be more common than reality, and without reality Smith has created a childish and unbelivable work of fiction.
If this book had been realised by a new author it would have been panned by everyone who read it - it only gets good reviews on Smith's reputation and as far as I'm concerned didn't deserve to be published. Maybe I'm being a little harsh, it's not the worst book I've ever read, but it is so far below the standard I expect from this quality author that I can't stand to see it get such a mixed reception.
Don't buy this book, stick to his earlier work. But if you really want to read it wait until it comes out in paperback! Don't waste your money like I did.
However now that Ive managed to read it I find myself incredibly disappointed with the huge differences between Smith's usual style and this.
No longer our slightly vain, not so modest early Taita or even the enigmatic older Magus Taita. We now have a young, all powerful warrior Taita in a story involving outlandish magics, modern day genetic manipulation, long dead characters resurrected with noticable differences, and extended 'sex battles'.
Not only does Taita gain immense magical power and manage to regrow his entire genitals and the virginity that cost him the loss of them in River God but also discovers the reincarnation of his decades dead love, Lostris (who has mysteriously become a blonde), who also has immense magical power and conveniently falls in love.
No sign of the flaws that made Taita into the wounded hero that so appealed originally. No sign of the undying love Lostris bore for Tanus her entire lifetime until her death. No sign of the rich storyline that I love so dearly about Smith's other novels or the well developed and thought out characters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read the earlier books several times but this is my first time reading the Quest - I missed the more complete political aspects and the story was too heavy on the mystical... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Hannah Gibson
Could not put it down. I have now read all of his books and the Egyptian saga is by far the best.Published 4 months ago by Mr K Stoner
Take a 150 year old eunuch, send him into darkest Africa with a small band of his chums to find out why some evil force has stopped the Nile from flowing. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bob Richards