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Birds of Prey by Wilbur Smith
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Deemed "one of the world's most popular and prolific adventure writers" by *The Washington Post*, bestselling author Wilbur Smith is at the height of his storytelling powers in *Birds of Prey*, a swashbuckling epic of adventure, intrigue and passion on the dangerous high seas of 1667.

As the choppy sea lanes of the African coast are rife with bloody battles over trade booty, Sir Francis Courteney and his 17-year-old son Hal embark on a seafaring quest for the treasure-laden galleons of the Dutch East India Company. But soon the horrific torture and execution of the elder Courteney catapults Hal into the role of captain. And the heavy burden of avenging his father's death-- along with the lusty pleasures he shares with three beautiful women-- will swiftly, irrevocably transform Hal from boy to man...

Richly detailed, breathlessly plotted, and rich with the color of the time and place, *Birds of Prey* is an unforgettable saga that will transport you to one of the most fascinating, action-packed eras in world history.

### Amazon.com Review

Look up "classic adventure novel" in the dictionary and you'll find the strong and capable features of South Africa's own Wilbur Smith, who--in books as varied and enjoyable as *River God*, *The Seventh Scroll*, *When the Lion Feeds*, and *The Diamond Hunters*--displays an awesome storytelling ability. His latest is one of his best efforts: a richly detailed story of war and piracy on the high seas in 1667, 150 years before Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin books.

### From Library Journal

In 1667, Sir Francis Courteney commands his ship off the coast of Africa in England's war against the Dutch. He has groomed his son Hal to succeed him as captain. Birds of Prey chronicles Hal's swift and bloody passage to manhood after his father's torture and death at the hands of the Dutch. Escaping with the remaining crew, Hal makes his way overland to claim his father's hidden treasure and confront the treacherous English captain who betrayed them. Men are hacked apart in sword fights, blown to bits in shipboard battles, mauled by crocodiles, and more in this tale from the prolific author of such historical fare as The Seventh Scroll (LJ 4/15/95). Short on character development and tight plotting, this meandering escapist novel will be relished by those who enjoy swashbuckling tales with nonstop action. For popular collections.?Kathy Piehl, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. ( )
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
All the urine, pus, torture and swashbuckling a person should have to endure in a life time. This was my first and last Wulbur Smith. I wonder if he's ever met a woman who wasn't a saint or a sadist. I hear they do exist. ( )
1 vote Citizenjoyce | Jun 21, 2013 |
Another epic from Wilbur Smith. Plenty of twists and turns. Hard to put down. ( )
  gregstark | Jul 5, 2012 |
COURTNEY
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
Wilbur, Wilbur...yours isn't the stuff of literary legend, but usually you buckle a *mean* swash and cause images of Erroll Flynn to dash around your reader's head (thanks for that, BTW).

In this book, Wilbur, you lost your way. I don't expect autheticity of language, and don't even WANT it, in books set in the 17th century. But sometimes I felt I was watching a mini-series dumbed down for a TV audience as I read this installment of the generational saga of the Courteneys. Plenty of buckles are swashed, it's true, and the hated Dutch East Indiamen are suitably hateful, but things were...foreshortened, somehow.

Could it be the Courteneys are beginning to pall in your interests? I haven't read Assegai, the most recently published of their family saga which is set in WWI times, and now I wonder if I should.

This isn't the Smith to start with. If anyone wants to know what the fuss he's made over the years is about, start with The Sunbird. ( )
  richardderus | Aug 31, 2010 |
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This book is for my wife and the jewel of my life, Mokhiniso, with all my love and gratitude for the enchanted years that I have been married to her.
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The boy clutched at the rim of the canvas bucket in which he crouched sixty feet above the deck as the ship went about.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312963815, Mass Market Paperback)

Look up "classic adventure novel" in the dictionary and you'll find the strong and capable features of South Africa's own Wilbur Smith, who--in books as varied and enjoyable as River God, The Seventh Scroll, When the Lion Feeds, and The Diamond Hunters--displays an awesome storytelling ability. His latest is one of his best efforts: a richly detailed story of war and piracy on the high seas in 1667, 150 years before Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin books.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:27 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Sir Francis Courteney and his 17 year-old son Hal embark on a quest for the treasure-laden galleons of the Dutch East India Company. But soon the torture and execution of the eldest Courneney sends Hal in- to the role of captain. He avenges his father & enjoys 3 women.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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