I stopped reading Angle of Repose temporarily in order to read the next book chosen for the Book Club. My first question as I read more of the book is: Is this historical fiction? And the answer is answered right at the top of the photo of the front of the book. Stephen King says that Wilbur Smith is the best historical novelist! Pretty high praise....so I guess I will stick with it. Wikipedia says:
Desert God is a novel by author Wilbur Smith first published in 2014. It is part of a series of novels by Smith set to Ancient Egypt and follows the fate of the Egyptian Kingdom through the eyes of Taita, a multi-talented and highly skilled eunuch slave.
Oh, wow....I just read the rest of the synopsis and I am not sure that I am going to be able to get through this book....lots of battles...lots of gore....not sure that it is my kind of book. But below is what I am reading this morning:
Here are a few maps to help understand the first of the book....
And here is the link to the website for Wilbur Smith's books:
Oh, wow, this is too complicated to figure out this close to Christmas. So I am going to throw up my hands. Here is what I found about another of Wilbur Smith's books that is helpful:
River God is a novel by author Wilbur Smith. It tells the story of the talented eunuch slave Taita, his life in Egypt, the flight of Taita along with the Egyptian populace from the Hyksos invasion, and their eventual return. The novel can be grouped together with Wilbur Smith's other books (The Seventh Scroll, Warlock, The Quest, Desert God and 'Pharaoh') on Ancient Egypt. It was first published in 1994.
A new threat to the kingdom emerges — the warlike Hyksos. Equipped with the horse and chariot, as well as a superior recurved bow, their technological superiority is far greater than the Egyptian army's. The Pharaoh is killed, forcing a majority of the Egyptian nobility (including Lostris, Tanus, and Taita) to flee Egypt by heading up the Nile with the remaining army.
[So the book that we are reading is after River God...Taita and the Pharaoh have already fled south on the Nile after the Hyksos invasion. They are planning a huge and complicated series of events to oust the Hyksos and thus reunite the land that is Egypt so that the Pharaoh can wear the crown of all of the land and so that they will have access to the Mediterranean Sea which they are lacking because of the rout.]
And here is an answer to the idea that Wilbur Smith has based this novel on a particular reign or date:
The central conflict of the novel is the Hyksos invasion, which took place approximately 100 years after the claimed date of 1780. 1780 was approximately the beginning of the Thirteenth dynasty of Egypt: The Hyksos have been assigned to the Fifteenth dynasty of Egypt. Thus, it is not possible to relate characters and events in the novel to specific characters and events in history.
I am quite surprised that I am finding the book entertaining. I might just get it read for Dec 15th after all. The reader is PERFECT for the book! He is without a doubt native born British speaker. And it actually gives the vain Taita the perfect voice! This morning I laughed out loud as Taita explains to Pharaoh how they are going to change huge silver ingots that they have stollen into a form that they can spend without giving away the secret that they are the culprits who have stollen the gold. The exchange between the two men reminds me of Forrest Gump! Movie that I loved....In solving the problem of turning all of the stollen silver into a form that they can use to purchase much needed commodities, they make coins. And Taita (unlike Forrest Gump who was anything but vain) takes the credit for having invented coins that changed the ancient world!
I finished the book tonight. It is a bit of a silly book. But at the same time, it appears that the crazy volcano eruption did really happen: