The third book in the Latro series from science fiction and fantasy master Gene Wolfe, Soldier of Sidon
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.
Latro now finds himself in Egypt, a land of singing girls, of spiteful and conniving deities. Without his memory, his is unsure of everything, except for 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 south into unknown or legendary territory, are unique and compelling. Soldier of Sidon is a thrilling and magical fantasy novel, and yet another masterpiece from Gene Wolfe.
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Latro, the amnesiac visionary hero of Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete, reaches the Egypt known to Herodotus in Wolfe's splendid historical fantasy. Wounded in battle, Latro has only one day's worth of memory and must write down his experiences so he will know who he is every morning. In compensation, he's able to see gods and supernatural beings and does not distinguish them from the mortals around him. Gaps in the record and Wolfe's Haggardesque device of the manuscript found in a jar make Latro the most postmodern of unreliable narrators, aware that he's writing a text, uncertain of its meaning and unable to keep its entirety in his head. For all Wolfe assures us that ancient Egypt is not mysterious, Latro's journey makes up a leisurely, dreamlike, haunted house of a novel, which brilliantly immerses the reader in the belief systems of the time, drifting in and out of the everyday and spirit worlds until the two become indistinguishable.