From Publishers Weekly
Fans of bestseller Smith's ancient Egyptian series will welcome the fourth book in the saga, which picks up where Warlock
(2001) left off. The powerful magus Taita and his loyal ally, Col. Meren Cambyses, have returned to Egypt after a journey of many years only to find the country beset by a series of plagues that include giant flesh-eating toads and river water turned to blood. Pharaoh Nefer Seti asks the pair to find—and eliminate—the source of his country's torment, a mission that sends Taita and Meren on a perilous quest in which they must contend with fierce creatures both natural and supernatural. Once again Smith deftly blends history, fantasy and mythology, but newcomers should be prepared for grisly deaths and mutilations. 225,000 printing.(May)
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The latest book by best-selling adventure novelist Smith is the fourth volume in his series of historical novels set in pharaonic Egypt, tracing the adventures of eunuch and mystic Taita. Its immediate predecessor was Warlock
(2001). The quest of the title is just as much a spiritual one as an actual one as Taita, out of a deep devotion to his country and his pharaoh, seeks the identity and the quashing of the "menacing force" that is threatening the very existence of the kingdom; the "land of Egypt quailed, and the population gave in to despair." The Nile has refused to rise and bring fresh, fertile soil to the river valley; the shrunken river runs with blood; and huge, poisonous toads arise from the bloody water and overrun the land. Taita must go deep upriver, far into Africa's interior, to discover the reason. Ancient mysticism and mythology swirl through the narrative as swiftly as the Nile waters when in full flood. Smith has always been long on action, and his new novel won't disappoint his fans in that regard; he's always been graphic in depicting violence and death, and his new novel certainly fits the mold. Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved