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Wilbur Smith (1933-2021 was a worldwide phenomenon. His readership has built up over fifty-five years of writing. Born in Central Africa in 1933, Wilbur became a full-time writer in 1964 following the success of When the Lion Feeds, and has since published over forty global bestsellers, including the Courtney Series, the Ballantyne Series, the Egyptian Series, the Hector Cross Series and many successful standalone novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide.
The establishment of the Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation in 2015 cemented Wilbur's passion for empowering writers, promoting literacy and advancing adventure writing as a genre. The foundation's flagship programme is the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.
A Jack Courtney Adventure : with Chris Wakling | This second Jack Courtney Adventure by Wilbur Smith and Chris Wakling is every bit as edge-of-your-seat-entertaining and environmentally aware as its predecessor, Cloudburst - think Alex Rider with conservation conscience. After enduring a terrifying time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jack and his mum, plus friends Amelia and Xander, are on the island of Zanzibar for a much-needed holiday, where Jack is treasure-hunting for lost wedding rings (Zanzibar is a popular honeymoon destination) in the idyllic sea. He plans to use his share of any spoils to help his mum, because “raising awareness of the plight of the coral reefs costs money.” Then, on one of their treasure-hunting trips, and not long after Jack is dealt a bombshell about his father, they venture further afield in the Thunderbolt boat and are captured by gun-wielding Somali pirates. Mo, a boy with the pirates, advises them to “stay calm”, which is easier said than done when you wind up in a training camp for child soldiers under the command of General Sir who, as Mo explains, “steals children for others to use. While they’re here he gives them a little training with guns and explosives so they’re more valuable, and then he sells them on to the militia, or the army, whoever will pay.” With its unrelenting sense of danger underpinned by serious environmental and social issues - the destruction of coral reefs; child labour in their Zanzibar hotel; Somali child soldiers forced to fight for Al‑Shabaab - Thunderbolt is an adventure with ethics. What’s more, the short chapters and sharply focussed action scenes make this hugely accessible to reluctant readers. Part of a series but works perfectly as a standalone adventure story. ****Read a Q&A with Wilbur Smith on his inspiration behind Cloudburst and the different challenges of writing fiction for children.
A Jack Courtney Adventure : with Chris Wakling | Young readers who want to be gripped, challenged, informed and entertained – this exciting new adventure series is just what you’ve been waiting for. Fourteen-year-old Jack is on a safari holiday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his parents, the wealthy founders of a conservation charity. His friends Amelia and Xander are on the trip too – so far, so idyllic (though he could do without his arrogant cousin Caleb), but then his parents are kidnapped by mercenaries. Jack has already experienced one family tragedy, he’s determined he’ll prevent another. This is a taut, tightly plotted thriller which puts young people firmly in the driving seat, but there’s lots about family and relationships too. Moreover, the authors will inspire a fascination about the wildlife of the region in readers, and alert them to the threats facing it. Fast-moving adventure with heart and a message. Jack is as appealing a hero as Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider, but the books will also appeal to fans of Gill Lewis’ animal adventures, Gorilla Dawn and The Scarlet Ibis. ****Read a Q&A with Wilbur Smith on his inspiration behind Cloudburst and the different challenges of writing fiction for children.
In this brand new Courtney Series novel by bestselling author, Wilbur Smith, comes an epic story of tragedy, loss, betrayal and courage that brings the reader deep into the seething heart of the French and Indian War. 1754. Inseparable since birth and growing up in India, Theo and Connie Courtney are torn apart by the tragic death of their parents. Theo, wracked with guilt, seeks salvation in combat and conflict, joining the British in the war against the French and Indian army. Connie, believing herself abandoned by her brother, and abused and brutalised by a series of corrupt guardians, makes her way to France, where she is welcomed into high society. Here, she once again finds herself at the mercy of vicious men, whose appetite for war and glory lead her to the frontlines of the French battlefield in North America. As the siblings find their destinies converging once more, they realise that the vengeance and redemption they both desperately seek could cost them their lives . . .
An action-packed Courtney Series novel, and the much-anticipated sequel to the global bestseller WAR CRY Torn apart by war, Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are thousands of miles apart, both struggling for their lives. Gerhard - despite his objections to the Nazi regime - is fighting for the Fatherland, hoping to one day have the opportunity to rid Germany of Hitler and his cronies. But as his unit is thrown into the hellish attrition of the Battle of Stalingrad, he knows his chances of survival are dwindling by the day. Meanwhile Saffron - recruited by the Special Operations Executive and sent to occupied Belgium to discover how the Nazis have infiltrated SOE's network - soon finds herself being hunted by Germany's most ruthless spymaster. Confronted by evil beyond their worst imaginings, the lovers must each make the hardest choice of all: sacrifice themselves, or do whatever they can to survive, hoping that one day they will be reunited. Courtney's War is an epic story of courage, betrayal and undying love that takes the reader to the very heart of a world at war. Look out for the next epic adventure in the Assegai Series, Legacy of War. Coming April 2021.
An epic story of love, betrayal, courage and war that brings together two of Wilbur Smith's greatest families in this long-awaited sequel to his worldwide bestseller, The Triumph of the Sun. Cairo, 1887. A beautiful September day. Penrod Ballantyne and his fiancee, Amber Benbrook, stroll hand in hand. The future is theirs for the taking. But when Penrod's jealous former lover, Lady Agatha, plants doubt about his character, Amber leaves him and travels to the wilds of Abyssinia with her twin sister, Saffron, and her adventurer husband, Ryder Courtney. On a mission to establish a silver mine, they make the dangerous journey to the new capital of Addis Ababa, where they are welcomed by Menelik, the King of Kings. Back in Cairo, a devastated Penrod seeks oblivion in the city's opium dens. He is rescued by an old friend, who is now in the Italian army, and offered the chance to join the military efforts. Italy has designs on Abyssinia, and there are rumours of a plan to invade . . . With storm clouds gathering, and on opposing sides of the invasion, can Penrod and Amber find their way back to one another - against all the odds?
Wilbur Smith has lived an incredible life of adventure, and now he shares the extraordinary true stories that have inspired his fiction. I've been writing novels for over fifty years. I was lucky enough to miss the big wars and not get shot, but lucky enough to grow up among the heroes who had served in them and learn from their example. I have lucked into things continuously. I have done things which have seemed appalling at the time, disastrous even, but out of them has come another story or a deeper knowledge of human character and the ability to express myself better on paper and write books which people enjoy reading. Along the way, I have lived a life that I could never have imagined. I have been privileged to meet people from all corners of the globe, I have been wherever my heart has desired and in the process my books have taken readers to many, many places. I always say I've started wars, I've burned down cities and I've killed hundreds of thousands of people - but only in my imagination! From being attacked by lions to close encounters with deadly reef sharks, from getting lost in the African bush without water to crawling the precarious tunnels of gold mines, from marlin fishing with Lee Marvin to near death from crash-landing a Cessna aeroplane, from brutal school days to redemption through writing and falling in love, Wilbur Smith tells us the intimate stories of his life that have been the raw material for his fiction. Always candid, sometimes hilarious and never less than thrillingly entertaining, On Leopard Rock is testament to a writer whose life is as rich and eventful as his novels are compellingly unputdownable.
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