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For Tanus, the fair-haired young lion of a warrior, the gods have decreed that he will lead Egypt's army in a bold attempt to reunite the Kingdom's shared halves. But Tanus will have to defy the same gods to attain the reward they have forbidden him, an object more prized than battle's glory: possession of the Lady Lostris, a rare beauty with skin the color of oiled ceder--destined for the adoration of a nation, and the love of one extraordinary man.

664 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1993

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About the author

Wilbur Smith

531 books3,828 followers
Wilbur Smith was the bestselling author of many novels, each 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 have been translated into twenty-six languages and have sold over 120 million copies. Smith was born to a British family in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, in Central Africa, and attended Rhodes University in South Africa. By the time of his death in 2021 he had published 49 books and had sold more than 140 million copies.

Wilbur Smith died at his Cape Town home on November 13, 2021. He was 88 years old at the time of his death.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,779 reviews
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 16 books1,512 followers
September 25, 2020
I mostly dwell in the mysteries and thrillers but my favorite books of all time are historical which includes this book. It's one of Wilbur Smith's best. It's a story told in the point of view of an Egyptian slave. There is everything in this book, romance, politics, war. Top five not in order, Pillars of the Earth, Lonesome Dove, River God, Shogun, Young Blood Hawk. Honorable mention, Winds of War, Thin Red Line.
Author of The Bruno Johnson series.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
458 reviews3,240 followers
May 27, 2023
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 for 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 Grand Vizier Intef, of the kingdom of Upper Egypt (and owner of gentle Taita). Lord Intef has his chief guard Rasfer, beat his slave brutally for minor infractions, and Rasfer loves his work...The weak tired Pharaoh, has let Lower Egypt the delta kingdom slip away , and now there are two Egyptian nations in the 18th century ( B.C.)... But Taita has a viable rival the imposing warrior Tanus, rising star of the army and he has noble blood in his veins. The handsome eunuch is a genius, seemingly able to invent anything, he sets his mind to (except one). The quite intelligent man has such an overpowering love for the lovely Lostris, she adores him too (Hapi , the River God, is her patron). He is happy being a lowly slave as long as he sees her every day. Naturally Lostris loves Tanus, and he reciprocates. The slave's best friend is yes that same man, this strange triangle will last all their lifetimes. However during the feast of the great God Osiris, in the exotic city of Thebes with 250,000 souls the largest on the face of the Earth. The king sees the daughter of the Vizier in a play written by Taita, inside the sacred temple. The teenage beauty enchants him, the old Pharaoh Mamose the VIII marries her. She the heartbroken girl becomes one of his 200 wives, he has no sons but many daughters, the dynasty must continue! Tanus is devastate, along with her comes Taita and becomes very useful to the Pharaoh, in his Nile River palace on an island, many miles from the capital Thebes. The talented slave even begins to like the pleasant monarch, physician to the mighty king, architect to the building of his tomb. Which almost bankrupts the wealthy desert kingdom, scribe, inventor and fortune teller he can do anything, he wished it was true. Ruthless invaders from the east the Hyksos, barbarians, invincible with never seen animals (horses) pulling countless strange vehicles (chariots). Having destroyed the red kingdom of the north, sacking its capital Memphis, killing the usurper king and now are coming up stream in war galleys. With thousands of troops by land too, the white kingdom of the south is doomed. After a bloody battle, defeat the southerners, they must flee up the river . In their own boats, the fleet slowly turns away heading southerly, from their island headquarters a paradise in a turbulent world, green, with trees in Egypt! The palaces are abandoned Taita, Lostris, Tanus the Pharaoh's son and many thousands of others are on board. As the Hyksos pursue them, never stopping the chase, and still a vague plan to return someday . Floating, forever floating the royal galleys go up the endless river...
Profile Image for Eddie.
165 reviews12 followers
March 14, 2015
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 society flourished for thousands of years without him, considering the fact that he invents just about everything. But the fact that he's a slave, and a eunuch, set him apart from the prototypical hero. He's not exactly what you'd expect from a slave, however, as he's well loved and respected and wields a good deal of power and influence. And his his being a eunuch means the book isn't filled with the gratuitous sex scenes which plague so many others of its ilk! He was lovely. Smart, resourceful, gutsy and loyal, and definitely not suffering from that irksome macho-man syndrome. He might be a bit vain, but we get to see his flaws too. And he's pretty. Don't give up if the first few pages don't grab you immediately. It should grow on you.

