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Books – Review of The New Kingdom by Wilbur Smith – 2021 – Beautiful Series

by AniM
the new kingdom
The New Kingdom Book Cover

Book Review – The New Kingdom by Wilbur Smith & David Churchill – A Beautiful Series continues…

My Rating – 3.5 out of 5

Plot Summary – The New Kingdom

Over the years, as the 88-year-old Wilbur Smith dug deeper into ancient history, particularly the Ancient Egypt series, a beautiful world opened up for his readers and ardent fans. Through the mage Taita – eunuch, statesman, and warrior extraordinnaire, he has fashioned a wondrous world of ancient civilization with art, culture, science, technology, and mythology in equal parts. Coupled with his detailed focus on the African landscape, his books literally read like visual images – Cinema, if you will, transporting the reader to a world never seen and never to be seen again. I started reading Wilbur Smith way back in 1986 and have been a massive fan since then, having read all his fiction books published to date!

Coming back to The New Kingdom, Ancient Egypt No. 7, this is not so much about Taita, as he plays a small role near the end of the book. Hui is the son of the Governor of the city of Lahun, Khawy and like most teenagers, part rebel, part child. His mother died during childbirth and he was brought up by Isetnofret, Khawy’s first wife, alongside her own son Qen and daughter Ipwet. But Hui was his father’s favorite child, a fact not liked by Isetnofret. But Qen and more so, Ipwet were good their kid brother Hui, never letting him feel like a step-son. But all that changed one night…

The New Kingdom Author Wilbur Smith interview

That night Hui, Qen, and their friend Kyky went looking for an adventure of their lifetime – that of stealing the mythical Ka stone from the lair of the Shrikes – a barbaric tribe of robbers and fighters known for their limitless brutality. In fact, this particular group was led by the dreaded Basti the Cruel! Hui knew with the capture of this stone – known to have immense power and divine blessing – Lahun and his father will be in focus at the Pharaoh’s court and unimaginable riches and power will be bestowed on his father. But fate intervenes, Hui is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and his dreams of greatness for Lahun are shattered. He is forced to flee urgently!

While on the run, Hui realizes that to be a great warrior he needs training. He lies his way into the camps of the Shrikes, then into the warrior tribes of Hyksos to learn the art of warfare, charioteering, and horsemanship. Eventually, he lands up with the great Egyptian General Tanus and his advisor Taita. By now, Hui is a trained charioteer and horseman, and through his diligence and bravery, becomes close to Tanus. He eventually dreams of returning to Lahun one day, with the huge Egyptian Army behind him, and restore Lahun to its erstwhile glory. Thus unfolds the great adventure of Hui’s life…

the new kingdom
The New Kingdom Alternate Book Cover

Conclusion – Book Review of The New Kingdom

I find these books to be great fun to read, not just because they open up my eyes to a world never seen, but because of the vivid imagery that Wilbur Smith unleashes, where you feel the hot desert sand in your face and the cool breeze of the Nile wafting through your hair! I’m not a historian to debate the authenticity of the historical facts presented here, but to be able to imagine and visualize the vast richness of a civilization from three and a half millennia ago, is sheer magic!

This can be read as a standalone, though it will pique your curiosity to know more about Taita, Tanus, and Queen Lostris. For that, you will have to go back to the earlier six books in the series, and if you are so inclined, it will be a magical journey to a mystical land where civilization as mankind knows it, began.

the new kingdom
Wilbur Smith – Author of The New Kingdom

*I hope you have enjoyed reading this book review as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *

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