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The Quest (Ancient Egypt #4)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  7,427 Ratings  ·  333 Reviews
Wilbur Smith returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to his thrilling Egyptian series. Following on from "River God", "The Seventh Scroll" and "Warlock", "The Quest" continues the story of the "Warlock", Taita, wise in the lore of the ancient Gods and a master of magic and the supernatural. Egypt is struck by a series of terrible plagues that cripple the Kingdom, and then ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published April 4th 2008 by Pan Macmillan (first published 2007)
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Richard Derus
Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: 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, Taita, wise in the lore of the gods and a master of magic and the supernatural.

Egypt has been struck by a series of terrible plagues, killing its crops and c
Charlotte Bird
Aug 06, 2011 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
Jul 20, 2008 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
Aug 28, 2009 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
Aug 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Rita Chapman
The Quest goes from fantasy to being totally unbelievable.
Antonio Rosato
"Alle fonti del Nilo" è il quarto volume del bellissimo ed epico ciclo egizio di Wilbur Smith. I primi tre lavori sono stati alquanto meravigliosi e spettacolari, ma questo (purtroppo bisogna dirlo) mi ha profondamente deluso e lasciato con l'amaro in bocca... già a metà libro non vedevo l'ora di arrivare alla fine e, in più di un'occasione, sono stato lì lì per abbandonare il tutto! Intanto cominciamo col dire che moltissime situazioni (parecchio logorroiche) non avendo nulla a che fare con la ...more
Sean Wylie
May 09, 2012 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 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
Mar 08, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I'm rating a Smith book 1 star. His books were some of the first adult books I read, and I relished them. I loved River God and Taita was a great character. In River God there was intrigue, character development, clever manipulation, love and hate and all set in a luxurious, exotic Egypt. None of things were present in The Quest, instead we spent more than half the book traveling for years (How many times did they eat wild spinach along the way?), and nothing much happened. There ...more
Jan 15, 2012 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 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.
Rosario Marcantonio
Questo è un libro fantasy, punto. Assodato questo devo dire che è quello che mi è piaciuto di più dell'intera saga (finora). Finalmente ho ritrovato l'avventura nel cuore dell'Africa, pieno di descrizioni di luoghi, popoli e animali che mi ha fatto innamorare della scrittura di Wilbur Smith.
E devo ammettere che anche Taita mi è sembrato meno antipatico in questo capitolo della saga...
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
I remember absolutely loving Wilbur Smith's Ancient Egypt Trilogy a few years back - so I was super excited to find the series had been expanded! That was until I actually read this. It wasn't total shite, but was sorely lacking in that Wilbur Smith Magic of the earlier page turners, that left me hungry for more.

What we have here could have been the most epic, action, adventure, dangerous and exciting story, but somehow fell short. I felt the dialogue was sometimes quite atrociously cliched, th
Oct 04, 2012 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
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Greer Andjanetta
Sep 01, 2014 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 07, 2008 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 18, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Racist, sexist, and chock full of rape & pedophilia.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book, but borderline historical fiction and tending to fantasy. Still, an excellent read. This is the fourth in the series involving Taita, the once slave who is now more of a mystic/warlock. There's lots of mysticism and set in ancient Egypt that works really well but the reader has to suspend some belief. The journey is certainly epic as Taita seeks the source of the Nile and the reason for years of drought. There's giant, killer toads and an ancient goddess to contend with. Smith's ...more
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed the first two stories in the series, tolerated the third, and I'm not sure what to say about this installment? I guess Wilbur deserves some credit, I did finish the book. He is a talented writer there is no doubt, but the plot breaches the realms of bizarre and never hints at returning. Needless to say, my journey with Taita ends here.
Annebelle Marie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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)
  • River God (Ancient Egypt, #1)
  • The Seventh Scroll (Ancient Egypt, #2)
  • Warlock (Ancient Egypt, #3)
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt #5)
  • Pharaoh (Ancient Egypt, #6)
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