The action just kept coming, and it's been a while since I was so hooked on a book, constantly wanting to know what happens next. It was an epic. Seriously. I loved it. Though the writing was a little cheesy at times, but it was still readable so that's a very minor quibble. There's something for everyone in this book. There were battles, wars, murders, marriages, medical emergencies, animals, gods, births, deaths, journeys, friendships, enemies... You won't have time to get bored.

I can't vouch for the book's historical accuracy, although obviously I would expect Taita's story to be completely fabricated, but it didn't seem too far off the mark in general aspects of Egyptian life. Besides, authors are allowed to take liberties in historical fiction.

I'm not sure how quickly I'll rush on to the next books in this series, if only because I want to preserve the memory of Taita as he is in River God. But this will certainly be a re-read somewhere down the line.
Profile Image for Shariful Sadaf.
180 reviews96 followers
January 19, 2021
One of the best books I've read. The story is engaging and have several details that describe love in Egypt in the times of the Pharaohs.

Willbur Smith manages to brings Lostris, Tanus, and Of course Taita alive with such vivid imagery that when i read this book I'm truly in Ancient Egypt. His description and storytelling ability does not falter over the entirety of the book and keeps the reader entranced from the first page to the last.
Richly imagined historical fiction. I held off on this for a long time because the plot summary sounded insipid, but the story is so much more than one of thwarted lovers. Taita is an engaging narrator if big-headed, an though i couldn't always tell if he were being serious or tongue in-cheek, he was clever and entertaining.
Profile Image for Gouty.
72 reviews11 followers
January 5, 2008
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 be doing a small part in making the world a better place.
Profile Image for Kevin.
5 reviews8 followers
March 12, 2008
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 by a slave Taita, who, the way the book tells it, is the pinnacle of human life. He is amazing at everything he does and touches - writing, invention, music, invention, military strategy, architecture, sculpture, invention, painting, invention, science, weather prediction, cartography, astrology, fortune telling, invention, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. He is more annoying in that he's in no way modest; since he's narrating, he constantly tells you how good he is at everything, not that he's trying to brag. And i shouldn't forget to mention how amazingly beautiful he is, irresistible to men and women. Basically if Taita had not existed, Egypt would have collapsed 4000 years ago.

The writing is better than the DaVinci Code, but not by much.
Profile Image for Lizzy.
305 reviews166 followers
February 5, 2022
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 Court decamps up the River Nile in their boats after the ruthless invasion by the barbarians Hyksos. Many years go by, and the Egyptians build a life in exile until they can finally return and reclaim their home. There are bloody battles, impossible love fulfilled and the coming of age of a new generation. And as we follow the river with Wilbur Smith's master writing, 600+ page-turner, we follow along an incredibly enjoyable "road-trip" story. Recommended!
Profile Image for Adrienne.
516 reviews120 followers
September 5, 2021
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one." ~ George R.R. Martin. My new favourite quote.
In reading River God I felt I lived in many individual persons. Smith's writing style makes me I was living in the places he describes. I felt the emotions and love the main characters had for each other. The brilliance of the slave Taita: coupled with his people skills was so delightful. I shed tears for him at the end of the book. That has NEVER happened to me before.
Now to review the follow up book - The Seventh Scroll
Profile Image for Allison.
550 reviews566 followers
April 19, 2018
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 inventor, a scholar, a physician, a strategist, and more. He's a genius at the middle of everything important, driving it all from the humble position of a trusted, good-natured slave. Taita can do almost anything, think a way out of most situations and turn them somehow to advantage. But there's a sense of tongue-in-cheek to his abilities at times that makes me think he's laughing at himself just a little even though his attitude is one of natural superiority. He thinks the world of himself, but is also compassionate and selfless.

