At the close of Wilbur Smith's bestselling "Monsoon", Tom Courtney and his brother Dorian battled on the high seas and finally reached the Cape of Good Hope to start life afresh. In this spellbinding new novel, the next generation of Courtney's are out to stake their claim in Southern Africa, travelling along the infamous 'Robber's Road'. It is a ...
At the close of Wilbur Smith's bestselling "Monsoon", Tom Courtney and his brother Dorian battled on the high seas and finally reached the Cape of Good Hope to start life afresh. In this spellbinding new novel, the next generation of Courtney's are out to stake their claim in Southern Africa, travelling along the infamous 'Robber's Road'. It is a journey both exciting and hazardous, that takes them through the untouched wilderness of a beautiful land filled with warring tribes and wild animals. At heart a story of love and hatred, vengeance and greed, "Blue Horizon" is an utterly compelling adventure from one of the world's most celebrated novelists. "Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared" - "The Times". "A masterstory teller" - "Sunday Times".
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-08-04 Fans of Smith's previous chronicles involving the swashbuckling Courtneys (The Sunbird, etc.) will embrace this event-packed addition, which finds the British clan plying the shipping trade in 18th-century South Africa. Set 25 years after Smith's Monsoon (1999), it concentrates on the family's "new" generation-headstrong young Jim Courtney and his proud cousin Mansur. The feverish action begins when Jim falls under the spell of a stunningly beautiful prisoner aboard a Dutch convict ship. Naturally, she is guiltless. Naturally, he helps her escape into the dark continent's wilderness, placing them both in peril and the family business in jeopardy. What follows is a relentless succession of harrowing chases, narrow escapes, battles on land and sea, assassinations and assignations. Pigott-Smith's British accent, at times clipped enough to draw blood, softens to an almost roguish intimacy during the novel's romantic interludes, when women writhe "voluptuously" or make gifts of "the flower of [their] maidenhood." For the scheming non-British villains, he opts for a sinister whine that resembles the voice of the late Peter Lorre on speed. In short, he is the ideal audio interpreter for this highly melodramatic, ripping yarn. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's/Dunne hardcover (Forecasts, Apr. 28). (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2003-04-28 Smith's latest Courtney family adventure (after Monsoon), set in colonial South Africa in the early 18th century, follows Jim Courtney, scion of the English shipping and adventuring family seeking their fortune in the Cape of Good Hope colony, administered by the Dutch. A storm at sea blows a ship full of female Dutch convicts into port, and Jim saves the life of the comeliest prisoner, Louisa, before the vessel sinks. Louisa was unjustly imprisoned when she went to the authorities about her lascivious and violent employer. Jim's rescue infuriates the greedy Dutch overlords, and the Courtneys, with Louisa in tow, head north in search of more hospitable territory. The balance of the long tale is elephant hunts, exploration of Indian sea islands, battles among native tribes and conflicts between principled colonialists-Jim and his father and brother-and their baser counterparts, including Jim's treacherous uncle and most of the Dutch population. The Courtneys are adored by various native peoples, and a Bushman tracker named Bakkat becomes their acolyte and guide, while his enemy, Xhia, takes orders from the Dutch. The eventual confrontation of the two Bushmen is gripping, if readers can get past the generally condescending way in which Smith writes about black Africans. Subtlety takes a back seat in this broad tale, and readers may be exhausted before they get to the end, but the writer's fans will enjoy the ride. (May) Forecast: Smith consistently hits #1 in the U.K. but not here, where he drifts onto national lists. This novel should repeat that pattern. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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