Smith to revisit Ancient Egypt in 10-book deal with Bonnier

Smith to revisit Ancient Egypt in 10-book deal with Bonnier

Bonnier Books UK will publish 10 new books from Wilbur Smith, including a spin-off collection set in the same universe as his 1994 Egyptian series. 

Bonnier acquired world all-language rights from Smith, his wife and business director Niso Smith, and their agent Kevin Conroy Scott at Tibor Jones. 

Smith's original Egyptian series was launched in 1994 by Pan Macmillan with River God (1994), followed by The Seventh Scroll (1995), Warlock (2001) and The Quest (2007). The latest two titles, Desert God and Pharaoh, were published by HarperCollins in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

Smith will be revisiting the series with a new spin-off collection titled Ancient Egypt: The New Kingdom. The series will establish new characters in the world previously introduced to readers through the eyes of Taita, the hero of the original books.

The first book in the new series, The New Kingdom, will be published in September 2021. It will return to the era of River God and follow the story of the charioteer, Hui, who will be familiar to fans. Hui’s story will straddle the great geographical divisions that lay at the heart of Ancient Egyptian civilisation: between the Nile and the desert, civilisation and barbarism, order and chaos. The story is inspired by the myth of Osiris and Seth, two Egyptian brother gods who grow to become adversaries.  

Further novels in Smith's Courtney and Ballantyne series are also planned. The series, which includes A Falcon Flies, Men of Men and The Angels Weep was originally published in the 1980s by Pan Books but was republished by Bonnier imprint Zaffre in 2018. 

Perminder Mann, c.e.o. at Bonnier Books UK, said: "This major new agreement further strengthens the close creative partnership formed between Wilbur Smith and Bonnier Books UK that commenced back in 2017. We are absolutely delighted to announce the deal and to continue on this exciting journey together over the coming years."

Smith said: "I’d like to thank my readers for inspiring me to keep imagining over the past eight years. Thanks to them I’ve continued the legacy of my characters while answering their curiosity about my characters’ fate. We now have 10 new novels ready for my readers and their families and a treasure chest of 20 outlines for the future. Bonnier Books UK provides a wonderful home for the Courtneys, the Ballantynes, Taita and every character in between. I still get excited when I look down over this fictional universe that I’ve created and think about new stories to come."