What a great character. I loved seeing events through his eyes, seeing his curiosity and his innovations and ideas, and what fruit they bore. I loved the steadfastness and depth of emotion that he felt for those he loved, and those relationships made the history much more poignant in the end.

Yes, Taita's pretty much perfect, and Tanus and Lostra are also beautiful, godlike, and amazingly talented and well-loved. Readers who prefer their characters to have many shades of gray might have some qualms. This is not full of gritty realism, but is more akin to a heroic epic with characters that are larger than life. In a time when heroes could be elevated to god status in the eyes of the people, I didn't find this to be out of place.

I almost forgot to mention the adventure, the machinations, the betrayals, the hunts and the battles. Life on the Nile is wrapped all around it, teeming with life yet unmarred by humans. There are many opportunities for barbarism and civilization to clash and mingle. There are gruesome deaths aplenty that don't allow you to forget the savageness of the times (including many animals). Just in case you think it might be boring following the life of a noble slave-genius. I was mesmerized.
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews347 followers
April 29, 2020
Abandoned on page 312 of 530.
It's getting frustrating and I don't see why I should kill myself with this series. Worse, I get annoyed.
From the beginning, I was attracted by the use of words / expressions / concepts that have no place in 1780IdH (girlfriend, Willy-Nilly, miscarriage, couch introduction of horses to Egypt-horses arrived in Egypt in 1700-1500IdH, etc.). The man didn't do his homework much and didn't have a team of beta readers with knowledge of history .....
I give it ⭐⭐⭐ because it has a little potential.

Abandonat la pagina 312 din 530.
Devine frustrant si nu vad de ce sa ma omor cu aceasta serie. Mai rau ma enervez.
De la inceput mi-a atras atentia folosirea unor cuvinte/expresii/concepte ce nu-si au locul la 1780IdH ( girlfriend, Willy-Nilly, miscarriage couch, introducerea cailor in Egipt-caii au ajuns in Egipt in 1700-1500IdH, etc). Omul nu prea si-a facut temele si nu a avut o echipa de cititori beta cu cunostinte de istorie.....
Ii dau ⭐⭐⭐ pentru ca are un pic de potential.
Profile Image for Art Tirrell.
Author 4 books9 followers
October 3, 2007

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 entertainment of the highest order.

After his responsibility to the queen, Taita's primary task in life is to oversee the creation of the treasures the pharaoh will carry to the next life. Along the way - if you believe Taita's egotistical and often condescending reports (and I loved believing) - he engineers the cutting of stones for the pyramid, personally carves the most exquisite of the golden treasures to be entombed with the ruler, influences most of Pharoah's decisions, protects his friends and destroys his enemies and oh yes, devises equipment and tactics which make the army invincible.

Ultimately, however, the Hyksos arrive, an enemy whose primary weapon - the horse - is unknown. The hoard drives toward the capital city, defeating the Pharoah's forces wherever they are met and finally it is necessary for Taita to oversee putting everything of value aboard barges and direct the flight to the south.

In the high place where the Nile valley ends and the vast plain of Africa begins, Taita and the remnants of the royal family go into hiding while Taita, deprived of his pyramid, struggles to conceive a way to create a safe tomb. Here, unfortunately, Smith has essentially exhausted his story material. The lengthy narrative covers decades, and becomes a relatively colorless telling of events - and as the end sections set up the precedents for The Seventh Scroll, (second novel in the sequence), of unfortunate necessity everything must be kept suitably vague. We never learn where the pharaoh is finally buried, and the whole story kind of subsides rather than coming to a rousing end.

