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The Lion of Cairo

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  238 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
On the banks of the ageless Nile, from a palace of gold and lapis lazuli, the young Caliph rules as a figurehead over a crumbling empire. Cairo is awash in deception. In the shadow of the Gray Mosque, generals and emirs jockey for position under the scheming eyes of the powerful grand vizier. Egypt bleeds and the scent draws her enemies in like sharks. Yet, the Caliph has ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2010)
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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna ClarkeThe Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyDeathless by Catherynne M. ValenteHis Majesty's Dragon by Naomi NovikStardust by Neil Gaiman
Best Historical Fantasy
64th out of 184 books — 169 voters
The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow WilsonCairo by Max RodenbeckDay Dreaming in Cairo by Mostafa AllamCairo Modern by Naguib MahfouzThe Girl in the Nile by Michael Pearce
CAIRO: fictional and factual stories.
28th out of 51 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 660)
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Mar 03, 2015 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fant-magic-adven
Ive rated it a three..... BUT its not really a three.... its more a ONE & a FOUR..... WTF Am I on...

Its like this

Very much an adventure style of story & enjoyable it is too for the most part. Maybe a little over wordy & descriptive in places & not in a historical fiction way neither as it has more of the dramatic flair about it. As to the historical fiction side? Truth be, it could have been almost any era as I didn’t really feel transported back to medieval Cairo & immersed
Ross Evans
Feb 19, 2014 Ross Evans rated it really liked it
I have to be honest I was a bit puzzled going into The Lion of Cairo. This book is classified as historical fiction, and while I try to ignore titles I was still unsure what I was in for. Would this novel be based strictly on historical fact? Would there be fantastical elements to it? In the end I was glad to find that a few fantastical elements are sprinkled throughout the story, but it never strays far from its historical foundation.

Emir of the Knife, a notorious assassin is tasked with prote
Sep 12, 2010 Terri rated it really liked it
Now, this is one of those books where I really wish Goodreads had half stars.
For me The Lion of Cairo wasn't quite a 3 star, and yet I am not comfortable with making it a 4 star. Choosing from the two, in the end I decided it deserved 4 more than the 3, because the story itself was really enjoyable and zipped along without a single boring bit.
A lot of people wouldn't have the problems with this book that I did. So, don't base your decision to get this book on my review alone.
And those problems w
My second foray into Scott Oden's brand of historical fiction was another enjoyable one. Oden's writing style immerses the reader into his chosen setting with ease, resurrecting a time and place covered by the dust of centuries.

What's not to like about a tale depicting an assassin in Cairo during the height of the Crusades? Oden even added a nice touch of something unexpected that I don't want to spoil for anyone. There was alot going on in this book but everything blended together nicely.

My onl
Eric Wright
Cairo, on the banks of the Nile, is a city seething with intrigue from the vizier lusting for the Caliph’s position to armies on the way to capture the city, including crusaders from Jerusalem. Into this hotbed steps, the Emir of the Knife, commissioned to aid the Caliph with his sword of almost mystic power. An assassin, he represents some distant but almost mythical power.

Oden’s book sketches life at that time and echoes with the sounds of assassination and battle. While the plot is strong, t
Peter Fugazzotto
Mar 22, 2015 Peter Fugazzotto rated it really liked it
Incredibly muscular writing reminiscent of Robert E. Howard. The descriptions are luxurious and bring the reader into the world of old Cairo. I can only imagine the amount of detailed research that went into this book and Oden is able to masterfully bring the world to the page.

He also has written some of the best fight scenes around. No long drawn out battles, but blades drawn and swung and people injured or killed.

The plot moves along quickly and the entirety of the novel works as one piece and
Well, I finished "The Lion of Cairo" last night and join 2 of my friends in rating this book 5 stars. What a great page turner. I love historical fiction and Scott Oden does a masterful job of creating suspense and integrating real historical characters with his own fictional ones in this story that takes place in Egypt during the Crusades just prior to Shirkuh and then his nephew Saladin from ruling Egypt. The main protagonist is an assassin named Assad, who serves the Al Hashishiyya who make t ...more
Victoria Dixon
Apr 26, 2011 Victoria Dixon rated it it was amazing
On the banks of the ageless Nile, from a palace of gold and lapis lazuli, the young Caliph Rashid al-Hasan rules as a figurehead over a crumbling empire. Cairo is awash in deception. In the shadow of the Gray Mosque, generals and emirs jockey for position under the scheming eyes of the power grand vizier. In the crowded souks and narrow alleys, warring factions employ murder and terror to silence their opponents. Egypt bleeds. And the scent draws her enemies in like sharks: the swaggering Kurd S ...more
Jul 28, 2010 Mohammed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical adventure and fans Sword of Sorcery,Robert E Howard
This book blends masterfully history and adventure to create an exciting,vivid story. I didnt expect the writing,the story full of intrigue,the characters to be of such high quality. Normally a book with many characters can be annoying because you want the hero's POV mostly but in this book i cared for every characters personal story.

A story set in Medevil Cario,Arabic world is so original,so well used by the writer. Because usually this time in history is from The Crusaders point of view.

I had
Vincent Darlage
Dec 03, 2011 Vincent Darlage rated it it was amazing
This is one of my new favorites, a category that includes "Frankenstein," "Gone with the Wind," "Dracula," "The Hour of the Dragon," and "Lord of the Rings." This novel had the right strokes of adventure, history, and magic. As an homage to REH, the novel also works. I hope there is a sequel in the works, not only because of the strings left untended at the end, but because I want to read more adventures of Assad.

Do yourself a favor, if you are reading this review... read this novel. It takes a
Oct 29, 2011 edifanob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2011-reads
A great read. Ancient Cairo comes alive and the Emir of the Knife is an impressive character.
Apr 14, 2013 pdarnold rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-fantasy
In the beginning, I wasn't sure if I even wanted to continue reading. It jumps around between 3 or 4 different views, story lines. Either I was too distracted or the book wasn't drawing me in, I really don't know which was the case. I pushed on and am glad. The different story lines are brought together... finally. There is once again abuse of a minor, however, due to the era for which this story is set, the fact that was the way of life and at 15 a girl was pretty much considered an adult, and ...more
Jan 02, 2011 Suman rated it really liked it
Firstly, I believe in supporting good authors, especially when they're relatively new: I quickly bought two copies as gifts after enjoying a reading by the very gracious author, Scott.

Secondly, I thought this book was exceptionally well researched—it reminded me of the better books by Piers Anthony in the verisimilitude achieved for the various Arabian/Saracen/Egyptian flavors within. It flowed well, kept you in suspense, and had a twist or two before the end. What else could you ask for?

Tracy Terry
Mar 21, 2013 Tracy Terry rated it it was ok
Attracted first by the front cover, not for me the bare-chested men that grace many a cover, preferring a bit of mystery I love the dark smouldering eyes of this character presumably Assad, aka Emir of the Knife.

Set in Egypt, albeit, as the author acknowledges, an Egypt more of fable and legend than actual history, full of eunuchs, concubines, courtesans and secret passages and described as a cross between The Arabian Nights and a Hollywood blockbuster, I should have loved The Lion Of Cairo and
Dawn Buffham-Bates
The cover intrigued me when this book was recommended to me by a friend. It took me a while to get around to reading it but when I did, I was hooked, that is until I left it in my mother-in-law's car door! For a month I was itching to get it back and start reading it again, and once I had it back, I read it within a week... all whilst dealing with the flu.

I have never read Men of Bronze, Mr Oden's first novel, but with his talent for conjuring up the streets of Cairo in the 12th century, I will
Robin Carter
May 07, 2012 Robin Carter rated it it was amazing
Since the death of David Gemmell i have been so bored with fantasy, magic seems such a cop out and over done. My desire for Historical fiction has grown and grown in its place.
I wasnt sure i would ever go back to anything that contained magic, then Scott Oden let me read a short story destined for Lawyers in Hell and a new spark was lit.

Then there was this title, the cover alone appealed. The plot was intriguing.
Scott Oden is clearly a talented writer and knows how to twist a tale, this one has
Carla Nayland
In twelfth-century Cairo, the young Caliph is beset by invading armies and scheming viziers, all of who would like to rule Cairo over his dead body. But help is at hand from an unlikely quarter, in the shape of a legendary Assassin who owns a mysterious sword of malevolent power. This violent, action-packed adventure fantasy follows in the heroic tradition of RE Howard.
Jan 05, 2016 Nora rated it it was ok
Bought this book as I read before S. Oden books, thought it will be a historical fiction. Unfortunately (and the author admits it) it is an adventure book for big boys, which does not bother with historical accuracy, and which looks to be part one of ?? books.

