Tom Courtney and his brother Dorian battled both vicious enemies and nature itself on the high seas, finally reaching the Cape of Good Hope to start life afresh. Now, half a generation later, they are successful and contented: merchants and family men, prospering on the very edge of an immense and beautiful continent, Africa. In the tradition of Wilbur Smith's earlier best seller, Monsoon, this spellbinding new novel introduces the next generation of Courtneys. They are out to stake their claim in Southern Africa, traveling along the infamous "Robbers' Road."
It is a journey both exciting and hazardous - one that takes them through the untouched wilderness of a beautiful land filled with warring tribes and wild animals. But the most dangerous predators of all are other Europeans, crazed by greed, jealousy, and lust, and determined to destroy utterly all members of the Courtney clan. This quest for vengeance results in a desperate chase - both on land and sea - that is one of the most extraordinary in modern literature.
©2003 Wilburn Smith (P)2003 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"The writer's fans will enjoy the ride." (Publishers Weekly)
"Brimming with bravado, greed, and romance, this rip-roaring historical romp across eighteenth-century Africa will mesmerize faithful fans and win new converts to Smith's trademark brand of lushly exotic fiction." (Booklist)
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
This tale of revenge, intrigue and piracy is jerkily written. That is, one thread of plot starts, then stops, and then another thread is picked up. This happens several times. This wouldn’t be so bad if eventually all of the threads were tied together – alas this is not the case. The romances are fleeting and without substance; the backstory of the supporting characters are not fleshed out one bit nor are their life changing decisions justified to the point of believability.
Smith does a below average job in getting you involved in the emotional aspects of the characters' hardships. True, you are rooting for one side, but the side you are rooting for is always a little ahead of their enemies so the conflict you feel is minimal.
I give the reader descent marks because if you were reading this novel you’d be lost. There are so many names and places that are hard to pronounce that listening is the only way to go.
There are other books in the series but I am not motivated to listen to any of them. If you are a fan of the American western or of pirate thrillers, perhaps this book will float you boat; but if you don’t count yourself among those two categories – I’d recommend you pass.
This really is a well done book. I had trouble following the plot, mostly because I was not familiar with the events occurring at the time in Africa. The narration was top notch. If you like epics, this would be a good choice.
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