Saturday, March 19, 2011

River God - A Novel of Ancient Egypt

The main character of this book, who also serves as the narrator, is an eunuch slave called Taita. He is very bright, so it's a pity he is only a slave, because in a free world he could be the most intelligent and richest man in the world. In one point, her mistress gives him his freedom, but he loves her so much that he refuses the gift. Sometimes I think the author has gone too far.

Wilbur Smith claims with a footnote that this book is more fact than fiction, but I just read that in River God's sequel, The 7th Scroll, he drew the claim. River God is set in 1700s BC, where Egypt is invaded by the Hyksos.

Taita belongs to cruel Lord Intef, the grand vizier. Taita loves Lord Intef's beautiful daughter, Lostris, and helps her to unite with her lover Tanus. Lostris afterwards becomes the Queen, after marrying the Pharaoh and giving him a son - which is actually Tanus'. The Pharaoh dies in a battle when the Hyksos come, and Queen Lostris goes into exile. The book ends with Queen Lostris, before her death, returns to Thebes, which has been won back from the Hyksos. Interesting thing about this book, is that before the Hyksos came, Egyptians never seen a horse. The Hyksos defeat their infantry with chariots.

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