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The Golden Lion

Wilbur Smith ¸ 7 Summary

Any ships off the coast of Africa That bravery was met with betrayal and Sir Francis was executed His heartbroken son witnessed his death and dedicated his young adulthood to avenging his father’s name Now twenty years of war have passed It is 1784 and a truce has been made between the English and the Dutch ending the long years of battle on the seas Hal too has changed He has become the captain of his own ship and is soon to become a father himself Navigating his crew across the waves of danger H Wilbur Smith's name kept popping up on my radar I guess the Big Brother powers that be thought I'd enjoy his brand of action adventure historical fiction Well they were right he said begrudgingly The Golden Lion was a fun read Very solid historical details There were points when I thought plot devices could be utilized better to make the story tense and thrilling instead of predictable and slightly anticlimactic but all in all this was good stuff I'll definitely be reading Smith in the future

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Al sails his ship the Golden Bough from the slave markets of Zanzibar to the pirate riddled waters of the Indian Ocean in search of fortune and treasureBut though the war is over the final battle has not been won Soon Hal will learn that the a man achieves the he has to lose Bursting with swashbuckling action and thrilling adventure this magnificent novel breathes new life into one of Wilbur Smith’s most beloved family sagas and confirms his status as our “best historical novelist” Stephen Kin I really really did not like this book It was recommended to me by a regular at work and I no longer trust their opinion This book is why I need feminism and why the world needs black lives matter There is exactly one female character two others show up for maybe twenty pages so I'm not counting them and despite being a fearsome warrior she spends half the book waiting to be saved by the main character She is also pregnant a condition that uickly takes over her entire character Judith also falls prey to being a perfect The male characters are complex with faults and advantages and Judith is just a shining pillar of light who is there for the main character Hal Courtney to love and cherish Ugh Secondly for a book SET IN AFRICA the main protagonist and antagonist are British The African characters are also one dimensional from the loyal but simple sidekick to the evil and greedy foreign Prince Wilbur Smith treats everyone who isn't a white British man as a caricature And even if we put that aside which I can't the narrative itself reads like a made for tv movie There's a lot of sword fights or duels to the death masked men and harems The end escape is really rushed and the falling action barely exists While it was definitely an easy read do not waste your time with this 600 page piece of trash Okay endrant

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In this sweeping adventure full of danger action and intrigue the master who has been the model for bestselling authors such as Clive Cussler and Bernard Cornwell returns to his longest running series taking fans back to the very beginnings of the Courtney family sagaThe son pirate and merchant Sir Frances Courtney Henry “Hal” Courtney was raised at sea When war broke out between the English and the Dutch empires his father fighting for the English crown attacked a fleet of Dutch East India Comp The first thing I have to say is the cover of this book is beautiful It just looks like an epic book and it is Reading this book was like being drawn into an amazing adventure with the two main characters Captain Hal Courtney and his love Judith Nazet They are the heroes of this story and the love story between these two was so sweet I also loved that Judith was just as tough of a fighter as the men This is the first book I've read in the Courtney series and I definitely want to read because I enjoyed escaping into this action filled book so much This book was kind of Game of Thrones meets Pirates of the Caribbean with a dash of Man in the Iron Mask The villain in this story is a man called the Buzzard and he certainly was a scary opponent I absolutely recommend this book Thank you to the Goodreads giveaway and William Morrow and HarperCollins publishers for this book


About the Author: Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Smith is the bestselling author of many novels each meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide His bestselling Courtney series includes Assegai The Sound of Thunder Birds of Prey Monsoon and Blue Horizon His other books include Those in Peril River God Warlock The Seventh Scroll and The Sunbird His books are now translated into twenty six languages and have so



10 thoughts on “The Golden Lion

  1. says:

    The Courtney saga draws to a close at least based on the number of published work with author Giles Kristian taking control of the ship and returning to the high seas Henry 'Hal' Courtney is back for another seafaring adventure this time in the early days after the passing of his father The novel opens with Angus Cochran nicknamed the Buzzard nemesis of Hal's father Francis washing up on land missing a hand and eye clinging to life Cochran is nursed back to health and then enslaved by Maharajag Jahan the ruler of Zanzibar Jahan wishes to see Hal Courtney killed for his antics in the Ethiopian War which saw the Muslims defeated and Allah displeased Kristian returns to this sub plot throughout the novel but also focusses on the protagonist young Hal While sailing with his crew and new wife Courtney is challenged by a Dutch vessel seemingly unaware that England and Holland have calmed their disputes Courtney is able to overtake the ship and its entire hold including a prisoner an Englishman named Pett who is haunted by a mental apparition Pett speaks regularly with this figment of his imagination which directs him to murder Courtney Working alongside an enemy of Courtney's Pett tries to murder Hal but is killed instead alerting the Captain to the price on his head When Courtney discovers that his wife a famous Ethiopian general before her marriage is pregnant he is elated in hopes of having an heir to carry on the Courtney name Working to fulfil his side of the bargain with Jahan the Buzzard is able to capture Judith and imprison her as they sail back to Zanziabar Courtney stops at nothing to find his wife and return her to the safety of his ship though even doing so does not end the danger that awaits him In a last ditch effort to bring Courtney's head to the Maharajah the Buzzard hopes to attack Courtney at the site of his buried treasure gathering rewards than he could have previously imagined This will be a battle to the bitter end pitting one man's honour against another An interesting addition to the Courtney series that has enough action to keep Smith fans interestedWhile the book is labeled as the fourteenth instalment in the Courtney collection it might better be called nine and a half fitting nicely between Birds of Prey and Monsoon The novel examines Hal Courtney and his connection to Judith who receives scant mention in Monsoon While the story follows Smith's general maritime adventure outline complete with all the essential elements there is a distinct flavour loss when Kristian takes up the pen and seemingly ghost writes the novel I have read different sources on whether this was a joint venture or a new author using one with a great deal of NYT Bestseller experience to advance his cause Either way the idea is strong enough and does dabble into the life of Hal Courtney that was missing from Smith's earlier third series novels though its depth and attention to detail seems a little too light for my taste Swashbuckling and gory battles alongside anti Muslim sentiment and excessive description of female anatomy make the transition from Smith's own writing somewhat seamless though Kristian ought not seek to uit his own job as a writer and continue on with the Courtneys Ballantynes or other series that Smith has made popular on his own Decent enough but surely not Wilbur Smith or the Courtney family at their bestAnd so I have come to the end of my epic read a thon of the Courtney saga's fourteen novels and the Ballantyne tetralogy over 105 days of pure enjoyment Throughout I have been able to garner a wonderful idea of life in Africa as well as the historical happenings throughout the continent Unlike other authors whose focus has been on a certain area or country Smith expands his stories across much of Africa while using the Courtneys and Ballantynes to hash out the wonders of colonial growth and tossing of said shackles to promote independence Smith does offer a wonderfully exciting view of 19th and 20th century politics especially as it relates to South Africa and Rhodesia eventually Zimbabwe as well as the grip the English Germans and Dutch had on the region perhaps the most transformative of the novels in the entire series see Courtney books 1 8 12 13 and all four Ballantyne novels Powerfully written and told from a variety of perspectives so as not to label everything as Eurocentric in its narrative Well worth my many days of invested time and I can only hope a few readers have followed my reviews and found great interest in what I have to say as well as wanting to see what Smith says on the continent its people and most importantly its development WONDERFUL COLLECTIONWell done Mr Kristian for this final novel in the series I can hope you realise that this series is untouchable and should not be picked up by another seeking to fill in the gaps left by Smith even if the pre eminent author has given you carte blanche to do soLikehate the review? An ever growing collection of others appears at


  2. says:

    The first thing I have to say is the cover of this book is beautiful It just looks like an epic book and it is Reading this book was like being drawn into an amazing adventure with the two main characters Captain Hal Courtney and his love Judith Nazet They are the heroes of this story and the love story between these two was so sweet I also loved that Judith was just as tough of a fighter as the men This is the first book I've read in the Courtney series and I definitely want to read because I enjoyed escaping into this action filled book so much This book was kind of Game of Thrones meets Pirates of the Caribbean with a dash of Man in the Iron Mask The villain in this story is a man called the Buzzard and he certainly was a scary opponent I absolutely recommend this book Thank you to the Goodreads giveaway and William Morrow and HarperCollins publishers for this book


  3. says:

    Now this one sounds like the old Wilbur Smith Dated back in the time of Birds of Prey this one has great heroes heroines and gross villains willing to put their enemies through all kinds of inhuman torment Wooden sailing ships buried treasure African fighters protecting their European mastersgood stuff


  4. says:

    A fascinating book and one I was looking forward to reading I’ve read a few of Smith’s novels in the past and he’s a recognised master of the pen and I’ve read everything Giles has written and have yet to be disappointed by him So something written by both of them? Well it had to be a winThe book is the latest in the Courtney series of which I had thus far read only one Since Smith books tend to leap about a bit era wise and the Courtney series than most I didn’t know what exactly to expectThe book is set in the reign of Charles II with characters who remember the civil war all too well It takes place on the Indian Ocean and the shore of Africa around Zanzibar It involves an earlier villain previously presume dead and a series of revenge plots It is as action packed and evocative as you would expect from either writerThere are echoes of pirate era tales and of Napoleonic naval books of African adventure and of British Empire colonialism There are aspects of religious conflict of slave trading of piracy and hunting of snares and rescues of sea battles and duels Essentially it should have something for every reader of action adventureHaving recently involved myself in several different collaborations I am intrigued as to how this one was carried out I have experienced alternating chapters separate parts to one novel and even multiple viewpoints This one bears the hallmarks of none of themThe writing to me feels like a Smith book as though Smith has essentially written the prose right through But most aspects of the plot feel very Giles Kristin to me from the superb and chilling array of villains to the hairpin plot twists to the camaraderie of the sailors right down to the locationsThe combination has produced an excellent tale whatever the case though I couldn’t help but feel that Giles’ part was somewhat downplayed in the novel’s paperwork with his name in relatively small print a scant mention and no picture on the flyleaf etcSo the upshot would I recommend it? Yes I would I suspect that readers of both writers will enjoy it I think readers will get most from it if they have at least some familiarity with the Courtney novels and in particular the one that comes chronologically immediately before this but that being said I had not read that one and the book still worked for me A hearty slice of adventure in an unusual milieu I would say and a thoroughly enjoyable read


  5. says:

    Wilbur Smith's name kept popping up on my radar I guess the Big Brother powers that be thought I'd enjoy his brand of action adventure historical fiction Well they were right he said begrudgingly The Golden Lion was a fun read Very solid historical details There were points when I thought plot devices could be utilized better to make the story tense and thrilling instead of predictable and slightly anticlimactic but all in all this was good stuff I'll definitely be reading Smith in the future


  6. says:

    DNF But only because I realised it was a series book


  7. says:

    I really really did not like this book It was recommended to me by a regular at work and I no longer trust their opinion This book is why I need feminism and why the world needs black lives matter There is exactly one female character two others show up for maybe twenty pages so I'm not counting them and despite being a fearsome warrior she spends half the book waiting to be saved by the main character She is also pregnant a condition that uickly takes over her entire character Judith also falls prey to being a perfect The male characters are complex with faults and advantages and Judith is just a shining pillar of light who is there for the main character Hal Courtney to love and cherish Ugh Secondly for a book SET IN AFRICA the main protagonist and antagonist are British The African characters are also one dimensional from the loyal but simple sidekick to the evil and greedy foreign Prince Wilbur Smith treats everyone who isn't a white British man as a caricature And even if we put that aside which I can't the narrative itself reads like a made for tv movie There's a lot of sword fights or duels to the death masked men and harems The end escape is really rushed and the falling action barely exists While it was definitely an easy read do not waste your time with this 600 page piece of trash Okay endrant


  8. says:

    It was with a little scepticism that I decided to read Wilbur Smith’s latest book Golden Lion Being a big fan of Wilbur Smith his last two books were really disappointing and his latest book is the first one that has been co written with Giles KristianThis story does not disappoint though as the style that was used was similar to his earlier books Returning to the adventures of the Courtney family we follow the adventures of Hal Courtney Captain of the Golden Bough in the early 17th Century Travelling along the East Coast of Africa Hal sails with his pregnant lover Judith Nazet who is a well known warrior known as General Nazet Hal encounters his arch enemy The Buzzard who is out for revenge after being terribly disfigured when he had been left for dead When Hal and Judith get caught up in the slave market some of the scenes depicting the treatment of slaves in the Zanzibar slave markets as well as various torture scenes such as surviving in shark infested waters almost makes the reader want to suirm Wilbur Smith really is an amazing story teller The way he weaves many tense and exciting scenes together makes for a very exciting read indeed This book’s focus was much on adventure love and revenge which I found to be refreshing and exciting Some of his previous books have focused heavily on graphically described torture scenes and sordid sex scenes This book was “wholesome” and thoroughly enjoyable I look forward to reading Wilbur Smith’s next book whenever it comes out


  9. says:

    ReviewI have thought long and hard about the best way to approach reviewing this book and as usual i have decided to fall back on my usual frank open honest feelings and hope nothing offendsI’m not a reader of Wilbur Smiths books and im a huge fan of Giles Kristian’s i have read both authors multiple times so feel i can comment on either styleThe book opens in dramatic style and and roared into action but very soon for me i felt that the book became something very much led and styled by elder statesman of thrillers Mr Smith rather than a true collaboration and that was always my concern as i’m not his biggest fan mainly because i feel a series should not go on for that many books 14 Courtney books now and each book should improve on the last and i think his stopped doing that some time agoread the rest here


  10. says:

    Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith with Giles ChristianI finally finished this novel after a slow startI must say it did start to really pick up and I started to really enjoy it and didn't want it to endIt was an African shipsea adventure with tales of slavery gold elephants and the mention of lionsIt's the first Wilbur Smith novel I've ever read and I must say it's well written and an excellent swashbuckling tale set in AfricaIf you love Ships and adventures set at sea you are going to love this novel


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