If you are looking for historical fiction, this is not the book for you, if you are looking for "movie style" adventure, this is the book for you.
Craig Cote
Oct 14, 2014 Craig Cote rated it really liked it
I've grown an appetite for historical fiction set in the ancient and medieval periods, both of the fantastic and the non-fantastic variety. Scott Oden is a new author to me. I saw this book in the remainder bin at Chapters and saw Steven Pressfield's praise and decided it had to be worth a look.

All-in-all it was a good yarn. I'm not sure of the historical accuracy, but the characters were reasonably well-fleshed out, the action realistic if somewhat brutal at times (which could be considered aut
Jul 23, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
c2010. Great story and interesting protagonist. A period of history that I had only read before from the Crusader's view point. Very slight esoteric edge to the plot and there is obviously another story to come - at least I hope so. The Emir of the Knife, Assad - not too much time is spent on character building. However, I think the story works and would recommend the book. Certainly, not your run of the mill historical novel. "Am I?" Assad stopped; his eyes narrowed to fiery slits. The voice ca ...more
Jun 18, 2014 Brett rated it really liked it
Shelves: 6th-book-project
A good combination of pseudo-history and thriller, with just a touch of fantasy. Add in well-developed characters and you have a very entertaining read.
Mar 01, 2014 susana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
estrelas: 4.5/5
Mar 11, 2015 Pauline rated it it was ok
So, I really wanted to like this more than I did. It has a great premise but then it just gets simultaneously bogged down AND has a very linear and predictable plot. It's fine if a story gets a bit clunky, if it's warranted. Similarly, it's fine if a story is linear and predictable as long as it is written in an engaging manner.

However, when it has both negative points and none of the redeeming points, things go downhill fast. Hence, the two star rating
Apr 19, 2015 Hanka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Vicky Vandewiele
Jun 23, 2014 Vicky Vandewiele rated it it was ok
I had a hard time remembering who everyone was. It feels like the end of the book is missing. I regret that the most exciting part is just packed on 15 pages near the end of the book, while the middle part of the book advances very slow.

It felt very authentic, I liked it, but sometimes this made it hard to understand, as I 'm not an expert in Islamic architecture and culture.

Jun 21, 2012 Gerry rated it liked it
After reading Scott Oden’s Memnon I thought this would be a bit more historical – it turns out to be a blood & guts story of an assassin... there are so many murders and battle scenes that it might turn some people off reading on... but the descriptive favor of the Middle East and the old city of Cairo are worth the effort...
Mar 05, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scott Oden gets better with every book. This book is his first historical fantasy fiction. It is set in ancient Egypt as Cairo is overrun by competing middle eastern armies. This is the first in a series and I can't wait to see how the next one develops the characters.
Aug 25, 2011 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Part historical novel, part Arabian nights. Fast paced. One of those books you find on a store shelf and it just calls to you to "try me". This one proves that trying a new author sometimes really works.
Oct 28, 2013 Cyn rated it liked it
This was entertaining. I'm pretty sure he is trying to set up a series. Bernard Cornwall fans would enjoy this adventure. (Although this is lassified as historical fiction, I think that's a stretch.)
Mhairi Penman
Nov 09, 2011 Mhairi Penman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
A great book. My first by Scott Oden. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes the Templar era of Egypt or the good old fashioned game of intrigue.
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Hailing from the hills of rural North Alabama, Scott Oden's fascination with far-off places began when his oldest brother introduced him to the staggering and savage vistas of Robert E. Howard and Harold Lamb. Though Oden started writing his own tales at the age of fourteen, it would be many years before anything would come of it. In the meantime, he had a brief and tempestuous fling with academia ...more
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“Dusza jest niczym płomień świecy. Choć ją zgasisz, maleńki węgielek, szarara, żarzy się w ciele. Z czasem się wypali. Ale zanim to nastąpi, ktoś kto jest biegły w nekromancji może rozpalić ten duchowy popiół, przywołać go na krótko do życia.” 0 likes
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