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The Quest (Ancient Egyptian Series #4)

The Quest (Ancient Egyptian Series #4)

3.5 57
by Wilbur Smith

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A stunning, heart-pounding, journey into the lost world of the Pharaohs.

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.


A stunning, heart-pounding, journey into the lost world of the Pharaohs.

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 crippling its people. Then the ultimate disaster befalls the kingdom. The Nile fails. The waters that nourish and sustain the land dry up.
Something catastrophic is taking place in the distant and totally unexplored depths of Africa, from where the mighty river springs. In desperation the Pharaoh sends Taita, the only man who might be able to find his way through the hazardous territory to the source of the Nile and discover the cause of all their woes. But not even Taita can have any idea of what a terrible enemy waits in ambush in those dark lands at the end of their world.

No other author can conjure up the violence and mystery of Ancient Egypt like Wilbur Smith. The Quest marks his stirring return to the acclaimed series and proves once again why fans such as Stephen King praise him as the world's "best historical novelist."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Fans of bestseller Smith's ancient Egyptian series will welcome the fourth book in the saga, which picks up where Warlock(2001) left off. The powerful magus Taita and his loyal ally, Col. Meren Cambyses, have returned to Egypt after a journey of many years only to find the country beset by a series of plagues that include giant flesh-eating toads and river water turned to blood. Pharaoh Nefer Seti asks the pair to find—and eliminate—the source of his country's torment, a mission that sends Taita and Meren on a perilous quest in which they must contend with fierce creatures both natural and supernatural. Once again Smith deftly blends history, fantasy and mythology, but newcomers should be prepared for grisly deaths and mutilations. 225,000 printing.(May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Popular novels don't always fit neatly into a single genre (e.g., mystery, romance, or sf) but rather combine elements of several genres and straddle categories, creating interesting hybrids. The Questis such a book, encompassing fantasy, adventure, and historical fiction via concepts both mythical and New Age. The eunuch and magus Taita, last seen in Warlock, is back with companion Meren Cambyses. Egypt is struck by plagues of flesh-eating giant toads, and the annual flooding of the Nile fails. Pharaoh Nefer Seti sends the pair on a journey to discover the cause of the plagues and drought believed to originate at the source of the Nile, unaware of the terrible enemy who lies in ambush. Malign sorceress Eos, nearly as old as civilization, will tax Taita, Meren, and Fenn, a reincarnation of Lostris. Eos's evil supporters attempt to beguile Taita in the enchanted Cloud Gardens, where they promise to make him whole again by means of the diabolic procedure known as seeding. Audie Award-winning narrator Simon Vance brings a modulated English-accented sensibility to this story; his voices add extra vitality to the narration. Recommended for libraries with large popular fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and swashbuckling adventure collections.
—David Faucheux

Kirkus Reviews
A perceptive Egyptian eunuch who starred in Smith's 1994 River God returns, 100 years older and wiser, ready to take on the stinking bitch goddess who has brought ruin to Egypt. The Egyptian magus Taita, castrated more than a century previously at the peak of his virility, has traveled to the Indian subcontinent with his trusty younger companion, Meren, seeking new wisdom. Undergoing a ghastly operation at the hands of a lady colleague, Taita acquires a handy second sight that lets him see the auras we all throw off, radiances that tell whether we're straight shooters or lying dogs. On the way back to Egypt, Taita and Meren team up with Demeter, a savant even older and wiser than Taitu, who has a whale of a story for them. It seems that an ancient she-devil, who's taken the name of Eos, is gunning for them. She's a liar. She can change herself into anything, and she can suck the goodness right out of you while you are having sex with her. When the two wise men and Meren finally reach Egypt, they find their beloved homeland reeling from the effects of a seven-year drought. The Nile is down to a trickle where nothing lives but giant flesh-eating toads that gobble poor old Demeter, but not before Taita has picked his brains for every scrap of magic wisdom. The drought is the doing of Eos, of course. Taita's friend the pharaoh sends him and Meren and a small army with orders to travel to the source of the Nile, find Eos and put a stop to the misery. Their journey, told in the breathlessly epic Smith tradition, takes years and costs the lives of hundreds of men and thousands of beasts. Taita runs into some really good magic in Eos's horrid lair, and finds love with a reincarnated beauty. Atough slog.
From the Publisher

“Best historical novelist: I say Wilbur Smith.” —Stephen King

“Smith brings to life…the world of Egypt so much so you can almost feel the heat and taste the dust as the narrative builds to cracking pace.” —Irish News

“Fans of blockbuster thriller writer Wilbur Smith will not be disappointed with The Quest.” —Financial Times

“Smith writes with a fresh, crisp style... full of zest... The Quest is a hefty but gratifying read, long-awaited by his legion of admirers.” —Daily Express

“No one does adventure quite like Smith and, true to form, his latest is a swirling torrent of unexplored depths and manliness in ancient Egypt.” —Daily Mirror

“This eagerly awaited sequel to Smith's gripping Egyptian series continues in a truly magical tale.” —Woman magazine

The Quest is not a book for the easily queasy. After reading the scene about Bronze Age brain surgery, you'll never look at bamboo shish kebab skewers the same way again. It is a novel that is violent, fast moving and utterly engrossing.” —Edmonton Journal

“It's the sort of book readers live for, the sort that sates, however fleetingly, the primal need for story that so often these days doesn't get fed.” —Vancouver Sun

“Fans of bestseller Smith's ancient Egyptian series will welcome the fourth book in the saga, which picks up where Warlock left off. … Once again Smith deftly blends history, fantasy and mythology, but newcomers should be prepared for grisly deaths and mutilations.” —Publishers Weekly

“Smith's Africa is bewitching. We see and hear elephants, lions, hippos, and wild, weird creatures. Lakes and plains stretch as far as the horizon. His descriptions of the landscape are so real it seems we should be able to find these places on the map. … Smith's narrative is a page-turner. His characters are absorbing and believable. We fear for our heroes and cheer for them when they triumph in bloody battle. … When supernatural powers open up the ground before us, we teeter on the brink and can hardly stand to look over the edge… and yet, we must.” —The Salt Lake Tribune

Product Details

Pan Macmillan
Publication date:
Ancient Egyptian Series , #4
Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

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 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. He has homes in Cape Town, London, Switzerland and Malta.

