1884, Khartoum, on the banks of the Nile, the Courtneys meet the Ballantynes in this epic adventure.
In the Sudan, decades of brutal misgovernment by the ruling Egyptian Khedive in Cairo precipitate a fierce and bloody rebellion and Holy War headed by a charismatic new religious leader, The Madhi or "Expected One". The British are forced to intervene to protect their national interests and to attempt to rescue the hundreds of British subjects stranded in the country.
Along with hundreds of others, British trader and businessman, Ryder Courtney is trapped in the capital city of Khartoum. It is here that he meets Captain Penrod Ballantyne of the 10th Hussars, as well as the British Consul, David Benbrook and his three beautiful daughters.
Against the vivid and bloody backdrop of the siege of Khartoum, in which British General Charles George Gordon is killed and the British retreat, these three powerful men fight to survive.
©2005 Wilbur Smith (P)2013 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd
“A fine storyteller... Triumph of the Sun is one of his very best” (Daily Mail)
Wilbur Smith is a master storyteller. In The Triumph of the Sun, he introduces us to Sean and Carrick Courtney's uncle, Ryder Courtney, and Penrod Ballantyne. Together they must overcome their rivalry for the eldest daughter of David Penbrook, British consul in Khartoum, and come together to fight for their lives against the Islamic tribe of Mahdi Jihadists. A great read, and it is well narrated by Tim-Piggott Smith.
"Such a shame"
If I had read this before Blue Horizon (by the same author) I would have missed out on that excellent story but, fortuitously, I hit upon Blue Horizon first and then decided to give this a go on the back of that. I persevered with the story through to the end, mainly because of Tim Piggot-Smiths brilliance, apart from fast-forwarding through a few of the latter sex scenes where I could simply not face any more of the execrable descriptions and writing anymore. This was pretty turgid stuff from start to finish, saved only by some brilliant writing when it came to the all too rare action scenes – for those of you expecting, as I was, a fairly action-packed story set during some very interesting historical times all I can say is that you will be disappointed. The book is mainly about young English ladies and their first dabbling’s with sex, babies and love – and so on. So much more could have been made of the male ‘hero’ or main male character I feel. Am I being harsh? Probably, for there was much to admire in this book, but nowhere near enough to make up for the bulk of it and, in the end, I just didn’t care who did what or what happened to whom.
"Not for me"
I find the arrogance and machismo of the characters a little too much to bear. They were exciting and romantic back in the day, but not anymore.
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