Peter Heinrich's Reviews > Warlock: A Novel of Ancient Egypt

Warlock by Wilbur Smith
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's review
Nov 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, fantasy, history
Read in November, 2011 — I own a copy

It's embarrassing to have read another one of these Smith books while I've still got Catch-22, The Executioner's Song, and Treasure Island on my list. (Of course, that list also includes The Bog, so maybe I'm not fooling anyone.)

The first-person narrative of River God told a story fascinating for its perspective as much as for its substance, flowing from Taita's egotism and (not exactly) false modesty. It's believable as an autobiography because of this. (See the official biography of any contemporary politician to understand why.)

Unfortunately, this book, like The Seventh Scroll, sacrifices the magic of Taita's voice for the expediency of a third-person omniscient viewpoint. The result is just another adventure tale. While better than The Seventh Scroll, this book doesn't come close to River God.

I enjoyed it anyway. Now I'm off to read Gilead, but probably The Quest first (don't judge me).

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