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River God (Ancient Egypt #1)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  26,836 Ratings  ·  1,097 Reviews
Set in ancient Egypt. The Valley of the Kings lies ravaged by war, drained of it's lifeblood, weak men inherit the crown. Through the voice of Taita, the author draws the reader into the lives of the characters - their hopes, fears and passions. By the author of Elephant Song.
Published March 26th 1993 by Not Avail
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Henry Avila
May 30, 2013 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The mist clears, the clouds roll out and the fog lifts, looking down, the Nile appears. Its blue waters, dominate the desert land, like a Lion, over a savanna. And the hot sun, is always shining, bringing excruciating heat, which not even the Egyptians can tolerate too long. The scene, ancient Egypt, the life giving river flows leisurely by, going north. But no human knows where it begins, in the south, if it does have an end there. The eunuch slave, Taita, loves Lostris, daughter of the evil Gr ...more
How can you possibly resist a book about ancient Egyptians?

River God was a pleasure to read. At over 600 pages it still managed to keep the action flowing right until the end and it doesn't hurt that Taita is one of the sweetest and most likable characters I've come to know in a long time.

At first I wasn't too sure about this book. I bought it on a spur of the moment and didn't know what to expect from it. Taita comes across as a priss to begin with, and there is that question of how Egyptian so
I don’t usually advocate the burning of books, but in this guy’s case I’ll make an exception. He has some of the worst, turgid, cliché ridden prose in the English language. This guy must have a cliché macro programmed into his computer. “Oooh! I need a cliché. What one shall I use? I think I’ll use F7.” I do not know how this guy got published, not even once but multiple times. If you come across a book written by this guy take it to a safe place douse it in gasoline and set fire to it. You will ...more
Genia Lukin
May 14, 2011 Genia Lukin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
River God is one of those historical novels that broke open a whole new world to me. I have been to Ancient Egypt, lived, lost and triumphed there, and then resurfaced in my own time as if coming out of a vivid dream. The images are still with me, but what makes it truly wonderful is the main character, Taita. He is the star of this book, not the two star-crossed lovers who dominate the book description.

Taita is a slave, a eunuch, but a highly educated and privileged one. He's an artist, an inv
Art Tirrell
Oct 03, 2007 Art Tirrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventure lovers
Shelves: alltimefavorites

Only drawback; it's long, too long, but for sheer imaginative scope, Wilbur Smith's River God tops everything I've ever read. The story is narrated by the charming eunuch slave Taita, whose secret passion for queen Lostris surprises - until we learn Taita reached manhood before being castrated in order to render him "safe" for service in the harem. He retains his passion, artistic drives and incredible ego, and the exercise of these alone are enter
Ancient Egypt mesmerizes me and I loved Wilbur Smith's River God. Taita is a very likable character and narrates the story. Not an everyday model hero for sure as a slave and a eunuch. But he's brilliant, spirited and above all loyal, even if a little vain; and I specifically like flawed heroes. I can't judge it's historical accuracy and I read it as a work of fiction; I'm not knowledgeable about Ancient Egypt, but I don't think it matters here.

It was a great adventure to read: the Egyptian Co
Apr 08, 2008 (KFK)Juliene2010(KFK) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This book was one of the most amazing books to have ever graced literature. That may only be my opinion, but I believe it to be true.The book had action, drama, comedy and of course a bit of sexual story as well.
The book had many different fights and wars in it. Tanus was a skilled and vicious warrior and killed without hesitation. Tanus had skill, discipline and love for a woman. Taita also had the same love for the same woman and yet they were best friends. They both fought many battles both
Feb 13, 2010 WH rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rhodesian born author Wilbur Smith is not as well known in the US as in the UK and many other countries throughout the world. However, his first major novel was published in 1964 and since that time he has written over 30 additional titles with sales exceeding $65MM. His historical fiction and adventure novels have continually received high praise, maintained a strong following, and for those who were fortuitous in starting a library collection of his earlier works, provided a fairly good return ...more
Aug 26, 2007 Jwala rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read this book because it was highly recommended to me by someone. River God is supposedly about an epic journey and enduring love. Soap Opera history.I dont know much about Egyptian history, so I am not sure which historical elements within the book are accurate or inaccurate but the plot seemed a bit formulaic and I cant believe protaganist's utter perfection and endless accomplishments and talents. He single-handedly invented or saved every single aspect of Egyptian history and art. He ...more
Mar 12, 2008 Kevin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A decent story about life in egypt around 2000BC is marred by hamfisted writing. I didn't hate the book, but i sure hated parts of it.

In general the story isn't bad, but the writing made me cringe at best, and annoyed or angry at worst. It is full of 2-dimensional characters who never change (or change from one flat personality to another), constant deus ex machina (in the form of actual egyptian gods) and somewhat creepily sexual writing that is out of place and excessive.
River God is narrated
Taufiq Ahmed
Feb 19, 2017 Taufiq Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
পরায় দুই মাস লাগলো বইটা পড়তে। এর আগে কোন বই পড়তে এত সময় লাগেনি আমার। এক টানা পড়ে যেতে পারলে তারার সংখযা আরো একটা বাড়তে পারত কিনতু সময়ের অভাবে তা হয়ে উঠেনি।
বইটা আমার কাছে বেশ অদভুদ লাগলো। বই এর শেষ পাতায় উইলবার সমিথের বকতবয অনুযায়ী বই এর মূল কাহিনীটা সতয। যদিও বই উপনযাস আকারে লেখার কষেতরে লেখক হিসেবে তিনি কিছুটা সবাধীনতা নিয়েছেন। তবুও আমার বেশ অদভুদ লেগেছে। বিশেষ করে টাইটা চরিতরটা। তাকে অনেকটা বাংলা ছিনেমার নায়কের মত মনে হয়েছে আমার। সব কাজেই সে সেরা। আর তাকে উপসথাপন করাও হয়েছে সেই ভাবে। পরথমে কো
Nov 26, 2007 Marci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i really liked this book. Taita is an incredible character. this was def. a page turner, i am running to the library today(im not allowed to buy more books unless absolutly nec. yes, i am a book a holic!) to pick up seventh scroll and warlock because i read at work and cannot bear to not have a book to occupy my time btwn xraying patients! the story was very authentic from what i know about egypt. and i was surprised to read Mr smith's note at the end that it was based on a true archeologic find ...more
I didn't give this book even a part of a star because I think that if you dislike a book so much that you can't read it, it doesn't deserve even a glimpse of a star. I read about a hundred pages of this book because it came so highly recommended, but I wished that I hadn't even read those. I was mostly offended by the graphic violence in those 100 pages. I'm for a book burning.
I read this years ago. Years and years ago.

Mostly all of what I remember is that I loved it.

I hadn't a clue that it was a series.

Another handful to add to Mt. TBR? We'll see. I'm afraid it might topple over and kill me, lol.
Antonio Rosato
Feb 15, 2015 Antonio Rosato rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ho riletto questo bellissimo romanzo dopo oltre vent'anni dalla sua uscita (era il 1993 e io comprai la prima edizione). Primo capitolo di un'avvincente serie di cinque romanzi incentrati sulla figura di Taita, uno schiavo eunuco che grazie alle sue abilità in fatto di medicina, pittura, ingegneria, tattica militare e tante altre arti, riesce ad emanciparsi e ad ottenere la libertà per mano della sua stessa adorata padrona, nel frattempo diventata moglie (a malincuore) del Faraone Mamose, ma da ...more
Rebecca Huston
For me, there's always a bit of trepidation when I pick up a novel set in Ancient Egypt. If I'm lucky, the book has plenty of research, an engaging story, and few anachronisms. Then there's this heap of steaming dung. There is so much to this one that I detest, from the insufferable perfection of the lovers Lostris and Tanus, the narrator, Taita the Super-Eunuch, and host of pretty much forgettable side characters. When the Hyksos attack Egypt in their chariots, the Egyptians are shocked and hor ...more
Apr 17, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Misfit, Hayes
The story takes place in 1780 BC in Egypt.

The narrator, Taita, is a eunuch slave who tells the love story between Lostris, the wife of the Pharoah of Egypt, and Tanus, the commander of the Pharaoh's army.

As historical background is the Hyksos invasion of Egypt.

Once you start to read this book, you won't be able to put it down, believe me. The plot is fast paced and one never gets bored.
Tasnim Dewan  Orin
পরতারণা, ছলনা আর যুদধের এক উপাখযান। ...more
Apr 08, 2016 ArZo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
রিভার গড, ইতিহাসের এই অধযায়টির মূল রচয়িতার নাম টাইটা। এক নপুংসক মিশরীয় দাস, যে কিনা আজ থেকে পরায় ৩৮০০ বছর আগে তার উদভাবনী শকতি দিয়ে গোটা মিশরের ইতিহাস বদলে দিয়েছিলেন। দশটি অযালাবাসটারের পাতরে নিবদধ তার লেখা ইতিহাসের সকরলগুলি উদধারের পর লেখক উইলবার সমিথ নিজের ভাষায় এই ইতিহাসকে আমাদের সামনে জীবনত করে তুলেছেন।

মাতর ১০ বছর বয়সে টাইটাকে যৌন দাস হিসাবে তৎকালীন মিশরের গরানড উজির ইনটেফের সেবার নিয়োজিত করার হয়। ১৬ বছর বয়সে এক পরিচারিকার সাথে শারিরীক সমপরক সথাপনের অপরাধে ইনটেফ টাইটা ছুরি দিয়ে তার পুরুষাঙগ
Elizabeth A
Aug 09, 2012 Elizabeth A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I'm having a throwback kind of read. This is the kind of book I spent much of my teens devouring - once I got tired of all those Mills and Boon romances with the throbbing thighs. Seriously as adults do we ever read anything with the kind of sheer abandon we had as kids? Well, I captured some of that fun these past couple of weeks.

This is the first book in the Ancient Egypt pentalogy, and it was the recent publication of the latest installment that made me look into this series again. I am sure
Dana Stabenow
Dec 07, 2008 Dana Stabenow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who liked She and Crocodile on a Sandbank, or any rollicking grand adventure tale.
Recommended to Dana by: Bob Penney
Wow! What a slam bang historical romance epic! Taita, slave and eunuch, tells the story of Lostris and her lover Tanus, lady and warrior of ancient Egypt. Lostris is sold into Pharaoh's harem, Egypt is overrun by Hyksos hordes with advanced technology in the form of chariots (with wheels, the first the Egyptians have ever seen) and recurved bows, Pharaoh is killed in battle, and Lostris leads her people south, to the source of the Nile, there to regroup and rebuild and return to reclaim Egypt fo ...more
Eugenea Pollock
Jul 29, 2016 Eugenea Pollock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have long had a fascination with Egypt (as it was in the time of the pharaohs)--undergrad concentration in my Art History major, location of our 1992 25th anniversary trip. So when I found Wilbur Smith's series set in ancient Egypt, I had to give the first one a try. Caution: it's not for the squeamish. It's at times a brutal depiction of a slave-centered society in a violent primitive time in history. But its descriptive passages of royal hunts, musical entertainments, clothing, hairstyles, j ...more
What can I say? The best thing about this audio book version of River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt is that it is S H O R T !

For some reason Dick Hill's voice acting for one or two of the characters here reminded me of the Chi Fu character voiced by James-Hong in Disney's animated version of the Mulan story. That is not necessarily a good thing since Chi Fu is the sort of character that everyone loves to hate because he is so annoying!

A total page turner. It soaks you in the sights, sounds, and smells of Ancient Egypt. Good, bad, and ugly alike. It was a brutal age (arguably, it still is), and Smith mercilessly deals out the nastiness. It made me glad to live in this era (such as it is). The main protagonist is a great character, and the plot is intricate without becoming cloudy. I read it in something like 3 days. It's that good.
Shravanthi Kripa
What an epic read !!!
What. An. epic--CREEPY read.


This was my first African novel - excluding The Kane Chronicles which was only a children’s mythology book series. A novel for adult audiences is what I mean. This was wayyyyy more than what I expected.


Here’s what I think of it….

River God is the story of the era of Pharaohs, a story spanning three generations, as told by a slave called Taita.

But wait…don’t take the slave so lightly, because he is the key to every historical event everrr….at
Jun 15, 2010 maricar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grand in scope, yet intensely personal…an ambitious tale of lush and mythic proportions…

River God was a hotbed of contradictions for me. I plowed through its first few sections in a pace so sluggish even I was aghast. The introduction by the slave Taita of the young Lady Lostris and the dashing warrior-slash-boyfriend Tanus was not that compelling enough to make me want to stick through. Just a few millimeters thick (or thin, as it applied) into the novel and I tossed it aside, there to gather a
Moon Rose
The antiquated remnants concealed in the undisclosed ruins left by the Ancient Civilizations that still await further excavation hold a certain allure, a spellbinding interest that captivate the imagination of the modern man as it leaves some parts of its historical lineage buried undiscovered beneath its seeming eternal underground of slumber, enclosing their ancient secrets in mysticism as it opens up a wide gap between the truth from what is just mere fiction.

River God is a manifestation of t
Mar 06, 2017 Catie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh how I loved this book. If you're looking for a sprawling epic about Egypt, look no further.
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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)
  • The Seventh Scroll (Ancient Egypt, #2)
  • Warlock (Ancient Egypt, #3)
  • The Quest (Ancient Egypt, #4)
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt #5)
  • Pharaoh (Ancient Egypt, #6)

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“I was sitting in the Temple of Karnak on the Nile, as the sun was going down, and I was all alone, and the great Hypostyle Hall was full of shadows and ghosts of the past, and suddenly I heard this little voice saying "my name is Taita, write my story"… and if you believe that you'll believe anything.” 7 likes
“Yet such is the perversity of human nature that I hungered for what I could never have and dreamed of the impossible.” 2 likes
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