It doesn't matter. What has already gone has left the imagination reeling and sated. There's also the story that awaits in The Seventh Scroll - I had no idea what it would be, but let me tell you, it knocked my socks off.
If you are tired of the same old same old, I suggest you buy River God and treat yourself to a read that will stir your imagination like no other.
If Wilbur Smith lived on Lake Ontario, he'd have written "The Secret Ever Keeps". He lives in Africa, so I had to do it for him. If you love Smith, you'll love "The Secret Ever Keeps". http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1601...
Profile Image for Leila.
442 reviews209 followers
November 22, 2019
Absolutely fascinating book for readers who like stories about Ancient Egypt. A truly compelling story narrated by the multi-talented Taita the slave who has a mystical side and he protects and influences his mistress, a princess through various dangerous adventures, forbidden love, power struggles, epic fights etc .Also there is lots of interesting information within the plot about the great river Nile. One of Wilbur Smith's best books with a sequel too.
Profile Image for Νικολέττα .
300 reviews5 followers
February 4, 2023
Πολύ ωραίο το "χτίσιμο" των βασικών χαρακτήρων, του Φαραώ, της Λοστρις, του Τάιτα και του Τάνους. Όμορφες και ζωντανές περιγραφές χωρίς να κουράζει. Περιέχει έρωτα, δράση, περιπέτεια και μεταφέρει τον αναγνώστη με μεγάλη αληθοφάνεια στην Αίγυπτο.
Profile Image for Antonio Rosato.
903 reviews32 followers
April 2, 2016
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 sempre innamorata di Tanus, il più forte guerriero d'Egitto. Tutta la storia è raccontata dal punto di vista di Taita, un po' come se il libro stesso fosse una sorta di diario personale in cui (come in quasi tutti i libri di Wilbur Smith) troviamo inganni, guerre e tradimenti ma anche, e soprattutto, Amore con la A maiuscola... quello bellissimo ma struggente (non ci sarà il lieto fine) tra la regina Lostris ed il suo amato Tanus. Infine, c'è da apprezzare l'ottima descrizione dei luoghi, delle situazioni (spettacolare la narrazione "in presa diretta" della guerra contro gli Hyksos) e dei personaggi; ma, allo stesso tempo, come non criticare (ed è l'unico elemento negativo di tutto il volume) la troppa dovizia di particolari nelle scene di sesso o violenza? [http://rosatoeu.blogspot.it/2015/05/i...]
Profile Image for Xabi1990.
1,970 reviews849 followers
January 30, 2019
EGIPTO. (El Egipto de los faraones, claro)

¿A qué personita no le ha subyugado?¿Quien se ha resistido a sus misterios?¿Y a sus pelis de momias? Pues sí, a mí me fascinaron en su momento y todavía me atraen esas historias. Y las realidades que las soportan, como el museo de El Cairo o el Valle de los Reyes, te dejan con la boca abierta ( a mí me dejaron en su día).

Pero claro, si cualquier historia o libro con ese entorno no lo narras bien, no le metes emoción, pues no se consigue el producto que se lleve muchas estrellitas.

Y nos encontramos con que Wilbur Smith SÍ lo consigue. El autor tenía fama y yo no había leído nada de él, así que por fin le tocó el turno. Y entre costumbres del entorno del 1800 a.C., amores imposibles, relato de viajes al nacimiento del Nilo, batallas, los hicsos, dioses y personajes malos muy malos y esclavos listos muy listos vas leyendo las más de 700 pags. Y te enganchas del esclavo Taita, de la joven y bella Lostris y de su enamorado Tanu, del malvado Inef y de los faraones.

Y yo me he entretenido mucho. Sí, he leído “Sinueh el egipcio”. Sí, he leído otras ed médicos como El médico y sus secuelas. Y algo de Jacq. Y sí, no diría que esta es mejor que aquellas…pero tampoco peor.

Tal vez no sean las cinco estrellas completas, pero sí más de cuatro. 9/10.
Profile Image for Rebecca Huston.
1,061 reviews157 followers
May 25, 2015
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 horrified. It's up to Taita to solve the problem and rescue the country and he does it all without hardly breaking a sweat. That's the problem with this one -- the main characters are so, so perfect. And what with all the errors -- blondes in Egypt? Really? -- I was so glad to see this book finished. Others may find it enjoyable, but I found this one to be a chore. Only three stars, and only somewhat recommended.

For the longer review, please go here:
Profile Image for Terence M - [back to abnormal].
500 reviews173 followers
September 5, 2021
Back in the day ... before I joined Goodreads, I read this as a paperback (pub 1993) at least once and really enjoyed it. A great story, very well written by Wilbur Smith. Much of the story is still in my mind right now, so that's an indication of how much I liked this book.

I have a full set of the six "Ancient Egypt" (1993 -2007) series audiobooks, and two other stray Wilbur Smith books, but I have only read "#1, River God". My pre-GR records indicate that I may have listened to the audiobook in 2014. River God is definitely worth the 4-Stars rating applied when I loaded my first four Ancient Egypt audiobooks into Goodreads in 2011.

I think River God should be promoted to "Read/Listen to again" status, even though several audiobooks given this status have let me down in recent times😒.
Profile Image for Debbie Zapata.
1,784 reviews35 followers
February 8, 2018
When I marked this book as currently reading, I was surprised to see that at some point I had rated it five stars. I know I have read one of Smith's Egyptian titles, but I am not certain it was this one. I think I must have slapped those five stars onto it back when I first joined GR and did not understand the system. I remember in those days going through lists and happily marking any book I either owned or recognized. Silly me. Some day I will make myself a shelf of all such books and then re-read them to see if my beginner's enthusiasm can stand up to proper scrutiny.

But meanwhile I am admitting defeat with this book and marking it a DNF for now. It is interesting, but very raw and bloody, with detailed and disgusting torture scenes that turned my stomach. This all in the first 60 pages, too. I've read quite a few of Smith's other titles and while he is wonderful at heart-stopping adventure, he is a bit crude. Sometimes I can deal with that, but not at this point in time.

I may come back to this some day. Meanwhile, in the interests of being fair to both myself and the book, I'm dropping my five star rating to three. And in the future we will see if that will stand. For now it seems fair enough.
13 reviews
September 23, 2010
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 on their financial investments.

This novel RIVER GOD, first published in 1993, is the lead book of a 4 part Egyptian series. Set nearly 2,000 years BC, it chronicles a transitional period of approximately 40 years. During a time leading up to Egypt’s conquer by eastern savages using strange beasts and a seemingly floating apparatus (wheeled chariots pulled by horses), to the eventual over throw of the invaders.

Of the half dozen books I’ve read by Wilbur Smith, this is one of my favorites so far. He undertakes sufficient amounts of research to provide a reasonable degree of time, place, and events for his dialog and story line. While there may be a few new historical learning’s for novices of this period, the real purpose and draw is in the amazingly good and entertaining read.

There is also the fact (at least for me) that he deals with subject matter that is different and creative; not something that corresponds to dozens of other current writers, becoming lost in a foggy array of sameness. It is not a literary masterpiece, intellectual or profound statement; it is just a good old fashioned, fun and engrossing book that pulls you in and one you can hardly put down until finished.
Profile Image for Jwala.
40 reviews27 followers
August 26, 2007
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 never took a bad decision throughout the book. How anyone can claim realism with this character is beyond me.
I didn't mind the length though, because the book is easy to read and action-packed. I agree with my friend who called it a bad history but a good fiction.
I did not like it much but may be if I had read this when i was 12 I may have loved it.
But I still think its worth a read.

April 18, 2008
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 emotional and physical. Tanus used his brute strength to kill all that threatend him, his love and Taita. Taita loaned his vast knowledge and wisdom to Tanus to use and help both of the men. With this combination many foes fell at their knees with plenty of blood too.
In this book both Taita and Tanus loved Lord Intef's daughter Lostris. Lostris was beautiful and kind, both men yearned for her. They were also best of friends and Taita knew of Tanus's and Lostris's love and had to face it everyday.Although there was love drama there was also the drama of Taita facing his fears and becoming stronger and killing a pharoah who only hurt.This book takes you on Taita's journey through pain as wells as many others.
Even though there was blood,fighting and drama there was also comedy.It seems a bit hard to believe, but there was.Taiata's had his balls cut off so he could never know the pleasure of sex...I know it's cruel and all. but it was so so funny.Taita also had a very quick wit and made many comments and little gestures to make people feel stupid and like idiots.Also Taita constantly had a smart comment that was just plain funny.
This book is one of my favorites and is excellent and very well written.I read this book while I was on punishment and I am glad I got to read it.If anyone is interested in Egyptian books and mythology then read this book.
Profile Image for Hippocleides.
242 reviews4 followers
May 24, 2018
I read this novel for about 400 pages, which was a generous sampling. I wouldn't say it's a terrible book--in some ways it resembles Gary Jennings' historical fiction, where the descriptions tend to be full of depictions of genitalia and gore, yet the setting has a strange yet vaguely authentic feel to it that might just draw you in. The problem with River God is that Smith's characters are all egregiously trite. Tanus is a good-hearted, honorable Ubermensch, Lostris is an emotional, kind, good-hearted busty princess, Taita is a super-intelligent Renaissance man, and Lord Intef is eeeevviiiill. There is no subtlety, no shade of gray, no character arc to any of these characters--and no tension, since the good guys always seem to be "winning." So while it isn't a complete shitshow, I can't justify spending time reading the next 400 pages. I mostly wanted to read this to get to "The Seventh Scroll," which sounded more interesting, but this has been my second, and perhaps final, failed attempt at getting through a Wilbur Smith book.
Profile Image for AndrewP.
1,402 reviews32 followers
January 5, 2022
I've had this book for a number of years but was finally motivated when my 93 year old mother started reading it over the Christmas holiday.

At first this was a bit of a disappointment due to the uncharacteristic slow start, but after about 100 pages the story really picked up. Historically, this is very loosely based on the invasion and occupancy of the lower Nile by the Hyksos invaders around 1800 BC. But as always, Smith has done enough research (some of it first hand) to make everything believable to any non-Egyptologist. Excellent detailed characters are not a requirement for me to enjoy a book, but in this case they really grew on me and I felt an emotional attachment to them by the end of the story.

The slow start to the book was one problem, the other was that the upper and lower Nile are the exact opposite to how they appear on the map. The upper Nile being to the South at the bottom of the map and the lower Nile at the top to the North. I had a hard time getting these straight in my mind (but that's just me.)

Great book and I look forward to reading the other three in this series.
Profile Image for Taufiq Ahmed.
26 reviews26 followers
April 13, 2017
প্রায় দুই মাস লাগলো বইটা পড়তে। এর আগে কোন বই পড়তে এত সময় লাগেনি আমার। এক টানা পড়ে যেতে পারলে তারার সংখ্যা আরো একটা বাড়তে পারত কিন্তু সময়ের অভাবে তা হয়ে উঠেনি।
বইটা আমার কাছে বেশ অদ্ভুদ লাগলো। বই এর শেষ পাতায় উইলবার স্মিথের বক্তব্য অনুযায়ী বই এর মূল কাহিনীটা সত্য। যদিও বই উপন্যাস আকারে লেখার ক্ষেত্রে লেখক হিসেবে তিনি কিছুটা স্বাধীনতা নিয়েছেন। তবুও আমার বেশ অদ্ভুদ লেগেছে। বিশেষ করে টাইটা চরিত্রটা। তাকে অনেকটা বাংলা ছিনেমার নায়কের মত মনে হয়েছে আমার। সব কাজেই সে সেরা। আর তাকে উপস্থাপন করাও হয়েছে সেই ভাবে। প্রথমে কোন সমস্যার উদয় হয়েছে এবং এরপর সেই সমস্যার সমাধান হিসাবে সবচে সেরা ব্যক্তি টাইটা উদয় হয়েছে।
তবে উপন্যাসটার সবচেয়ে অভাগা চরিত্র হল ফারাও মামোস। সবকিছু থেকে বঞ্চিত সে। নিজের ঔরস এর ছেলে সন্তান, স্ত্রীর ভালবাসা এমনকি অগাধ সম্পত্তি নিয়ে কবরে যাওয়া।
সব মিলিয়ে এটা একটা মাস্টারপিস।
Profile Image for Marci.
638 reviews35 followers
May 9, 2014
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 and taita was possibly an actual person that just fueled my fire to read the other books in this series! This was very well written.
Profile Image for Noella.
895 reviews54 followers
April 10, 2021
Mooi verhaal over Egypte in de tijd toen er oorlog kwam met de Hysos. Hoofdpersoon is de slaaf Taita, die zijn meesteres Lostris, haar geliefde Tanus, en later haar zoon Memnon, in vele avonturen en moeilijkheden bijstaat, en hun lief en leed deelt.
Als je van boeken over het oude Egypte houdt, is dit zeker een aanrader.
Profile Image for Dolceluna ♡.
1,090 reviews68 followers
December 26, 2022
Il dio del fiume, il romanzo forse più famoso di Wilbur Smith, dopo l'acquisto è inspiegabilmente rimasto per anni sullo scaffale della mia libreria, senza che mi decidessi a iniziarlo, sebbene regolarmente lo coccolassi, passando le dita sul finto papiro in copertina, richiamata da un tempo che su di me ha sempre esercitato un fascino particolare.
Poi, il momento della lettura è arrivato, spontaneamente. E ora, a lettura compiuta, posso dire quanto i soliti luoghi comuni su questo libro come tipico bestseller commerciale e senza valore siano infondati...perchè "Il dio del fiume" è davvero un grandioso romanzo. Geniale, trascinante, maestoso. Mi ha ricordato "I pilastri della terra" di Ken Follet, per la vastità di personaggi, azioni, fatti e particolari volti a ricostruire, in tutta la sua totalità, un'epoca passata, là era il Medioevo, qui è l'Antico Egitto, misterioso, magico, affascinante.
In primo piano la figura, indimenticabile e geniale, dello schiavo Taita, scriba, medico, architetto, e dell'amore fra Tanus, mitico e valoroso guerriero, e Lostris, promessa sposa, suo malgrado, al faraone Mamose; sullo sfondo il grande Nilo, fiume leggendario e misterioso, che accompagnerà i personaggi nel loro faticoso viaggio verso la gloria e la pace. E poi pagine e pagine di intrighi, battaglie, passioni, paesaggi incantevoli, scoperte della natura selvaggia, fascinosi riti, usi e costumi del lontano Egitto che ci fanno viaggiare con la mente, stupendoci dalla potenza e dalla magia di quella civiltà...diciamo la verità, chi leggendo "Il dio del fiume" non è preso dalla voglia di percorrere, come fa Taita, i labirinti di Ammon-Ra, per conoscere il futuro? Superba ricostruzione storica, grandiosa ambientazione, personaggi destinati a diventare dei miti indimenticabili nella mente del lettore e narrazione alla quale, fra azione, amore, avventura e dramma, non manca proprio nulla.
Altro che banale best-seller, questo è un gran romanzo di valore capace di trascinarci via in un baleno. Magico!
Profile Image for Antonella  M..
922 reviews82 followers
November 21, 2020
Egitto, una terra misteriosa e ammaliante il cui fascino è immutato dopo millenni.
Wilbur Smith gli rende giustizia con descrizioni che sembrano bucare le pagine tanto risultano vivide.
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