River God reviews.

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series.

Rate River God

10 -Excellent
15
75%
9
2
10%
8
0
No votes
7
2
10%
6
0
No votes
5
0
No votes
4
0
No votes
3
1
5%
2
0
No votes
1 - Poor
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 20

River God reviews.

Postby Matbow » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:02 pm

There's been a lot of talk recently about River God and I just realised that there isn't a review/a forum to write a reviews on here. There is now!

River God is my joint favourite WS book and one of my three all time favourite books by any author. The book is simply amazing, the characters (Taita in particular) are so well developed you really get a feeling you know them and the plot is a rollercoaster of a ride.

At the time this book was published I believe a lot of hard core WS fans were quite shocked as it was a major departure from anything else he'd written and I believe quite a lot of these fans really didnt like the book. On the other hand River God has won WS a whole new legion of fans, so I guess it was a risk worth taking.


You'll either love it or hate it. 10 out of 10.
Last edited by Matbow on Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Matbow
Webmaster
Webmaster
 
Posts: 1545
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Boston, Ma
Currently Reading: Desert God

Postby Bee » Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:27 pm

Okay well I read River God after I read Warlock (for the first time). And I would have to say that this is what really got me into WS. I had read The Burning Shore, A Time to Die, Golden Fox, A Falcon Flies and Men of Men. I was looking for new books to read so I bought Warlock, River God and Seventh Scroll all in one shot and began to read. With my fascination of Ancient Egypt this series (especially River God) sealed the deal and I was sold.

I 100% recommend this book to anyone who has an inkling of fascination with ancient Egypt.
User avatar
Bee
Founder Member
 
Posts: 921
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:34 pm

The review of a die-hard fan

Postby Nefer » Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:11 pm

It's no secret around these here parts that this is my favourite book of all time :D

I've finally managed to write a review with out any spoilers! So here goes:

River god is a masterpiece like no other.

Historical novels often focus on the hum-drum of daily life, confining themselves to the worries of ordinary folk, which have understandably not changed much over the centuries. There has been a movement among historians to shun the often vibrant leaders of old. While commendable, the lack of knowledge we have of kings of old has created a void that few authors have the cojones to fulfill.

As difficult as it may be to believe, River God manages to do both. In the limited space of one book, we are plunged; mind, body and soul; into the despairs and triumphs of kings and slaves, of generals and common soldiers.

A nation at it’s peak is shown to us through the eyes of one of the many who have helped to build it – none other than Taita the slave. And he is no shrinking violet. While fiercely proud of what he rightly considers the greatest nation on earth, he makes no bones about it’s short-comings.

Wilbur Smith provides a startling rich and vital reconstruction of life as it must have been in Ancient Egypt, down to the leather sandals worn by slaves and soldiers and including the glorious hoard that Pharaoh takes to the after life. Life in Ancient Egypt really could have been nothing else.
"If I ever ask anything of you it would be to please consider life with an open mind and respect the opinions and wishes of others as long as they bring no harm to you and as long as you bring no harm or corruption to others."
~ Jason Mraz
User avatar
Nefer
Geek in the Pink
Geek in the Pink
 
Posts: 1904
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:20 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Postby Bee » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:53 am

That was an awesome review! I like it! Plus it sounds almost like an advertisement and makes you want to go and read it again!
User avatar
Bee
Founder Member
 
Posts: 921
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:34 pm

Postby John R » Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:48 am

It's making me want to read it. I think R.G will deff be the next Wilbur book I read.
User avatar
John R
Founder Member
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:40 pm
Location: South Wales, UK
Currently Reading: A Time To Die

Postby i_heart_nefie » Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:46 am

river god is my favourite book ever, though warlock is definitely a close second. they are both so good and they are very different so its hard to compare
"I would very much like to come hunting with you please...." - Little Mem
User avatar
i_heart_nefie
Little Miss Vixen
Little Miss Vixen
 
Posts: 657
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:16 am
Location: On board the 'Sprite' with the Courtneys, or QLD, AUS
Currently Reading: The Sunbird

Postby Kate4Tanus » Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:36 am

I LOVE RIVER GOD!! It would have to be my favourite WS book! It is just so good! I can't even explain how much I love it!
'You were ever more than a tutor to me,' Memnon answered softly. 'You where the father I never knew.'
User avatar
Kate4Tanus
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:49 pm
Location: Thebes

Postby Bee » Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:14 am

Kate4Tanus wrote:I LOVE RIVER GOD!!


I think that explains it all! :D
User avatar
Bee
Founder Member
 
Posts: 921
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:34 pm

Postby Kate4Tanus » Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:59 pm

yeh! I rekon that pretty much covers it!
'You were ever more than a tutor to me,' Memnon answered softly. 'You where the father I never knew.'
User avatar
Kate4Tanus
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:49 pm
Location: Thebes

Postby Monsoon » Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:45 pm

Oh well apologies to all you fanatics, but i had to do it eventually!
While a tiger eyed its prey and an eagle raged in a thunderous sky a river of darkness fell upon a burning sun and the wolf cried tis a time to die, thus did the angels weep as power and triumph in those golden eyes did creep.


Image
User avatar
Monsoon
Founder Member
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:53 am
Location: North Cornish Coast
Currently Reading: Tower Lord

Postby Matbow » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:07 pm

I'm actually suprised you rated it so highly!

Out of interest, why did you "throw it away in digust"?! (quote from memory...probably not correct)

Matt
“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

Forum Rules|Wilbur Smith FAQ|
Matbow
Webmaster
Webmaster
 
Posts: 1545
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Boston, Ma
Currently Reading: Desert God

Postby Monsoon » Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:27 pm

He he! There was me quietly going to give my mark and hastily move on, well who wouldn't with me in the red corner and a whole army opposite in the blue corner, or at least it seems there are a lot of them but i am not totally convinced. Anyway enough of the cryptic nonsense!

Around '89/90 i was probably at the peak of my enthusiasm for Wilbur's books, just as many on this forum are at the moment. I had read them all to this point and then read 'A time to Die', 'Golden Fox' and 'Elephant Song' with only about a year gap in between. Unfortunately i then had to endure a long wait then of about 2 years for the next book, which was pretty frustrating. So as soon as 'River God' hit the book stores in hardback form, i was there with my hard earned (and not so easy to come by in those days ) money sitting in a very sweaty and excited hand. All the way home that book was clutched very closely to my chest with a fast beating heart nearby.
However at no time did i ever get 'into' that book, it was a big departure from Wilburs normal writing style and that was very unexpected. I have always wondered if he was trying to elevate himself into a different genre of writer. The reasons i don't like the book are not because it's Egyptian, hell i love 'Warlock' and have visited Egypt out of fascination. 'First person' view points are also fine by me and i love many things in the 'first person'!!
I read somewhere once that WS had based much of the personality of Taita on himself, whether it is true or not it seems a slight indulgence too far for me.

I know i wasn't the only one at the time who didn't like 'River God', there was a slight flurry of disagreement back when it came out. Although there doesn't seem to be any of those people on this forum yet. One thing that does not surprise me is that i have read from 2 or 3 on this forum that they have tried other people with this book and without success on occasions. For me this is not your typical Wilbur Smith book, and i think if any of his books are going to be hit or miss it would have to be this one. Though i will qualify myself and say largely more of a hit than a miss. :)

There are a couple of forum members writing their own fiction on here, which is largely based on 'River God' and 'Warlock'. However my view is that their writing style is more the former rather than the latter. Don't get me wrong and i think they are doing a fine job and have great potential, but like 'River God' the stories are not sweeping me personally up and carrying me along.
Oh and i sat in my local library at around Christmas time with a copy to see if time had changed things for me...but again no joy! At least this time i did not throw the book down in disgust! :wink:

Do i regret that WS ever wrote this book? At the time yes, but now the answer is no. The reason being that i consider this book to be another varied tile in the mosaic of my Wilbur Smith experience.
While a tiger eyed its prey and an eagle raged in a thunderous sky a river of darkness fell upon a burning sun and the wolf cried tis a time to die, thus did the angels weep as power and triumph in those golden eyes did creep.


Image
User avatar
Monsoon
Founder Member
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:53 am
Location: North Cornish Coast
Currently Reading: Tower Lord

Postby Bee » Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:54 pm

Thanks for sharing your opinion Monsoon! I like the fact that it's not one of your "favorite" books and that you're open to share it!

Why do you think the book didn't "sweep" you off your feet? Is it just because it's different from WS's other books or something else?
User avatar
Bee
Founder Member
 
Posts: 921
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:34 pm

Postby Monsoon » Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:59 pm

I'm not totally sure Bee, but i think what you say has got a lot to do with it. If i had read the book and thought it was written by Christian Jacq or some such person then i may have been more settled with it.
While a tiger eyed its prey and an eagle raged in a thunderous sky a river of darkness fell upon a burning sun and the wolf cried tis a time to die, thus did the angels weep as power and triumph in those golden eyes did creep.


Image
User avatar
Monsoon
Founder Member
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:53 am
Location: North Cornish Coast
Currently Reading: Tower Lord

Postby Bee » Sun Apr 09, 2006 7:10 pm

I think it all depends. If you're used to a certain writing style and then your favorite author goes and switches it would throw you off and make you dislike that book...
User avatar
Bee
Founder Member
 
Posts: 921
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:34 pm

Postby mojo_dragone » Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:00 am

I found Warlock at a Goodwill store. this was the first book i read. I instantly loved it, and it was the first time i heard of wilbur smith. i am in love with his egyptian books. I cant wait for the new one.
mojo_dragone
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:17 pm

Postby Nefer » Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:06 am

Welcome to the ranks, mojo_dragone!

And as for the changing up the writing style, I can agree with that. Jean Auel sorta did that with her latest book, and lets just say it's not my fav. in the series. Makes sense that WS's fans were expecting something to follow the Courtneys & he throws out a deep-history novel. It's funny how you prefer Warlock, Monsoon. I'm not too enamoured of that book myself. It seems 'weaker' than Rivergod.
"If I ever ask anything of you it would be to please consider life with an open mind and respect the opinions and wishes of others as long as they bring no harm to you and as long as you bring no harm or corruption to others."
~ Jason Mraz
User avatar
Nefer
Geek in the Pink
Geek in the Pink
 
Posts: 1904
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:20 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Postby Bee » Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:29 pm

That's where I disagree with you Nefer. I though Warlock was just as amazing as River God. I enjoyed both. Warlock kept you on your toes and really made you want to see what happens next.
User avatar
Bee
Founder Member
 
Posts: 921
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:34 pm

Postby Kate4Tanus » Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:44 pm

I agree with you Bee, but I can't really compare which (RG or W) one I liked better, because they are so different. I don't know about the different writing styles, as River God was my first Wilbur Smith book.
'You were ever more than a tutor to me,' Memnon answered softly. 'You where the father I never knew.'
User avatar
Kate4Tanus
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:49 pm
Location: Thebes

Postby Rivaan » Fri Apr 14, 2006 9:54 pm

Monsoon wrote:I'm not totally sure Bee, but i think what you say has got a lot to do with it. If i had read the book and thought it was written by Christian Jacq or some such person then i may have been more settled with it.

I think it may be that old case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I mean if you like the way something is done (like the style of his earlier books) then why change it? Well I can understand that, and have taken similar traditionalist views with gaming.

For me, I have only read River God and Warlock, so this is the style that introduced me to the author. If his other books aren't like these two, I'm not sure if I want to read them >.> Lol.

For me, I would rate RG as 9/10. But that's because I found no fault with the book except the last part.. The whole feeling just went downhill for me but that is to do with the storyline, not the quality of writing itself.
User avatar
Rivaan
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:34 pm
Location: London, England

Next

Return to The Egyptians

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest