Filled with action scenes in war and the early heady days of the gold rush, and adventure among the vast game herds of the African wilderness, this novel is dominated by the towering compelling personality of Sean, whose life story is continued in The Sound of Thunder and A Sparrow Falls. This book - the first he published in 1964 - tells the story of two young brothers growing up on a farm in Natal and torn apart by actions in their youth. This one starts out telling a story of twins Sean and Garrick Courtney and allows the reader an opportunity to grow close to the characters before following them into action. It covers their childhood and then follows Sean's life during the gold rush times in Johannesburg. I had a hard time putting it down at times. In a place called The Ridge of White Waters, Sean made a life-long friendship, mined a fortune of gold, and met his own demons.
This was quite an amazing story and given the length of this series 13 books in total from the looks of it and the mass-market paperback-edness of it, I was expecting a lot of heroism, action, some tragedy and just an overall feeling of fluff. It is then that he begins to set roots in the booming environs of Johannesburg, adding a son to his family and beginning to look ahead to the next generation of Courtneys. Brimming with bravado, greed, and romance. A racy rampage through ancient Egypt that puts the reader right there with details that are intimate, inspiring, horrifying. The tough life of cattle-farming is brusquely interrupted by the Zulu Wars, when Sean and his brother see fighting for the first time. The characters and their emotions run shallow unlike the deep gold veins that they mine in Johannesburg.
Sean and his twin brother Garrick borrow their father's shotgun and go hunting while their parents are out. But as history unfolds a continent is awakening. This book starts the Courtney series and takes place in South Africa just before the Boer War. For 30 hours or so. He does not yet tackle much of the racial strive that is sure to transpire in the area, but hints at the Boer War on the horizon. Anyways, what I'm getting at is that like Archer, it's a rather thinly told story for the most part.
Brimming with bravado, greed, and romance. The settings are thick with detail in such a way that only Smith could pen effectively, as an African himself. Into the wilds of Natla in the 1870's are born Sean and Garrick Courtney, the twin brothers who could not be more different. This one starts out telling a story of twins Sean and Garrick Courtney and allows the reader an opportunity to grow close to the characters before following them into action. I had heard much about Smith in my years as a reader, but chose not to approach his books, unsure if they would be of interest to me. His bestselling Courtney series includes Assegai, The Sound of Thunder, Birds of Prey, Monsoon, and Blue Horizon.
I read the first volume and rushed back to get the second volume in vein of reading most of the Courteney series. Then an act of cunning betrayal struck--and ignited a new adventure to a new frontier. I have been reading the Courtney series out of sequence. A well written, fast paced, historically accurate adventure that will hold you to the very last word. There were some serious ups and downs. Watching it Sean was suddenly cold in the hot noonday sun.
Sean's relationship with Duff was humorous and engaging and Sean's Zulu friends added a nice touch of wit and counterpoint to the harsh backdrop. Smith deftly evokes not only the horrific but also the beautiful, particularly the lush landscape of Africa. Szczerze mówiąc, nic praktycznie nie wiem na ten temat, więc zacząłem poszerzać swoją wiedzę szukając informacji związanych z przedstawionymi wydarzeniami, miejscami czy postaciami. He hunts, kills, invests, and somehow always prevails. It definitely sparks interes I picked this book to fulfill my challenge requirement. I can't say that I didn't enjoy it the second time around but there were parts that just made me cringe. The book is segmented into three sections.
He finds lovers, enemies, comrades. Heirs to their father's fortune, destiny divides the boys from the start - Garrick is eager to stay indoors with a book and escape the hardships of cattle-rearing, while Sean, strong and much-loved, wants to try his hand at everything. His life is thick with tragedy, adventure, love, and joy. His bestselling Courtney series includes Assegai, The Sound of Thunder, Birds of Prey, Monsoon, and Blue Horizon. For precious seconds he wavered with fear slithering round like a reptile in his stomach: go back to call the others and perhaps die with them or follow francois and live. His other books include Those in Peril, River God, Warlock, The Seventh Scroll, and The Sunbird.
I read the first volume and rushed back to get the second volume in vein of reading most of the Courteney series. His ebullience and impulsiveness leaves Garrick a cripple. The story is broken in 3 parts. Why do authors have to have sex scenes; I am thankful for the fast forward button. Sean Courtney's, the principal character, life goes from dizzying highs to catastrophic lows. It definitely sparks interest in the next novel. Hat's off to a Master story teller! Smith did pleasantly surprise me a few times with his characters, though.