Soldier of Sidon

Soldier of Sidon

3.98 (947 ratings on Goodreads)
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Latro forgets everything when he sleeps. Writing down his experiences every day and reading his journal anew each morning gives him a poignantly tenuous hold on himself, but his story's hold on readers is powerful indeed. The two previous novels, combined in "Latro In The Mist" ("Soldier Of The Mist" and "Soldier Of Arete"), are generally considered classics of contemporary fantasy. At last, we have a new book, and Wolfe promises more in the future. Latro now finds himself in Egypt, a land of singing girls, of spiteful and conniving deities. Without his memory, he is unsure of everything except his desire to be free of the curse that causes him to forget. The visions Gene Wolfe conjures, of the wonders of Egypt and of the adventures of Latro as he and his companions journey up the great Nile into unknown or legendary territory, are unique and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 33mm | 498.96g
  • St Martin's Press
  • Tor Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0765316641
  • 9780765316646
  • 989,632

Review quote

"I read it immediately, of course, as I have all of Gene Wolfe's other books. What can one say? The man is too clever by half, and ought to be obliged to donate some of his excess brain cells to charity (I mean, think of all the really stupid authors out there who could benefit!)--but he is so much "fun." He doesn't just do his homework on the ancient world, he plays hopscotch with it. The narrative--vivid, dramatic, and irremediably fragmented--is like ancient history itself, full of unanswered questions." -Gillian Bradshaw on "Soldier of Sidon" "Gene Wolfe is the smartest, subtlest, most dangerous writer alive today, in genre or out of it. If you don't read this book you'll have missed out on something important and wonderful and all the cool people will laugh at you."--Neil Gaiman on "The Knight" "Most writers of fantasy or science fiction know how to tell rattling good stories. But Gene Wolfe not only entertains, he invests his work with a complexity and trickiness that place him among the most important writers of our time." --"The ""Washington"" Post" "Wolfe's words wash over the reader with transparent grace and charming playfulness as he spins his profoundly imaginative, metaphysically complex, yet ever-entertaining tale with astonishing naturalness This is fantasy at its best: revelatory and inspirational."--"Publishers Weekly" (Starred Review) on "The Wizard" "A marvelously fluent, evocative historical, and first of a series, from the well-known author. . . . Glowing, fascinating, intricate work, full of gods and ghosts and magical metamorphoses, set forth in a modern prose that agreeably captures the rhythm and spirit of the period." -"Kirkus Reviews" [starred review] on "Soldier of the Mist""show more

About Gene Wolfe

GENE WOLFE lives in Barrington, Illinoisshow more

Review Text

After more than 15 years, Wolfe (The Wizard, 2004, etc.) returns to his historical-fantasy series (Soldier in the Mist, 1986, etc.).Around 500 b.c., narrator Latro, a Roman mercenary, suffered a head wound and now can't remember anything when he awakes each day, so he meticulously records his experiences in a scroll and must re-read it every morning. However, he is able to see and converse with ghosts and gods. Now, Latro sails with his friend, sea-captain Muslak, to Egypt-or so the scroll informs him-where Egypt's Persian satrap has commissioned Muslak to explore the largely mysterious upper reaches of the Nile. Both Latro and Muslak hire temple prostitutes to become their "river wives" for the duration of the journey. In addition, Latro commands a squad of soldiers. Also aboard are Thotmaktef the scribe, Qanju the official and Sahuset the magician. Occasionally appearing-to Latro, at any rate-are a talking baboon and a huge black cat. In a coffin Sahuset keeps Sabra, a wax statue shaped as a woman, and when Latro draws near, the statue comes to life and demands blood. Later, Latro acquires from the shade of a former pharaoh, Sesostris, a slave, Uraeus, who's also a cobra. A merchant, Charthi, asks Latro to make inquiries after his son, Kames, missing after traveling to the south in search of gold. The longer the journey grows, the more peculiar it becomes.More teasing than demanding-the text abounds with sly references to Latro's previous adventures; Latro, of course, doesn't remember them and, likely, neither will his readers. Well worth investigating, but not especially purposeful or compelling. (Kirkus Reviews)show more
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