This is the second of Wilbur Smith's books that I have experienced. The first one, "The Sun Bird," did not hold my interest nearly as well as this one.This audiobook was read by voice actor Dick Hall, and he did an outstanding job of bringing all of the characters to life. Eunuch slave Taita, the narrator, tells the story of three generations of the family he served. The tale starts with Lady Loastris, daughter of the vizier Intef, falling in love with a soldier named Tanus. But Loastris is chosen by the Pharaoh to be his queen, and asks that Taita be given to her as a wedding gift. This way, she can keep track of what Tanus is doing -- because the Pharaoh demands that Tanus rid Egypt of bandits (the Shrikes) lest he lose his head for calling the Pharaoh's land lawless.This is a tale of Egypt during the time of the Hykksos invasions, so Smith also talks about the court in exile. The book is well-researched and entertaining, and tells the story of three generations from Intef through Prince Memnon (who becomes Pharaoh Thutmose).Highly recommended for those interested in the history and culture of Egypt.