October 30

Golden Lion – Wilbur Smith

Golden LionEast African Coast, 1670.

In a time of brave and brutal adventure, one man will journey across land and sea to pursue his greatest enemy …

The Golden Bough, captained by Henry ‘Hal’ Courtney, is running south from Ethiopia to Zanzibar. Below deck, both his crew and his lover, the fearless warrior Judith Nazet, sleep. As the moon glints through clouds, Hal sights a ship passing close by. Although there is an uneasy truce between the warring English and Dutch, Hal scents danger. When the Bough is boarded, the crew must go hand to hand to defend their ship and their lives.

But soon Hal will face even graver danger, as he discovers his mortal enemy still lives and is hell-bent on revenge. he must pursue his nemesis across desert savannah, through the seedy underbelly of Zanzibar’s slave markets and shark-infested waters, imperilling his own life at every turn. But it will take more than a slave’s shackles to hold Hal Courtney…

A thrilling blend of extraordinary drama and epic storytelling, Golden Lion sees Wilbur Smith return in triumphant form to the adventures of his beloved and bestselling Courtney family.


My thanks to the team at Harper Collins for my review copy


I first discovered the books of Wilbur Smith in the mid 1990’s. By this time he had an extensive back catalogue of titles for me to work my way through and for one long summer I did just that, rolling from one title straight into the next until I had exhausted the collection.  I remember the thrill of the exciting adventures, the exotic locations or the historical swashbuckle heroes. My favourite books were those that followed the Courtney family which works out well for Golden Lion as we get the chance to join Hal Courtney again.

For new readers there is no issue with using Golden Lion as a jumping on point for Mr Smith’s books, although there are returning characters all you need to know to enjoy this book is covered in the story. For returning readers you get to enjoy the return of some friends (and some enemies) to ensure that Hal Courtney is kept on his toes.

Golden Lion serves up exactly what I had expected from Wilbur Smith – a grand adventure where characters are placed in peril and have to use their cunning and wiles to live to fight another day.  We have duels, battles, pirates and diplomats all coming together in a hugely satisfying adventure romp.

I would recommend Golden Lion to readers who enjoy a full hearted adventure story. There were less twists and shocks than I am used to but this is an expectation I have from reading crime fiction where deception is the key to a good tale.  In Golden Lion the good guy/bad guy lines are clearly drawn and you cannot do anything but root for the hero! If you have enjoyed Wilbur Smith’s books in the past you will love this new one too.


Golden Lion is published by Harper Collins and available now in Hardback and Digital Formats

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Posted October 30, 2015 by Gordon in category "From The Bookshelf