River God - A Diary

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series.

Postby Matbow » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:46 pm

^^John, I was editing my post whilst you posted yours!
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Postby John R » Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:15 pm

Well i finally picked River God back up again today! got into it so easy and read for nearly 2 hours i think. just read the part where ....[spoiler] Taita nearly got killed by the cobra, Lostris lost her virginity to the Pharoh and Taita is now looking for Tanus[/spoiler]

On page 170 odd now
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Postby Matbow » Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:17 am

I'm on page 190ish...actually finding it a little slow but its still good and I've been finding it hard to put down. I know the action picks up big style from this point on, I hope I can read it in a couple of big sessions rather than bit by bit!
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Postby John R » Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:23 pm

Same here, on page 192, and im glad you said the action picks up from here because at the moment im finding it slow. Was surprised with the main character when he [spoiler]savaged that man who raped a woman he didn't even know, he ruined him and yet when he had the chance to kill the man who cut his balls off, he didn't do it. I'm also finding him extremely vain.[/spoiler]
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Postby Bee » Mon Dec 11, 2006 4:01 pm

Loving this diary guys... keep on reading! :D
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Postby Nefer » Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:30 pm

I'm not hearing any love for Taita!!

Come on, he's a genius - and a very complex character!
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Postby Matbow » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:16 am

I'm at about the same point as you were John when you last posted.

Taita's such a complex character; full of contradictions, amusing, arrogant and slightly creepy! It's almost as if he's a real person and you're getting to know him by reading his diary - I think that's why I like this book so much.

I do agree about that his relationship with Lostris is slightly wierd, the fact that he is almost like her father yet he loves her is very strange...oh well, just something to accept I guess!
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Postby John R » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:18 pm

On page 200 now, and the action has picked up a bit. I very much enjoyed the part where [spoiler]they wipe out about 900 of the shrikes[/spoiler]

again though, it's very rare that i'm picking the book up and reading it.
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Postby i_heart_nefie » Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:16 pm

This makes me want to read it again :) It just gets better guys, have fun reading!
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Postby John R » Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:02 am

Ummmmm....i kind of got to the half way stage, and like, i kind of got a bit bored....so i sort of picked up 'When The Lion Feeds' last night and read 120 pages.... :oops:

I just don't have any interest in Egypt what so ever. i can't relate to the main character. i find him vain and a coward. I have no interest in what is to become of the other main characters. this book is just not for me i guess. And when i went back to Smith's 1st book, it just blew me away (again) and i got lost in it and before i knew it i was a 3rd of the way through.

so my rating for River God is :- D/N/F (Did Not Finish)
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Postby Nefer » Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:25 pm

Oh dear...

Thats okay :) Everyone has their fav's - was going to post that I'm almost at the end of the book, with a minor pause to read "Helen of Troy".

When you're starved for a book, pick it up again, it might be what you need!
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Postby John R » Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:09 pm

phew...i was expecting a back-lash from the pro-Taita members lol thanks nefer. Could you still post wot happens at the end, i'd still be interested to quickly find out how it all ends.
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Postby Nefer » Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:18 pm

No problem :D Just as soon as I'm done!
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Postby Nefer » Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:52 pm

Well, you've missed a lot of what happens, so I'll try and be as brief as possible!

[spoiler] After Tanus wipes out the Shrikes, he & Lostris meet up in a cave in the desert while Pharaoh is otherwise occupied, hunting with his new cheetahs. And wouldn't you know, a massive sandstorm blows up, trapping the love triangle in said cave for 3 days. Lostris' & Tanus passion can no longer be denied, so they make love for 3 days, while poor Taita has his heart torn to shreds, wishing for death as his BFF has his way with Lostris.

The storm over, Tanus leaves, & mistress & slave return, only to find that Lostris is pregnant - what a suprise! She gives birth to Memnon, Ruler of the Dawn, official son of Pharoah. Of course, only the love triangle know of Mem's parentage & Tanus is once again shafted.

They wait for the 5 year point when Lostris will be free to go to Tanus. Little do they know that this means Pharoah will be killed by the invaders from the north, the Hyksos, who have chariots driven by man eating horses :lol: Anyway, Egypt is defeated, and Tanus can now go to Lostris. Yay! Only he's sworn not to take up the crown, so it has to be in secret. Taita works the Mazes again, and the gods say, flee south to Cush! And so they do.

They flee all the way to Qebi (=Khartoum) spend a few years there building up their army, which now has a chariot division. Here the wanderers make contact with the Ethiopians, and Memnon falls in love with a girl, Tanus with an iron sword, and Taita with a new breed of horses. Circumstances ensue, and Taita is taken prisoner for a few years by the Ethiopians. He escapes, returns to Qebi, gathers an expedtionary force to resuce Mem's girl, the sword & horses. Mem is 20 years old at this point, so they've been out of Egypt for about 15, I would say.

This is where I usually stop reading altogether, because it's really sad. While the guys are battling, Tanus is skwered by the sword he fell in love with, and dies. Before this happens, Mem comes to him and confesses that Tanus was always like a father to him. Of course, the poor guy just melts into tears. Mem still doesn't know the truth, so doesn't know why Tanus is crying. Tanus gives Mem the sword, turns his back and dies.

Lostris is of course devastated. When the force returns to Qebi, they finally put the old Pharoah in his tomb (they couldn't leave him & his treasure in Egypt for the Hyksos) and Taita & Kratas switch his & Tanus' bodies, so it's Tanus in the tomb of the Pharaoh.

Mem maries his girl, & they begin their return to Egypt. On the way their, Lostris gets cancer (ovarian I think) and a little while after her son re-captures Thebes, she dies, and the light goes out of Taita's soul.

He tells us that he has been writing these scrolls during the 70 day embalming period, and will place these records in his mistress' tomb. He wishes he could die, but his prince needs him.

And so it ends. [/spoiler]

I never thought Taita vain and a coward - I see a lot of me in him. Well, maybe the cautious cowards part, not the genuis part! He seemed to me the embodiment of the time he lived in, even more so because he's not Egyptian. Of all WS's heros, he is the most flawed and the most human.
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Postby John R » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:40 pm

wow that was fantastic nefer. thanks for posting it. Exactly what i wanted, the lazy way of finding out what happens lol cheers :wink:
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Postby Nefer » Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:39 pm

Aw bugger, and here I thought my review would pique your imterest and get you reading it again!
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Postby i_heart_nefie » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:05 pm

Nefer that was an awesome summary, and I am a true river god fan like yourself and have read it over and over. I wanna read it again...lol
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Postby Phils_jd » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:19 pm

Yep, you done good there Nefer
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Postby Matbow » Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:17 pm

I finished RG a few days ago and I've been pondering what to write here for a while... At my last post I was about half way through, from here on the book did really pick up for me...lots of action, fast paced and funny.

I originally gave this book a 10, but on this reading I'd only give it an 8. Don't get me wrong, this book is great but I didn't get as much out of it - the wow factor just wasn't there.

John - I'm not completely surprised you stopped reading it, but I really think you should keep on going. The second half is almost non stop action - more like the WS style we're used to. As for Taita, yes he is vain and a coward in the start, but again that changes in the second half - he becomes a lot more likeable!

Also, IMHO you'll get more enjoyment from Warlock and the Seventh scroll if you finish RG.

It's worth saying that even though Mr Monsoon hated RG, he still loved the other Egyptians - don't discount the whole series just because you didn't like RG!
Last edited by Matbow on Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bee » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:42 pm

Matbow wrote:
I originally gave this book a 10, but on this reading I'd only give it an 8. Don't get me wrong, this book is great but I didn't get as much out of it - the wow factor just wasn't there.!


Do you think it lost the wow factor because of the re-read? Nefer's installment/review just made me go "oh yeah that's what happened". Sometimes re-reading just loses it's "wow-ness" especially if it hasn't been that long ago when you read it.
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