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The Quest 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been Wilbur Smith's fan for the longest time and have always enjoyed his books,rushing to finish one book so that I can start another. Now The River God,The Seventh scroll and The Sunbird left me feeling that I had lived those lives,but this one is really just unlike his works.It was okay at the beginning until Lostris suddenly came back from the dead.He took all of Eos'incredibly omnipotent magical powers and he is sill suffering like mere mortal men.The witch is dead,he had suck her dry but she is still ???? It is just unbelievably boring towards the end and it has been torture reading the last few chapters.I guess Wilbur Smith is running out of stories.However I still believe he is one of the best storytellers of all time.This one is just not good enough
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed Wilbur Smith's books for some time, but before Smith started writing I enjoyed H. Ryder Haggard . . . most of this book is a blatant imitation of parts of SHE, King Soloman's Mines and other Haggard Books. Don't bother to read it, get the original.
oldbumplumpy More than 1 year ago
The 4th and hopefully not the last in the series. There is more sexual content in this than in previous stories but it works well and is tastefully worked. This is the first time I have seen this author on the bookshelves in the USA. I have read most of his works when living in the UK. If he is new to you, get River God and you will be hooked.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have been a fan for over 20 yrs.Don't know where he was going with this book.I have loved all of his works but this one is like someone else wrote it.( and not very well).Please come back, stay away from the wierd, out-of-this-world-trash and bring the real Wilbur Smith to life again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a Wilbur Smith fan. I have read almost every one of his books, and own about 90% of them, many of them signed 1st editions. His various African series were great, as were his 'stand alone' novels. His early Eyptian work was good. But his work of the last few years is disappointing. He has regressed and seems preoccupied with sexual adventures. I started The Quest twice and could never get further than about 100 pages. Pure gibberish....a sad end to the work of what was once a fine novelist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a great fan of Mr. Smith but this is one book that I sarted but did not finish. Enough with the gods and demons already! Stick to what you do best: historical novels, please!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Disappointing. It was a labor to get through. Filled with childish nonsense. Nothing like the excitement of the previous works. Mr. Smith you failed to entertain us with this work it was best unwritten.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Had to throw the book away, could not bear to read it. Full of strange descriptions of sex
Guest More than 1 year ago
Love Mr. Smiths writing including the first book of Egypt and the immortal Taita BUT give me a break, just too much fantasy and Stepen King raves about Wilburs great writing of historical fiction. Yes Ok please Wilbur let's go back to Africa, Cheers, Michael
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just read it and enjoy, give yourself up to the mystical powers, the incredible abilities, including sexual...without telling yourself too many times that what Taita does isn't possible. I just wish they would include better maps to track his lengthy travels. What WILL he do next?
Guest More than 1 year ago
What happened to the Wilbur Smith we once knew and loved? I couldn't wait until his next historical novel of colonial Africa arrived each summer. In fact, 30 years ago I actually sold my car, emptied my savings account and flew to South Africa after reading his earlier works. I was a lifelong, diehard fan and still was until The Quest came out. Telepathy, witches, riding on the backs of hyenas, man eating toads?????? I truly didn't know whether to laugh, cry or vomit. Mr. Smith, what is worse? You wasting such a writing talent or me wasting my money and time reading such dreck? To other avid W. Smith fans- don't waste your time with this book! Save your money for the upcoming Harry Potter book...you'll be guaranteed a better plot and far less fantasy in Rowlings' book than this sorry excuse for a novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have enjoyed all the Taita books but this one seemed more like a fantasy. Just started Desert God and it takes place way before The Quest, too bad Mr. Smith didn't save The Quest for the last book might have made a bit more sense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plug your ears!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marla3282 More than 1 year ago
I really wonder if someone else wrote this horrible book and used Wilbur Smith's name. It was truly awful from start to finish. River God is incredible, one of the best stories I have ever read. To think the same man wrote that and wrote this, I almost cannot believe it. Bringing Lostris back from the dead was ridiculous. Giving Taita his manhood back - by any means - ridiculous. The entire EOS storyline was ridiculous. I love Wilbur Smith's work and was terribly disappointed with The Quest. I read Warlock, which was not bad, but he should have stopped the story there. Before I read this book I wanted to read some of his other books, now I am not sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series of novels is absolutely captivating. Once I start reading his book, I cannot put it down. His imagination and descriptive powers are rare and the pace of his story is engaging. One of the best authors I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining. Lots of action. But, the main character just couldn't make any mistakes, could he? Everything went his way. Nice read, though.
BabsKS More than 1 year ago
I could not maintain an interest in the story line. Some of Mr. Smith's earlier books on ancient Egypt were interesting to me, but this one seemed to much of a stretch in the characters and to much like "fairy tale" happenings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exciting and great visual detail. We expect no less from Smith.
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