The pharaohs, kings, lords, princes and princesses, and slaves in an ancient Egypt civilization are the featured characters in the Ancient Egyptian series of books penned by a South African man of letters called Wilbur Smith. This series, which, basically, comprises of historical sagas, is alternatively simply known as Egyptian novels.
Order of Ancient Egypt Series
|2||The Seventh Scroll||1995|
The first book in the Ancient Egypt series by Wilbur Smith is River God, which was published in 1993, and set around 4,000 years in the past. We are introduced to the character of Taita, the eunuch slave, as Egypt is a nation crushed by war and greed. The country has been taken over by what Taita sees as weak men, and he looks to rise against these so-called weak men and make the country he loves great again by restoring the rightful Pharaoh to power. He does so with the help of Tanus and Lostris. Lostris is the daughter of Taita’s master, Lord Intef, while Tanus is an army officer who seeks revenge over Lord Intef. River God not only chronicles how they seek to rise from nothing, but also the burgeoning love between Lostris and Tanus, which is a love that can never be.
The Seventh Scroll is the second book in the Ancient Egypt series, which was published in 1995. Unlike River God, The Seventh Scroll is set in the present day. Although the book is set around 4,000 years after River God, The Seventh Scroll manages to tie-in the story and characters from the first book in the series, and progressing the overall epic being told by Wilbur Smith.
After The Seventh Scroll, the third book in Wilbur Smith’s Ancient Egypt series is Warlock, which was published six years later in 2001. We again head back 4,000 years to Ancient Egypt, after the modern day adventure in The Seventh Scroll. We again are brought back into the life of Taita, who has suffered great trauma with the death of his one true love. After burying his love, Taita heads into the deserts of North Africa, becoming a recluse and devoting all his time and energy into the dark arts. Over the years, Taita harnesses these powers and eventually transforms into a warlock. Taita comes back to his beloved country, only to find it plagued by war. Our hero must use his powers against the forces of evil which threaten to consume Ancient Egypt and destroy the grandson of his one true love.
The Quest is the fourth book in the Egyptian series of books. It is set, again, 4,000 years in the past, and continues the story of Taita, as he uses his warlock powers to help the Pharoah and Egypt try to overcome the devastating plagues that are threatening the country. The Quest was published in 2007. Desert God, the fifth book in Wilbur Smith’s Egyptian series, was published in 2014, and again continues the story of Taita, as he stands side-by-side the Pharaoh in trying to crush Egypt’s enemies to the south.
Ancient Egypt is regarded as among the most powerful and advanced civilizations in the ancient world. Consequently, the exploits, ambitions, and life and times of the noble families offers a backdrop for Smith’s literary work. There are almost 80 editions of the first book in the Ancient Egyptian series. Nevertheless, the first ever edition was originally published in 1994, titled River God; and this series is shelved under the ancient Egyptian literature, historical fiction, adventure, and fantasy genres.
The plot in the Ancient Egyptian series features most notably the following ancient Egypt family tree. There is Tanus, Lord Harrab who was sired by Pianki, Lord Harrab. Then there is Queen Lostris, Lord Intef’s beloved daughter and future wife of Tanus; Lostris’ patron is Hapi, a River Nile goddess. Both Tanus and Queen Lostris’s reign is called the eighth Pharaoh Mamose. There is Pharaoh Tamose, born by Tanus and Queen Lostris. There is also Prince Nefer Memnon whose parent is Pharaoh Tamose, making him the grandson of Queen Lostris and Tanus. Taita, who is a genius and loyal slave and was a prize given to Queen Lostris by her father upon her marriage to Tanus, is also featured predominantly; Taita is enormously talented: he is a learned man, an originator, healer, and tactician all rolled into one. Even then Taita, who is owned by Queen Lostris and Tanus, often gets corporal punishment for petty mistakes.
The first book in the serialized Ancient Egyptian, River God, revolves around Tanus, Lord Harrab whom the gods have declared that he will re-merge the two splinter kingdoms in the ancient Egypt namely the Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Unfortunately for the aged and world weary Tanus, he has unwittingly and helplessly let go off Lower Egypt. Hereby, both Tanus and Taita are lobbying for the affection of Lostris. Taita’s social background and place in the society is looked down upon despite his revered talents and skills. As such, he feels he cannot match the rivaling Tanus who is a nobleman and relatively well-off. Despite being mandated by the gods to bring the said kingdoms together, the gods have also prohibited Tanus from getting the beautiful Lady Lostris; Tanus, however, disregards the instructions because he feels getting her far overshadows the mission of the battle. The ensuing story is a stamp of approval of author Smith’s quirk grasp of the niche and he won a sport shooting prize.
Ancient Egyptian Awards
Wilbur Smith is a notable sport shooting lobbyist. WFSA acknowledged his efforts by rewarding him with the coveted Sport Shooting Award during the 2002 award ceremonies.
Ancient Egyptian Books into TV Shows/Movies
The first two books in the Ancient Egyptian series have been adapted for the screen. River God and The Seventh Scroll were condensed into a 1999 TV (mini)series also called The Seventh Scroll and starred Roy Scheider.
Other books authored by Smith also have film adaptations. An epic novel published in 1965 was filmed, entitled The Mercenaries, and starred Rod Taylor and co-star Yvette Mimieux. Gold Mine, published in 1970, was filmed; the adaptation is called Gold and starred Roger Moore and Susanna York. The 1971 novel entitled The Diamond Hunters has a 1975 film version called The Kingfisher Caper; a television miniseries called Covert Assassin was released in 2001 and starred Roy Scheider. There is a 1994 film called Wild Justice based on a similarly entitled 1979 book. The 1985 book named The Burning Shore was filmed in 1991, and starred Isabella Gelinas.
Best Ancient Egyptian Books
River God and The Seventh Scroll are two of the best books in the Ancient Egyptian series. River God has been discussed previously.
The Seventh Scroll: This is the second book in the series and was originally published in 1995. It revolves around Pharaoh Mamose’s crypt that is yet to be located, four millennia later. Now an Egyptologist has chanced upon a hidden message prepared by the then slave Taita, which lead to the crypt. Other persons of interest are also after the crypt and the Egyptologist’s life is at risk.
Other Series You May Like
Those who read the Ancient Egypt series also read the following series. One of them is the “Ramses” series penned by Christian Jacq; this revolves around the life and times of Ramses II, a pharaoh of ancient Egypt. The second is the Lady of the Reeds authored by Pauline Gedge; it features Thu, a clever and daring wife in ancient Egypt who ended up being a powerful pharaoh’s go-to concubine.
Another notable one is “The King’s Man” series also penned by Pauline Gedge; this literary series chronicles the life and times of Huy, a mere farmer, who by virtue being a seer, amassed power during the reign of Amunhotep III; this was after being chosen by a juvenile king’s regent as a counsel.
Q: Who writes the Egyptian series of books?
A: The Egyptian series of books is written by the author Wilbur Smith, who also writes the Courtney series of books, as well as the Ballantyne series.
Q: What is the first book in the Egyptian series?
A: The first book in Wilbur Smith’s Egyptian series is River God, which was published in 1993 and begins the story of Taita as he rises from nothing to great power.