Search - Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1)

Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1)
Birds of Prey - Courtney 3, Bk 1
Author: Wilbur Smith
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 Afric...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780312963811
ISBN-10: 0312963815
Publication Date: 7/15/1998
Pages: 664
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 63 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is the first book in a series of 6+ about a multi-generational family of adventurers which takes place in the 1800's on land and on sea. Smith is an excellent storyteller.
reviewed Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1) on + 107 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved this book. Pirates, 17th century, exotic locales, boarding enemy ships, hidden gold bullion, revenge, a little sex for spice(a little too spicy for younger readers) and a great story with an author who really knows how to write. What more can you ask for? This is a terrific novel for adventure fans.
reviewed Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was the first of Wilbur Smith's books I ever picked up, somewhere late in my college career when it was either read something fictional or burn out trying to write my thesis. Thick though it is, it's a fast read, quick paced and engaging from almost the first sentence (which is generally thought to be the goal). Set during the European colonization of Africa, this first book in the Courteney brothers series introduces us to Henry, called Hal, as he quite literally runs himself to exhaustion working and learning on his father's ship. Sailing under letters of marque from England, Sir Francis, a knight of the order of St. George and the Holy grail (the successors of the Knights Templar), searches Africa's coast for Dutch trading ships to commandeer and rob. On one such ship, he finds the new governor of the Cape of Good Hope and his wife Mevrouw. The couple are held for ransom, but it is not long until Mevrouw, called Katinka, finds young Hal an interesting diversion in her captivity. Sword fights, a Dutch colonial prison, a first-hand look at the European slave trade, and brushes with native wildlife, native peoples and warring western nations take readers by the throat through a ten year quest for wealth, justice, revenge and hope on the part of Sir Francis' crew, eventually led by Hal himself.

It's rare to find a story this fast-paced and detailed that also includes eroticism and passionate love, and yet since life gives us those opportunities as well, Smith includes them in masterful detail. It's just a fun read, and interesting to those who are fond of history but not necessarily familiar with that of Africa. This first book leads us to several more as the generations of the Courteney family live on and make parts of Africa their own. I loved it and continue to do so. This book is one I'm *not* trading!
reviewed Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent adventure from Smith, a master of adventure. Tales of pirates and raiders and some remarkable people set in a dangerous Africa that existed years ago. Well worth reading.
reviewed Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
In typical Wilbur Smith fashion, he has you not wanting to put the book down.
Read All 22 Book Reviews of "Birds of Prey Courtney 3 Bk 1"

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reviewed Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
This is not really a review, it is a warning. This particular book (and I love ALL Wilbur Smith's books)can very easily become hazardous to a person's health. I just could not put it down, and read through the night for many nights, cutting back on my sleep. And I am 70 years old and really, really need my sleep!
Just kidding about the health, but this is one very engrossing story. Don't miss it, especially if you like Wilbur Smith's books.
reviewed Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1) on + 72 more book reviews
A wonderful & exciting adventure! This story will keep you coming back for more, and rooting wildly for the heros of the story!
There is a lot here for everyone: wars, romance, cheating, name it! Highly recommended!
reviewed Birds of Prey (Courtney 3, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
this was a lot of fun. Smith is new to my list.

Book Wiki

Common Title
Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Hal Courtney (Primary Character)
Sir Francis Courtney (Major Character)
Aboli (Major Character)
Colnel Schreuder (Major Character)