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

The Lion of Cairo

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  395 ratings  ·  55 reviews
On the banks of the ageless Nile, from a palace of gold and lapis lazuli, the young Caliph rules as a figurehead over a crumbling empire. Cairo is awash in deception. In the shadow of the Gray Mosque, generals and emirs jockey for position under the scheming eyes of the powerful grand vizier. Egypt bleeds and the scent draws her enemies in like sharks. Yet, the Caliph has ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Lion of Cairo, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Lion of Cairo

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  395 ratings  ·  55 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Lion of Cairo
Sep 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fant-magic-adven
Ive rated it a three..... BUT its not really a three.... its more a ONE & a FOUR..... WTF Am I on...

Its like this

Very much an adventure style of story & enjoyable it is too for the most part. Maybe a little over wordy & descriptive in places & not in a historical fiction way neither as it has more of the dramatic flair about it. As to the historical fiction side? Truth be, it could have been almost any era as I didn’t really feel transported back to medieval Cairo & immersed fully. Yes there was
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Now, this is one of those books where I really wish Goodreads had half stars.
For me The Lion of Cairo wasn't quite a 3 star, and yet I am not comfortable with making it a 4 star. Choosing from the two, in the end I decided it deserved 4 more than the 3, because the story itself was really enjoyable and zipped along without a single boring bit.
A lot of people wouldn't have the problems with this book that I did. So, don't base your decision to get this book on my review alone.
And those problems w
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have to be honest I was a bit puzzled going into The Lion of Cairo. This book is classified as historical fiction, and while I try to ignore titles I was still unsure what I was in for. Would this novel be based strictly on historical fact? Would there be fantastical elements to it? In the end I was glad to find that a few fantastical elements are sprinkled throughout the story, but it never strays far from its historical foundation.

Emir of the Knife, a notorious assassin is tasked with prote
My second foray into Scott Oden's brand of historical fiction was another enjoyable one. Oden's writing style immerses the reader into his chosen setting with ease, resurrecting a time and place covered by the dust of centuries.

What's not to like about a tale depicting an assassin in Cairo during the height of the Crusades? Oden even added a nice touch of something unexpected that I don't want to spoil for anyone. There was alot going on in this book but everything blended together nicely.

My onl
Vincent Darlage
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my new favorites, a category that includes "Frankenstein," "Gone with the Wind," "Dracula," "The Hour of the Dragon," and "Lord of the Rings." This novel had the right strokes of adventure, history, and magic. As an homage to REH, the novel also works. I hope there is a sequel in the works, not only because of the strings left untended at the end, but because I want to read more adventures of Assad.

Do yourself a favor, if you are reading this review... read this novel. It takes a
Victoria Dixon
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
On the banks of the ageless Nile, from a palace of gold and lapis lazuli, the young Caliph Rashid al-Hasan rules as a figurehead over a crumbling empire. Cairo is awash in deception. In the shadow of the Gray Mosque, generals and emirs jockey for position under the scheming eyes of the power grand vizier. In the crowded souks and narrow alleys, warring factions employ murder and terror to silence their opponents. Egypt bleeds. And the scent draws her enemies in like sharks: the swaggering Kurd S ...more
Well, I finished "The Lion of Cairo" last night and join 2 of my friends in rating this book 5 stars. What a great page turner. I love historical fiction and Scott Oden does a masterful job of creating suspense and integrating real historical characters with his own fictional ones in this story that takes place in Egypt during the Crusades just prior to Shirkuh and then his nephew Saladin from ruling Egypt. The main protagonist is an assassin named Assad, who serves the Al Hashishiyya who make t ...more
Jul 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical adventure and fans Sword of Sorcery,Robert E Howard
This book blends masterfully history and adventure to create an exciting,vivid story. I didnt expect the writing,the story full of intrigue,the characters to be of such high quality. Normally a book with many characters can be annoying because you want the hero's POV mostly but in this book i cared for every characters personal story.

A story set in Medevil Cario,Arabic world is so original,so well used by the writer. Because usually this time in history is from The Crusaders point of view.

