Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Quest: A Novel of Ancient Egypt” as Want to Read:
The Quest: A Novel of Ancient Egypt
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Quest: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Ancient Egypt #4)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  6,748 Ratings  ·  312 Reviews
A stunning, heart-pounding, journey into the lost world of the Pharaohs.

Wilbur Smith has earned international acclaim for his bestselling River God, The Seventh Scroll, and Warlock. Now, the unrivaled master of adventure returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to his thrilling Egyptian series with his most fantastic story yet. The Quest continues the story of the Warlock,
ebook, 512 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Charlotte Bird
Aug 31, 2011 Charlotte Bird rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really wasn't impressed by this book. I loved Warlock, and I loved the manner with which the supernatural was dealt; it could be real, but it could also be coincidence and natural phenomena that the people of those times would interpret as real. That's fine with me. However, The Quest treats magic as totally real and goes into far fetched stuff like astral projection and talking in each others minds. If you're going to write fantasy, write fantasy; don't start a series with historical fiction an ...more
Pharoah sends for Taita, the only man who might be able to win through to the source of the Nile and discover the cause of all their woes.

Lots of man-root action, and way too Blavatsky-esque for comfortable reading. No wonder I couldn't recall the storyline here.

Re-read encounter drops this down to a 1*


Summer 2013 Egyptian Encounters:

Cleopatra (1963)
3* The Mummy Curse
2* Alexandria: The Last Nights of Cleopatra
4* The Complete Valley of the Kings
1* Ancient Egypt by George Rawlinson
4* Tutankh
Petra Van der Wees
OK, so I loved 'River God' and the 'Seventh scroll' and I also liked 'Warlock' which are the only reasons I got lured into buying this book. The first two books of the "Egypt chronicles" were great because (I now realize) they are actually based on a true story. However, now that Taita has continued to live beyond reasonable age (200 years or so?) I think Wilbur Smith has finally lost all touch with reality in this last book, and has lost my attention along with it. Not that I'm not into Sci-fi ...more
Benjamin Thomas
This is the fourth and perhaps final volume of Wilbur Smith's ancient Egyptian series, which began with the excellent "The River God" followed by "The Seventh Scroll" and "Warlock". Many folks have commented on the declining quality of this series and I see that, as well, to some extent. The first book was just so outstanding (it's in my top 10 list of all time great reads) that some deterioration was inevitable. This book seems to have received some brutal reviews though.

The book continues the
Aug 06, 2012 Katherine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2012 Andrew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed Wilbur Smith books for 25 years but this one will be my last. I only managed to read the whole thing because I was traveling and didn't have any good alternatives. Also, I couldn't quite believe how bad it was. The mystical elements, while out of place, were hardly the most jarring aspects of the story. I was able to accommodate the genre shift, but couldn't abide the predictability and juvenility of the storyline. The story reads like an old man's dirty fantasy of immortality. Wher ...more
Katie Grainger
This book has really divided Wilbur Smith fans and I can see why. I have read nearly all of Smith's books and this different to this others works. It focused much more on magic and witchcraft than the historical fiction I am used to. This is why I imagine other Wilbur Smith fans have disliked the book. The storyline was rather unbelievable but then I think this was the point, the book was supposed to be fantastical rather than seriously believable. If you could look beyond this then the story wa ...more
Aug 28, 2009 Phair rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
What bug got up Wilbur's *** in this one? Totally weird. The first third was nothing but philosophical ramblings about good and evil & 'inner eyes' and psychic powers. Then it turned into an Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure trek up the Nile with lots 'o fightin' and huntin' and hacking of limbs- mostly from the bestial 'lesser races'. THEN we get to the weirdest part which turns into a rant against stem cell/genetic research or something. Shades of Gorean sentence structure & description ...more
Sean Wylie
Jun 01, 2012 Sean Wylie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Quest was everything I love about a book. Epic historical adventure story with well-defined good vs. evil characters of an interesting time (ancient Egypt) with fascinating characters, magic, mythology, intrigue, battles, and surprises, set against an unlikely journey. You follow the adventures of the wise Taita, an old magus (wise-man / teacher / magician) who has already lived the life span of 4 generations of Egyptians, as he is sent by the Pharoah to uncover why the Nile has dried-up by ...more
Jul 17, 2013 Kindra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I only got through about 30 pages before I decided it wasn't worth my time and brain space to read more about the raging nymphomaniac goddess who sucks the souls out of the 'enlightened', strange sexual encounters between everyone conceivable and graphic physical operations. Really? All within 30 pages? Not sure if the author was just trying to grab your attention in the beginning to keep you interested, but if he was, I would have hoped he was capable of writing something at least remotely inte ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it'a Taita the Inccredible armed with a lock of hair!!
One of my all-time favourite protagonists needs to save Egypt (again) from an evil presence that suffocates the Nile.

Gripping story as Taita and his band of warriors travel into the depth of Africa to solve this crises.

Smith does a fantastic job of graphically describing the procedures and encounters of the group - from the Chima cannibals to the Inner Eye every snap, gush and sinewy twist reverberates ten fol
Dec 29, 2011 Cornelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's an exotic fantasy adventure set in ancient Egypt. The Quest has a strong sword and sorcery quality. Things in this book also tie in closely to the first one in the series, River God. It has a great ending line. Wilbur Smith is quite a story teller and I did enjoy the entire series though it's been a long time since I read the first two.
Antonio De la rosa

Meet Taita, the lead character: writer, sculptor, painter, architect, engineer, surgeon, strategist, politician, warrior, athlete, historian, geographer, philosopher, mystic, philologist, adventurer, musician, chess player, veterinarian, actor, utterly handsome and wise beyond measure.

He is also a caucasian 154 years old eunuch living in the ancient Egypt.

