Powerful novel of the South African history and the war between dominance between black and white. Family is the Ballantyne's.
A very good book combining history with an exciting story.
Wilbur Smith's books tend to be based in Africa during the 1800s when England and Englishmen seize control of huge tracks of land and kill or force out the native people. Usually these books involve gold digging and/or diamond mining. This book is no different. The end of the book is very violent and off-putting at times. If the treatment of native Africans during this time period offends you, I suggest that you skip this book.
That said, I enjoyed this book immensely as it is a family saga with very interesting characters with ungodly ambitions. Zouga Ballantyne, an Englishman born in Africa, is mining diamonds in order to get rich enough to move onto his real goal...gold digging. After spending 10 years in the diamond mines, he has given up on his dream and drifted away. His two sons have left their father and travelled in different directions. Ralph, the fighter, has gone north towards the gold fields and Jordan, the effeminite one, stays on with the reining diamond merchant.
The first 220 pages are exciting as hell and then there is a three year shift in time and the action drops off. This is where the men separate. After a 100 pages or so, the pace again picks up and the real aims of the main characters become clear. Remove the black men and be king of the African country.