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Desert God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt    by Wilbur Smith Amazon.com order for
Desert God
by Wilbur Smith
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Author Stephen King says that 'You can get lost in Wilbur Smith'. How true. Smith is one of the world's best-selling and best-loved storytellers. He has sales of over 125 million copies of his extraordinary work! Desert God is his first historical novel in five years returning to the time of 1994's River God.

Smith brings ancient Egypt alive with his ability to depict that era in a manner that no one else manages to emulate. He paints his pages with colorful brush strokes that bring Egypt alive. Gold sands. Blue waters. Red blood of heroes, as well as ravaged battlefields, intrigue, and dark magic. Smith makes it easy to imagine yourself in various settings and to be able to feel the sand shifting under your feet and the Nile tickling your toes.

Taita tells this story. He is the wise and wily advisor to the Pharaoh during a time when Egypt is facing its gravest enemy. Taita had been emasculated in his young life. This did not prevent him from falling in love with Queen Lostris. The Queen died and Taita transferred that love to her daughter Tehuti. He looks after her as though she were his own daughter. Tehuti has fallen in love with a commoner but her love can't keep her from having to marry the ruler of Crete. Their union is necessary to keep the two countries from waging all-out war.

Of course there is skullduggery afoot and Taita's plans for Egypt fall apart. He must use all his wiles to rescue Tehuti, in order to save her life as well as those of other members of her entourage. Politics, warfare, heartsick lovers, killing on a mass scale, dirty politics all play a part in this engaging, and highly entertaining work. Sounds rather like today.

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