He is a slave too, but he does and goes as he pleases.

"The Quest" starts with Taita going to a lama monastery in the middle of Dark
Oct 04, 2012 Kelli rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taita the warlock magician goes on a quest to save ancient Egypt and restore the waters of the Nile.
I read the three previous related books (two are chronologically previous and one is related but happened in modern time). I liked the two that occurred in ancient Egypt. There was some magic but it was slight and could be interpreted as natural too.

In this book the magic has a dominant part and is completely unnatural. Except for the fact that I did not expect it, it affected the book. The book
Greer Andjanetta
Sep 01, 2014 Greer Andjanetta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An epic story but needs to be grouped in the fantasy category. A very interesting story but based throughout on magic, reincarnation, out-of-body transportation, mind reading, etc. It is much easier to create a captivating story when the author does not have to keep within reality. Just as certain writers give their heroes immense personal wealth which lets them possess or acquire highly specialized, exotic or restricted equipment to help them escape impossible situations or track their targets, ...more
Christina Maxfield
There are 4 books in this series and I actually started with this the last one which led me to reading the rest of them and then this one again. The first and third books of the series were books based on fact with generous fiction thrown in. Well, this one is packed to the brim with fiction with only a splattering of fact. Still a great read as I am into science fiction as well as historical based novels. This book continues main character Taita's already long life story (he's getting up to 200 ...more
María Ciancio
There's more to dislike than to enjoy from this book, and it'd be a hard time trying to convince me that this one was ACTUALLY written by Wilbur Smith.
Besides the continuity errors (and possible mistranslations, why not) it didn't seem to me as if the character's were themselves. But what is the worst, I felt as if Taita's, and every other character's story was bastardized.

The esoteric content was an interesting and pleasant surprise to me -though I'm pretty sure many readers would disagree, as
Sep 08, 2008 Saviour rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, fiction, 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2014 Jessa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Racist, sexist, and chock full of rape & pedophilia.
3.5/5 stars.




This review contains HUGE SPOILERS!

Engrossing writing as always, but this was probably my least favourite book of the series so far, hence the average rating. In essence, this book is exactly as described: a quest novel. Taita, our favourite magus, is called upon to help when the Nile's denizens become sick, the water undrinkable and drying. After a rather difficult to read passage where his inner eye is opened, Taita realises the river's problems are being caused by the Lie herse
Kenneth Opio
The Quest was the first Wilbur Smith novel I bought from his African Series. But because it features last in the series, I have read it last after River God, The seventh Scroll, and Warlock. All the four books in the series are great as I earlier reviewed the first three. However, The Quest is at a disadvantage as one approaches it with high expectations with a standard set by the first three books. At some point, I felt disappointed in Smith though towards the end as Taita confronted Eos, my ea ...more
Forgotten Realms Queen
This fourth installment in the story of the magus Taita is I believe the best one yet. It has actually inspired me to move on from Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series to his other books because I enjoyed this one so much.

All I am going to say about this book is that I am so happy for Taita and how this book ends for him, and I hope that this is not that last that we see of these wonderful characters.
Nov 08, 2016 SageDove rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, ancient-egypt
Wilbur SmithThe Quest: A Novel of Ancient Egypt

Nice chunky novel. All about Ancient Egypt, my favorite subject!!

Great read for someone who pleasures themselves in stories of the past.
Oct 19, 2016 Alison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give 3 1/2 stars if possible because I love Taita. But having read all the other books in the Egypt series, this one disappointed.

I kept drawing parallels between Taita and his entourage and Harry Potter and his friends. The actual quest wound up being comparable to the attempt to rid the world of Voldemort but with twists and more graphic love scenes.

I was also confused by the chronology of the stories vs the years this and the subsequent book were written. Was _The Quest_ a flashback?
Jan 05, 2017 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I gave it only two stats because it tripped the light fantastic. The book held my interest because of Mr Smith's talent with words and descriptions. At times it got just plain weird. I did finish it though. lol
Nov 16, 2016 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
More Taita adventures! This book had a more supernatural feel to it - with the witch, reincarnation, and astral projection, etc. But I still enjoyed the story and look forward to Desert God!
Chrys Minter
Jan 03, 2017 Chrys Minter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved the book very exciting from start to finish
Joanne Mendes
eh..You need to read the entire series to understand what's going on
Feb 01, 2012 Sofia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bem. A primeira coisa a dizer sobre este livro é: fujam. Lido por si só, standalone, é um livro medíocre e inofensivo. Lido como a quarta parte de uma série de livros grossíssimos que definem uma longa narrativa, o livro é um insulto ao leitor que chegou até aqui. Mas eu passo a explicar.

O Egipto é assolado por uma série de terríveis pragas, as pragas, e Taita, agora um raríssimo ancião místico de cento e muitos anos, volta ao reino para partir em busca da fonte das terríveis desgraças, uma malé
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Ramses: The Battle of Kadesh (Ramses, #3)
  • Pharaoh
  • House of Illusions  (Lady of the Reeds, #2)
  • Trixie Belden Boxed Set #1-#3
Wilbur Smith is the bestselling author of many novels, each meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His bestselling Courtney series includes Assegai, The Sound of Thunder, Birds of Prey, Monsoon, and Blue Horizon. His other books include Those in Peril, River God, Warlock, The Seventh Scroll, and The Sunbird. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages and have so ...more
More about Wilbur Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Ancient Egypt (6 books)
  • River God (Ancient Egypt, #1)
  • The Seventh Scroll (Ancient Egypt, #2)
  • Warlock (Ancient Egypt, #3)
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt #5)
  • Pharaoh (Ancient Egypt, #6)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“happiness cannot last, he thought. It is too intense.” 0 likes
More quotes…