I had
Peter Fugazzotto
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Incredibly muscular writing reminiscent of Robert E. Howard. The descriptions are luxurious and bring the reader into the world of old Cairo. I can only imagine the amount of detailed research that went into this book and Oden is able to masterfully bring the world to the page.

He also has written some of the best fight scenes around. No long drawn out battles, but blades drawn and swung and people injured or killed.

The plot moves along quickly and the entirety of the novel works as one piece and
Eric Wright
Cairo, on the banks of the Nile, is a city seething with intrigue from the vizier lusting for the Caliph’s position to armies on the way to capture the city, including crusaders from Jerusalem. Into this hotbed steps, the Emir of the Knife, commissioned to aid the Caliph with his sword of almost mystic power. An assassin, he represents some distant but almost mythical power.

Oden’s book sketches life at that time and echoes with the sounds of assassination and battle. While the plot is strong, t
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads, my-books
A great read. Ancient Cairo comes alive and the Emir of the Knife is an impressive character.
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4GR* (Very good. I loved it.) - My actual rating is 8,5 out of 10.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
"The Lion of Cairo" was fine: worth reading but not great.
The best aspect is the setting. You really feel like you are dropped into 12th century Cairo, from the gutters to the palace to the mosques to the squares to ancient Egyptian ruins, all aspects of the city are explored.
The action is also good: as expected in a story about an assassin there is plenty of violence, but it's (usually) not too gory and its not repetitious either: some stealth killings, some duels, some bigger battles.
The littl
Ståle Gismervik
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I've read from Scott Oden. I'm not used to historical fiction and it took a little while to get started, but then I just wanted more.

The book had a great flow and it also helps that the author is a fan of Robert E. Howard Robert E. Howard.

I can recommend The Lion of Cairo!
Qasim Abdul-Aziz
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read, although perhaps a little too wordy and descriptive in parts. Nonetheless, you are transported to medieval Cairo in all its glory. The action scenes are well written, the setting is great and the story flows. The book is very reminiscent of the original Assassins Creed game, and could very well be mistaken as being part of the series.
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
It was a big excessively gory for my taste, but I kept going back to read more because the plot grabbed me and the characters were good. I was disappointed in the ending though. It felt like the first of a series to me, leaving many questions and loose ends. Not my cup of tea.
Pierre Armel
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really well done adventure novel which keeps its promises. Assad is a fascinating hero, sometimes I wish we had seen more of him. The supporting cast of characters is interesting as well. The small dose of supernatural was a plus for me. I hope we will see other adventures of Assad.
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
An old school pulp-like historical adventure with a hint of sorcery. Arabian Nights-esque if the AN were written by Robert E. Howard. No, really, if I don't have you with that, I'm not sure what to say. ...more
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
What an absolute shame that Scott Oden has not written a second book about Assad, the Emir of the Knife. If ever there was a book that was heir to the heroic style tales of Robert E. Howard and Harold Lamb, it is this one. Insha'Allah Oden will come back to the Emir of the Knife someday. ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Just didn't like it. ...more
Vikrant Hardas
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Real Rating: 3.5/5

The pace was fast; cannot remember a moment of lull.
Narration was good, although some descriptions felt repetitive.
Most characters were nicely created.

Overall, a good read.
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
Just too much drama. It didn't build tension or make the book particularly good. ...more
Dawn Bates
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover intrigued me when this book was recommended to me by a friend. It took me a while to get around to reading it but when I did, I was hooked, that is until I left it in my mother-in-law's car door! For a month I was itching to get it back and start reading it again, and once I had it back, I read it within a week... all whilst dealing with the flu.

I have never read Men of Bronze, Mr Oden's first novel, but with his talent for conjuring up the streets of Cairo in the 12th century, I will
Felicity Terry
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Attracted first by the front cover, not for me the bare-chested men that grace many a cover, preferring a bit of mystery I love the dark smouldering eyes of this character presumably Assad, aka Emir of the Knife.

Set in Egypt, albeit, as the author acknowledges, an Egypt more of fable and legend than actual history, full of eunuchs, concubines, courtesans and secret passages and described as a cross between The Arabian Nights and a Hollywood blockbuster, I should have loved The Lion Of Cairo and
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
The scenes lack details and depth. You're barely getting acquainted with what's going on before the scene changes and you're left with a half formed picture of what just happened. Books are supposed to exercise your imagination, but this one counts on your imagining FOR the book. It feels lazy.
(Written after reading maybe 10% of the book).

Ok, so I finished the book. It felt like a book adaptation of a Disney movie. Everything is simply too convenient for mostly everyone, and even though good peo
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Despite the labeling, this is most decidedly not historical fiction. There isn't a shred of historic authenticity in the work. Rather it's more like some fan fiction send up of a video game.

The characterizations are frankly ludicrous. Assad is supposed to be this stealthy, was-that-a-blur? assassin, but he stomps all around the place with murder in his eyes and hate in his heart. Speaking of which, the author needs to consult a thesaurus or other works of fiction because all of the characters ha
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-fantasy
In the beginning, I wasn't sure if I even wanted to continue reading. It jumps around between 3 or 4 different views, story lines. Either I was too distracted or the book wasn't drawing me in, I really don't know which was the case. I pushed on and am glad. The different story lines are brought together... finally. There is once again abuse of a minor, however, due to the era for which this story is set, the fact that was the way of life and at 15 a girl was pretty much considered an adult, and ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Firstly, I believe in supporting good authors, especially when they're relatively new: I quickly bought two copies as gifts after enjoying a reading by the very gracious author, Scott.

Secondly, I thought this book was exceptionally well researched—it reminded me of the better books by Piers Anthony in the verisimilitude achieved for the various Arabian/Saracen/Egyptian flavors within. It flowed well, kept you in suspense, and had a twist or two before the end. What else could you ask for?

Robin Carter
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Since the death of David Gemmell i have been so bored with fantasy, magic seems such a cop out and over done. My desire for Historical fiction has grown and grown in its place.
I wasnt sure i would ever go back to anything that contained magic, then Scott Oden let me read a short story destined for Lawyers in Hell and a new spark was lit.

Then there was this title, the cover alone appealed. The plot was intriguing.
Scott Oden is clearly a talented writer and knows how to twist a tale, this one has
Craig Cote
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've grown an appetite for historical fiction set in the ancient and medieval periods, both of the fantastic and the non-fantastic variety. Scott Oden is a new author to me. I saw this book in the remainder bin at Chapters and saw Steven Pressfield's praise and decided it had to be worth a look.

All-in-all it was a good yarn. I'm not sure of the historical accuracy, but the characters were reasonably well-fleshed out, the action realistic if somewhat brutal at times (which could be considered aut
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • War Lord (The Last Kingdom, #13)
  • Men of Violence 8: The fanzine dedicated to men's adventure paperbacks
  • White Butterfly (Easy Rawlins #3)
  • The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2)
  • Miracle at St. Anna
  • Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1)
  • The Persian Boy (Alexander the Great, #2)
  • Perseids and Other Stories
  • Sepulchre
  • Obelisk
  • Apache Raiders (A Neal Fargo Western Book 4)
  • Pawn's Gambit (A Mortal Techniques novel)
  • Into the Fire (Orphan X, #5)
  • Servant (The Dark God, #1)
  • The Trouble with Peace (The Age of Madness, #2)
  • Ring for Jeeves (Jeeves, #10)
  • Death Run (Rich and Jade, #2)
  • Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2)
See similar books…
Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Sh ...more

Related Articles

Sometimes the monster in your life looks a lot like you. Or exactly like you, but better.   This is the case of Evelyn Caldwell. An...
41 likes · 5 comments
“Dusza jest niczym płomień świecy. Choć ją zgasisz, maleńki węgielek, szarara, żarzy się w ciele. Z czasem się wypali. Ale zanim to nastąpi, ktoś kto jest biegły w nekromancji może rozpalić ten duchowy popiół, przywołać go na krótko do życia.” 0 likes
More quotes…