Reviews of "The Quest"...[Spoilers]

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series.

Rate The Quest!

10
7
10%
9
9
13%
8
11
16%
7
11
16%
6
5
7%
5
6
9%
4
5
7%
3
4
6%
2
6
9%
1
4
6%
 
Total votes : 68

It was 9 for me

Postby mahound » Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:39 pm

Found this forum by accident and i am looking forward to some good discussions about the works of Wilbur Smith.
For me his best book has to be "When the Lion feeds" I first read it 25 years ago and have since read it about 100 times, great book.

Disappointed with some of the reviews of the Quest in this forum. For me it was an excellent book, well written with a good strong story line.
The spoilers that i heve seen are just nit picking, after all it is only a story.

2 things
I can see a great sequel to the Quest, where Taita is alive in modern times.
And lastly a friend of mine and myself were discussing the Eygptian books and we disagreed on how to pronounce taita's name.
I pronounce it as (phonetically) Tasha,
How does any one else pronounce it?

cheers

Mahound

Another quick question, what book does my name come from, and who wrote it?
No prizes
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Re: It was 9 for me

Postby Kate4Tanus » Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:34 am

mahound wrote:And lastly a friend of mine and myself were discussing the Eygptian books and we disagreed on how to pronounce taita's name.
I pronounce it as (phonetically) Tasha,
How does any one else pronounce it?


Emily (iheartnefie) told me the other day that in an interview with Wilbur Smith he said it was pronounced 'Tie-ee-tah', I believe.
'You were ever more than a tutor to me,' Memnon answered softly. 'You where the father I never knew.'
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Postby Chaos » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:30 am

I pronounce it Ta-EE-TA

and I agree with the first post the ending of the book opens many doors :D

but it has the best ending out of the 3 books I'v read in the egyptian series because it was a happy one, I rememberwhen I first starting to read the Quest and thinking, man why couldnt Taita live like for ever hes so damn great :p
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Postby Jo Fitz » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:51 am

Hi Everyone.

When i first started the Quest i was a bit dissapointed, it seemed to mystical for me. I always admire Wilbur's story telling but it is the realness of his characters and story line that make it for me. I was however very surprised by how much i loved it. Was it that i knew the chacters so well and am completely in awe of Taita? I'm not sure. In the end i felt like i had been on an incredible journey and can't wait to go on the next, (another two years unfortunately).
I think it amusing that people here are making so much about the inconsistencies, to have the ability to write spectacular stories such as this at any age, let alone at 74 is a phenomenal acheivement. I forgive all the small inconsistences and just hope to see another book in two years time.
I gave it 9. When The Lion Feeds is the only 10 for me..
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Re: It was 9 for me

Postby Matbow » Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:15 pm

Hi Mahound,

mahound wrote:I can see a great sequel to the Quest, where Taita is alive in modern times.


Yes, the door is definitely open for more Taita books, but Wilbur has stated that he will never write a book set in "modern times". Wouldn't it be amusing if Taita popped up in a Courtney!

mahound wrote:And lastly a friend of mine and myself were discussing the Eygptian books and we disagreed on how to pronounce taita's name.
I pronounce it as (phonetically) Tasha,
How does any one else pronounce it?


Wilbur pronounces it "Taa-ee-ta", I pronounce it "Tay-ta" and will continue to do so! See Wilburs interview here for him actually saying it (It's on either of the interviews at the bottom of the page).
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Re: It was 9 for me

Postby Kate4Tanus » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:30 pm

Matbow wrote:Wilbur pronounces it "Taa-ee-ta", I pronounce it "Tay-ta" and will continue to do so!


Same here! My friend who read it before me pronounced it like that, so in turn I did and now iheartnefie does too!
Even if I wanted to, It is hard to get out of habit when you are reading something!
'You were ever more than a tutor to me,' Memnon answered softly. 'You where the father I never knew.'
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Postby delby » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:37 am

Im so jealous that I cant afford the Quest yet so Ive been reading all off your spoilers now I just want it more so I am deffo gonna break my used book rule on Friday and Purchase saidTemptation good for me its only a tenner in Asda
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Postby i_heart_nefie » Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:59 pm

grr Why must it be pronounced Tay-ee-ta! I wanted to be cool lol. I wish I hadn't read The Quest so fast because I want to read it again...
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Postby Egyptian Eyes » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:32 am

OK, i shall not risk reading the previous posts in this thread. i know everyone has been careful about not spoiling anything but just in case... yeah. Well, here are my two cents for the spoiler pool...


[spoiler]I have already reached the part when Taita meets the Luo girl who he believes is the reincarnation of Lostris - Fenn. Now, he is in the process of teaching her Tenmass. I believe someone mentioned a bit that Taita was virtually reunited with Lostris, but i assumed it was probably in a dream or a vision. Not like a reincarnation. Anyway, it is very interesting and i look forward to see how his relationship with Fenn develops.

i must say, i am actually beginning to feel for Taita - i can really feel his pain intensely when he longs for Lostris. i felt his pain as he was having those dreams. and now, i can say i fear for him since he might once again have to witness Fenn loving another, just as Lostris had loved Tanus. OH BUT DON'T SPOIL ANYTHING FOR ME, PLEASE. what a difficult life Taita has. poor thing.

I didn't realise that Lostris had a baby name Fenn... maybe it was mentioned in RG but i had forgotten? it has been such a long time since i read that book. it is weird to read about Fenn, as i am used to Lostris.

And one trivial question... it seems that in the dreams, WS describes Lostris as having golden hair? i thought she had black hair? i wonder, why is this so? [/spoiler]
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Postby Alysha » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:02 am

Egyptian Eyes - Yeah, those last two points mentioned in your spoiler frustrated me whilst reading Quest - (and this isnt going to ruin anything for you so you can read it :) ) -
[spoiler]Lostris did have dark hair in R.G - definately. Which is weird because in Quest the hair that Taita keeps in his periapt that belonged to Lostris is blonde.
And in R.G, the baby name that Lostris had was Not Fenn, but Lanata...So i dont know - they seem like mistakes but I just find it so hard to believe that W.S would make a mistake such as the baby name...its not a huge mistake, but big enough....[/spoiler]
So hmmm i don't know...
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Postby Egyptian Eyes » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:08 am

Aha!

And for the sake of those who want a complete surprise...


[spoiler]Yes! lanata, that's right! I remember now. that is really puzzling why WS would wander away from the original details of his own novel. if a different person wrote this, i wouldn't be too surprised.
i know these may be rather insignificant details, so perhaps it is a bit idiosyncratic of me to take note of them. but ah well. i just prefer the original details, if that makes sense.

the following are also idiosyncratic observations of mine:

even though reading about taita's dreams was touching, i thought it was a bit out of context to have Lostris riding on a dolphin. i know WS delved into fantasy in this novel but... i dunno. as i said, i like the original Egyptian feel. unless there are dolphins near Egypt?... i am not an expert in its flora and fauna.
but as far as i know, the image dolphin was very.... un-egyptian. the imagery is more greek.

but speaking of which: i like how WS incorporated other mythologies into the quest. greek, roman, and some norse, if i am not mistaken. i love mythology.
ah, and i thought it was a bit strange on why he gave the female name Demeter to that old man, the savant.
[/spoiler]

well, i look forward to seeing what happens next.

and thank you, alysha, for being so considerate.
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Postby Chaos » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:06 am

Maybe he retconned the story or somin...
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Postby Egyptian Eyes » Wed May 09, 2007 3:58 am

Taita's come a long way, baby. :D

i have finally finished reading quest, and i finished it much faster than i expected. though dragging at times, it is generally a good novel. when the storyline picks up, it really picks up and makes me excited to see what happens next. that is probably why i zipped through the whole book.

Now, i can read everyone's reviews but first, i would like to toss in another 2 cents...

[spoiler]Well, i am amazed at how the story progressed!
When Taita saw a reflection of his younger self in the pool, i was imagining that some event would occur in which he would indeed become young again - seeing as the story is written in the fantasy genre. And sure enough, he did. Also really amazing how he got it... ahem... equipment back.
And I am really happy for him that finally, he got "Lostris." i really felt pain for him when he anticipated losing her - i mean, Fenn - again, and was nearly giddy when they got together. :D How romantic! How sweet! Although i must admit, the feeling i get from this love story is a bit weird though, since he was once an old man and a eunuch at that. But as i said before and will say again, T has come a long way, baby!

I also must add: i love those love stories of reincarnation. In real life, i am not too firm a believer in reincarnation, but i like it as a theme for fictional stories - especially love stories. For lack of a better term, they are so heart-warming and it just gives me a good feeling... Like, I am happy that the lovers had a second chance. So that is why I was also entrenched in this novel.

There is more I want to say, but I am just so overwhelmed and this is what comes to mind right now. in the future though, i will definitely remember more and write them down here.

Just a small irrelevant rant: I had noticed another mistake WS made: at the end, he had Taita mentioning to Nefer that his (taita's) childhood nickname for him was Mem. But of course, Mem was Nefer's father! this is once again another idiosyncratic observation of mine, but I am a bit aghast at how WS could make such an error on his own novel. It is really not too big a problem though, but it just leaves me quite intrigued...
And because I am a sucker for the way things were originally, i could not help feeling a bit sad that WS wandered away from the original historical theme into a more fantastical one. I know that is what his aim was in writing the quest, but still. i guess that is why these little details bug me a bit.

Other than that, a nice novel. Although it was different from its predecessors, it still retained some of the WS elements I enjoy: beautiful descriptions, some of the ancient feel, and sensuality. I scanned over his lengthy descriptions of the journey and battles though, because it just got too dragging for me. Same goes for the long discourses about all that new age stuff.

And it was nice to once again see Nefer and Mintaka. Its a bit amusing how they were reduced to such a small role whereas in Warlock, they were the leads. and i sort of had difficulty reconciling the fact that they were now in a fantasy setting, since Warlock (and RG) was so realistic. I actually noticed that with WS's novels - the lead characters in the former novels are reduced to such tiny roles in the latter novels. I must say, it felt a bit weird to read WS's summary of Nefer's background in the quest, since it was a highly significant event in Warlock.

Ah. It was also great to technically see Memnon again... well, not the real memnon, as you know. (Memnon aka Tamose.) But i loved that guy.

But the end, of course, left me hanging. I guess WS may write a sequel to this after, say, some years? I am now really intrigued to see how Taita and Fenn's romance develops. But man, hasnt Taita become a hottie? :lol:

now, i heart nefie and taita hehehe.[/spoiler]


Call me corny, but I now feel like I've grown up w/ Taita... :lol:
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Postby Egyptian Eyes » Wed May 09, 2007 4:20 am

One more thing..

Finally, read through the other posts... it seems that I am not the only one bothered with the mistakes after all! Whew! well in my case, they bothered me because as i said, i would have preferred if the original details were retained so that I could have a real feel for the quest as a continuation, you know?

And now, that i think about it, i have rather mixed feelings. actually, on its own, it would be a good book... but as the original feel and details were abandoned, it kinda annoys me too. And there is something different about Nefer and Mintaka, but i can't put my finger on it.

As for Fenn...
[spoiler]
I, too, was expecting her to be a manifestation of Eos and i was on the edge of my seat, waiting for her to suddenly burst into some malevolent image. but when it turned out that she wasnt, well....
I was happy for taita.

And as for her having blonde hair... Well i believe that WS should have written that she had black hair. if he is to say that she was as beautiful as she was in the other life, then she should have indeed looked like Lostris - dark hair and all!
Well, to reconcile this, i simply ignored the blonde description when i was reading and continued to imagine Fenn the way i imagined Lostris. [/spoiler]
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Postby Nefer » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:11 pm

I gave the book 8/10, because it's very good, but not Brilliant, which is reserved for RG :mgreen:

And despite all the inconsistencies, I was able to really enjoy the book :) I knew it would be really different than his usual style so I had no real expectations, which helped.

Also regarding the hair - when he was 'remembering' Lostris, I always thought he was really seeing her as she would be when she was re-incarnated, or that Eos had got it all wrong (when I thought that the dreams were placed there by Eos). Makes sense that Fenn doesn't physically look like Lostris - they have the same spirit, but not the same looks. That's why they have different names. From what I understand about re-incarnation, a spirit may occupy different bodies which don't have to look the same.
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Postby lee » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:31 am

Hi, Having read all WS's book, I was very disapointed in The Quest, and have given it a one.
[spoiler]About Taita being a virgin, maybe they ment with his new part.
In River God wasn't Taita made to cut out his baby out of is lover's womb, before being castrated himself, as punishment for falling in love.
I didn't like the way Tanis was handled, as well as the Pharoh and his wife.
I also found it a dit disterbing that an old man (170?) even in a young mans body, ending up with a young girl.[/spoiler]
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Postby nephthys » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:39 am

Hi all.

Am new to the forum but I've just read Quest and wanted to contribute to the discussion. I'm a student of Ancient History, majoring in Egyptology so of course I saw some grave inconsistancies with modern, orthodox Egyptological views, but loved the book for what it was - a really good story.

I'm also a fan of the fantasy relm and wasn't disappointed in the fantasy aspect of the novel. It's very 'Terry Brooks' in so many ways. I was totally engrossed and because I'm currently on work and Uni holidays, I read the entire book in a day and a half. I couldn't put it down.

My spoiler thoughts:
[spoiler]
1) I didn't mind that Fenn and Taita got together. In those times, it was perfectly acceptable for a young woman to be paired with a much older man. Besides, Taita was physically a young, strong man again, even if he had lived for many years. At the end of the Quest, weren't they heading to Saraswati to open Fenn's inner eye and then onwards to find The Font? Therefore Fenn will also be immortal and my guess is that if there is a sequel, it will be based on that journey.

2) I picked up on the virgin line as well and that bothered me. It was made quite clear in RG he had known a woman's body, but perhaps like was said earlier, they didn't 'go all the way'. I had no problem with him being somewhat experienced and failed to understand why he needed to be a virgin in this story when not having sex for 130 years would have been adequate enough for re-education (hense the Dr Lusulu scene, p356)! Lee: I just re-read the castration scene in RG and there was no mention of a baby.

3) I liked The Font scene, it was cool how the Blue River of Life made Taita young again, it was great imagery. I also like how his spirit sign ended up on the door to the riverbed

4) I like the reference to the biblical plagues in the beginning of the book and thought for a moment it may go the way of Moses, but those plagues were instead the retribution of Eos. There is an inscription on a rock situated on an island in the first cataract, just down from Aswan, that describes the plages, so there is actual reference to the Nile not rising for many years and all the plagues that came at the same time. I liked how this was used.[/spoiler]
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Postby lee » Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:20 am

[spoiler]nephthys: I don't have access to RG, can you tell me if Tiata had to kill his lady? If so how? Thanks, Lee.[/spoiler]
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Postby Matbow » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:16 am

Lee, if I remember correctly -

[spoiler]
Taita's lover was killed infront of him by Rasfer. He tied a rope around her head and tightened it until her head popped.
[/spoiler]
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Postby Bee » Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:21 pm

I have finally read this book after waiting many months to purchase said book because of a lack of funds. My uncle goes and gives me his copy! Yay!

Anyway, I was slightly disappointed by this one. It didn't have the RG, Warlock feel to it. Plus it seemed a bit predictable.
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