Assegai

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Overview

Wilbur Smith has won acclaim worldwide as the master of the historical novel. Now, in Assegai he takes readers on an unforgettable African adventure set against the gathering clouds of war.

            It is 1913 and Leon Courtney, an ex-soldier turned professional hunter in British East Africa, guides the rich and powerful from America and Europe on big-game safaris. Leon had never sought fame, but an expedition alongside U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt ...

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Assegai

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Overview

Wilbur Smith has won acclaim worldwide as the master of the historical novel. Now, in Assegai he takes readers on an unforgettable African adventure set against the gathering clouds of war.

            It is 1913 and Leon Courtney, an ex-soldier turned professional hunter in British East Africa, guides the rich and powerful from America and Europe on big-game safaris. Leon had never sought fame, but an expedition alongside U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt has made him one of the most sought-after hunters on the continent. Soon, he finds that with celebrity comes not just wealth—but also danger. 

            Leon is recruited by his uncle Penrod Ballantyne, commander of the British forces in East Africa, to gather information on one of his clients: Count Otto von Meerbach, a German industrialist whose company builds aircraft and vehicles for the Kaiser’s burgeoning army. While spying, Leon falls desperately in love with von Meerbach’s beautiful and enigmatic mistress, Eva von Wellberg. 

            On the eve of the World War, Leon stumbles on a plot by Count von Meerbach that could wipe out the British forces in Africa. He finds himself left alone to frustrate von Meerbach’s plan, and in grave peril as he learns more about the enigmatic Eva.

            Set amidst the tensions that will spark a war across continents, Assegai delivers the fast-paced action and vivid history that has made Wilbur Smith an internationally bestselling author.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In 1913, on the eve of World War I, covert operative Leon Courtney learns that Count Otto von Meerbach has hatched a plot to annihilate the British forces in Africa. To stymie the plan, this former second lieutenant slips easily into a new identity as a professional big game hunter. As the machinations and counter-machinations proceed, Courtney discovers that he has two enemies: Von Meerbach and his own heart. This fine British spy has fallen in love with his archenemy's mistress. A captivating historical thriller by the author of River God and Power of the Sword.
From the Publisher
"Simon Vance does it all in Wilbur Smith's latest African adventure. Vance deftly becomes a Masai warrior; a powerful medicine woman; a German princess with a penchant for pain; a German industrialist hatching a conspiracy; and our hero, ex-soldier and great white hunter Leon Courtney...Great listening." — AudioFile
Publishers Weekly

Smith continues the saga of the Courtney family of Africa begun in 1964 with When the Lion Feeds. In this installment, Leon Courtney, ladies' man and former lieutenant in the King's African Rifles, becomes a professional big game hunter and safari guide in the years leading up to WWI. Among his clients are Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Teddy Roosevelt, and a spoiled German princess who is fond of the whip. The story really doesn't kick into gear until halfway through, on the eve of war, when Courtney's uncle, Brig. Gen. Penrod Ballantyne, commander of the British forces in East Africa, asks him to spy on his newest client, Count Otto von Meerbach, a German industrialist with a secret agenda. Courtney also begins an affair with Otto's mistress, Eva, who has a secret life of her own. Will Courtney defeat Otto's dastardly scheme and rescue Eva? Though the outcome is never in doubt, Smith manages to serve up adventure, history and melodrama in one thrilling package that will be eagerly devoured by series fans. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

The world is on the brink of World War I in Smith's epic of the Dark Continent. Big-game hunter and British army reserve officer Leon Courtney (of the Courtney family, last depicted by Smith in The Triumph of the Sun) also spies for the British in this graphic, colorful, and vivid novel of intrigue, romance, and violence. In short, Smith is up to his usual exciting stuff. A brutish German nobleman, Count von Meerbach plans to incite hard-line Boers to rebel against England; Courtney tries to stop it and, along the way, falls in love with Meerbach's beautiful mistress, who is also more than she appears to be. Africa in 1913 was a cruel and often brutal land but one of exquisite beauty, and Smith describes it in great detail. He is deeply sympathetic to the native peoples and their dealings with Europeans. Although sometimes overly florid when it comes to the language of romance, Smith here delivers for fans of good, action-filled historical fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/09.]
—Robert Conroy

Kirkus Reviews
Smith (The Quest, 2007, etc.) delivers plenty of the usual high-pitched adventure and old-fashioned prose in his latest addition to the interminable Courtney family saga. The regressive hero carrying the day this go-round is Leon Courtney, a neophyte hunter in British East Africa grappling with politics, intrigue and the local fauna. Court-martialed in 1906 over a botched assault on a tribal war party, the 19-year-old second lieutenant resigns his commission to throw in with veteran elephant hunter Percy Phillips. Simultaneously, Courtney's uncle, Penrod Ballantyne, who commands local British forces, surreptitiously assigns his nephew to keep an eye on German settlers to the south. Much of the book's first half is occupied by yet another epic safari. This time, Courtney accompanies popular U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt and his discouraged son Kermit; Smith does his best work in describing the party's encounters with rampaging elephants and great-maned lions. Things slow down considerably in the second half, which finds Leon assigned to spy on Count Otto Von Meerbach, a German industrialist embroiled in a scheme to smuggle war funds via the titular airship. The action sequences are straightforward enough, but the hoary tales of the Courtneys are about as contemporary as an H. Rider Haggard novel, and it's hard to get past those pitfalls. The book's racist caricatures ("Some like chocolate-but I prefer vanilla," Von Meerbach sneers) and Courtney's stereotypically immodest conquests, among them an Irish widow, a murderous German princess and Von Meerbach's mistress, make James Bond look like a model of political correctness by comparison. Lions, hunters, dirigibles and wanton women don'tnecessarily mean something for everyone. $100,000 ad/promo
Booklist - David Pitt
The highly popular historical novelist returns with another guaranteed best-seller. In the early 1900s, Second Lieutenant Leon Courtney decides to hang up his military career after a near-fatal mission in British East Africa (and a subsequent court-martial proceeding instigated by a vindictive superior office). He takes up big-game hunting, but that's only his cover: in reality, he is working as a spy, gathering intelligence for his uncle Penrod Ballantyne. Leon's target is Count Otto Von Meerbach, a German weapons manufacturer (the novel is set only a handful of years before World War I), but Leon doesn't count on falling in love with the target's seductive mistress, Eva. Can Leon foil Von Meerbach's plot to foment an African rebellion and, at the same time, protect the beautiful Eva? There is a reason Smith is a hugely popular writer of historical novels: his remarkable talent for re-creating historical periods and crafting characters we care about is virtually unmatched in the genre
Booklist
The highly popular historical novelist returns with another guaranteed best-seller. In the early 1900s, Second Lieutenant Leon Courtney decides to hang up his military career after a near-fatal mission in British East Africa (and a subsequent court-martial proceeding instigated by a vindictive superior office). He takes up big-game hunting, but that's only his cover: in reality, he is working as a spy, gathering intelligence for his uncle Penrod Ballantyne. Leon's target is Count Otto Von Meerbach, a German weapons manufacturer (the novel is set only a handful of years before World War I), but Leon doesn't count on falling in love with the target's seductive mistress, Eva. Can Leon foil Von Meerbach's plot to foment an African rebellion and, at the same time, protect the beautiful Eva? There is a reason Smith is a hugely popular writer of historical novels: his remarkable talent for re-creating historical periods and crafting characters we care about is virtually unmatched in the genre. Smith's novels of the Courtney and Ballantyne families (in 2005, he brought the two sagas together in The Triumph of the Sun) have been entertaining readers for nearly five decades, and if this novel is any indication, he is showing no signs of slowing down.

— David Pitt

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781427206763
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Series: Courtney Series , #13
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

WILBUR SMITH was born in Central Africa in 1933. He was educated at Miachaelhouse and Rhodes University. He became a full-time writer in 1964 after the successful publication of When the Lion Feeds, and has since written over thirty novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages.

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Read an Excerpt

Assegai


By Smith, Wilbur

Thomas Dunne Books

Copyright © 2009 Smith, Wilbur
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312567248

   AUGUST 9, 1906, was the fourth anniversary of the corona­tion of Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India. Coincidentally it was also the nineteenth birthday of one of His Majesty’s loyal subjects, Second Lieutenant Leon Courtney of C Company, 3rd Battalion 1st Regiment, The King’s African Rifles, or the KAR, as it was more familiarly known. Leon was spending his birthday hunting Nandi rebels along the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley in the far interior of that jewel of the Empire, British East Africa.    The Nandi were a belligerent people much given to insurrection against authority. They had been in sporadic rebellion for the last ten years, ever since their paramount witch doctor and diviner had prophesied that a great black snake would wind through their tribal lands belching fire and smoke and bringing death and disaster to the tribe. When the British colonial administration began laying the tracks for the railway, which was planned to reach from the port of Mombasa on the Indian Ocean to the shores of Lake Victoria almost six hundred miles inland, the Nandi saw the dread prophecy being fulfilled and the coals of smouldering insurrection flared up again. They burned brighter as the head of the railway reached Nairobi, thenstarted westwards through the Rift Valley and the Nandi tribal lands down towards Lake Victoria.    When Colonel Penrod Ballantyne, the officer commanding the KAR regiment, received the dispatch from the governor of the colony informing him that the tribe had risen again and were attacking isolated government outposts along the proposed route of the railway he remarked, with exasperation, ‘Well, I suppose we shall just have to give them another good drubbing.’ And he ordered his 3rd Battalion out of their barracks in Nairobi to do just that.    Offered the choice, Leon Courtney would have been otherwise occupied on that day. He knew a young lady whose husband had been killed quite recently by a rampaging lion on their coffee shamba in the Ngong Hills a few miles outside the colony’s fledgling capital, Nairobi. As a fearless horseman and prodigious striker of the ball, Leon had been invited to play at number one on her husband’s polo team. Of course, as a junior subaltern, he could not afford to run a string of ponies, but some of the more affluent club members were pleased to sponsor him. As a member of her deceased husband’s team Leon had certain privileges, or so he had convinced himself. After a decent interval had passed, when the widow would have recovered from the sharpest pangs of her bereavement, he rode out to the shamba to offer his condolences and respect. He was gratified to discover that she had made a remarkable recovery from her loss. Even in her widow’s weeds Leon found her more fetching than any other lady of his acquaintance.    When Verity O’Hearne, for that was the lady’s name, looked up at the strapping lad in his best uniform, slouch hat, with the regimental lion and elephant tusk side badge, and burnished riding boots, she saw in his comely features and candid gaze an innocence and eagerness that roused some feminine instinct in her that at first she supposed was maternal. On the wide, shady veranda of the homestead she served him tea and sandwiches spread with The Gentleman’s Relish. To begin with, Leon was awkward and shy in her presence, but she was gracious and drew him out skillfully, speaking in a soft Irish brogue that enchanted him. The hour passed with startling rapidity. When he rose to take his leave she walked with him to the front steps and offered her hand in farewell. ‘Please call again, Lieutenant Courtney, if you are ever in the vicinity. At times I find loneliness a heavy burden.’ Her voice was low and mellifluous and her little hand silky smooth.    Leon’s duties, as the youngest officer in the battalion, were many and onerous so it was almost two weeks before he could avail himself of her invitation. Once the tea and sandwiches had been despatched she led him into the house to show him her husband’s hunting rifles, which she wished to sell. ‘My husband has left me short of funds so, sadly, I am forced to find a buyer for them. I hoped that you, as a military man, might give me some idea of their value.’    ‘I would be delighted to assist you in any possible way, Mrs O’Hearne.’    ‘You are so kind. I feel that you are my friend and that I can trust you completely.’ He could find no words to answer her. Instead he gazed abjectly into her large blue eyes for by this time he was deeply in her thrall.    ‘May I call you Leon?’ she asked, and before he could answer she burst into violent sobs. ‘Oh, Leon! I am desolate and so lonely,’ she blurted, and fell into his arms.    He held her to his chest. It seemed the only way to comfort her. She was as light as a doll and laid her pretty head on his shoulder, returning his embrace with enthusiasm. Later he tried to re-create exactly what had happened next, but it was all an ecstatic blur. He could not remember how they had reached her room. The bed was a big brass-framed affair, and as they lay together on the feather mattress the young widow gave him a glimpse of Paradise and altered for ever the fulcrum on which Leon’s existence turned.    Now these many months later, in the shimmering heat of the Rift Valley, as he led his detachment of seven askari, locally recruited tribal troops, in extended order with bayonets fixed, through the lush banana plantation that surrounded the buildings of the district commissioner’s headquarters at Niombi, Leon was thinking not so much of his duties as of Verity O’Hearne’s bosom.    Out on his left flank Sergeant Manyoro clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. Leon jerked back from Verity’s boudoir to the present and froze at the soft warning. His mind had been wander­ing and he had been derelict in his duty. Every nerve in his body came up taut as a fishing line struck by a heavy marlin deep in the blue waters of the Pemba Channel. He lifted his right hand in the command to halt and the line of askaris stopped on either side of him. He glanced from the corner of his eye at his sergeant.    Manyoro was a morani of the Masai. A fine member of that tribe, he stood at well over six feet, yet he was as slim and graceful as a bullfighter, wearing his khaki uniform and tasselled fez with panache, every inch the African warrior. When he felt Leon’s eyes on him he lifted his chin.    Leon followed the gesture and saw the vultures. There were only two, turning wing-tip to wing-tip high above the rooftops of the boma, the government’s district-administration station at Niombi.    ‘Shit and corruption!’ Leon whispered softly. He had not been expecting trouble: the centre of the insurrection was reported sev­enty miles further west. This government outpost was outside the traditional boundaries of the Nandi tribal grounds. This was Masai territory. Leon’s orders were merely to reinforce the government boma with his few men against any possibility that the insurrection might boil over the tribal borders. Now it appeared that that had happened.    The district commissioner at Niombi was Hugh Turvey. Leon had met him and his wife at the Settlers’ Club ball in Nairobi the previous Christmas Eve. He was only four or five years older than Leon but he was in sole charge of a territory the size of Scotland. Already he had earned a reputation as a solid man, not one to let his boma be surprised by a bunch of rebels. But the circling birds were a sinister omen, harbingers of death.    Leon gave the hand signal to his askari to load, and the breech bolts snickered as the .303 rounds were cranked up into the chambers of the long-barreled Lee-Enfields. Another hand signal and they went forward cautiously in skirmishing formation.    Only two birds, Leon thought. They might be strays. There would have been more of them if . . . From directly ahead he heard the loud flapping of heavy wings and another vulture rose from beyond the screen of banana plants. Leon felt the chill of dread. If the brutes are settling that means there’s meat lying out there, dead meat.    Again he signaled the halt. He stabbed a finger at Manyoro, then went forward alone, Manyoro backing him. Even though his approach was stealthy and silent he alarmed more of the huge carrion-eaters. Singly and in groups they rose on flogging wings into the blue sky to join the spiraling cloud of their fellows.    Leon stepped past the last banana plant and stopped again at the edge of the open parade-ground. Ahead, the mud-brick walls of the boma glared, with their coating of limewash. The front door of the main building stood wide open. The veranda and the baked-clay surface of the parade-ground were littered with broken furniture and official government documents. The boma had been ransacked.    Hugh Turvey and his wife, Helen, lay spreadeagled in the open. They were naked and the corpse of their five-year-old daughter lay just beyond them. She had been stabbed once through her chest with a broad-bladed Nandi assegai. Her tiny body had drained of blood through the massive wound, so her skin shone white as salt in the bright sunlight. Both her parents had been crucified. Sharpened wooden stakes had been driven through their feet and hands into the clay surface.    So the Nandi have learned something at last from the mission­aries, Leon thought bitterly. He took a long, steady look around the border of the parade-ground, searching for any sign that the attackers might still be near by. When he was satisfied that they had gone, he went forward again, stepping carefully through the litter. As he drew closer to the bodies he saw that Hugh had been crudely emasculated and that Helen’s breasts had been cut off. The vultures had enlarged the wounds. The jaws of both corpses had been wedged wide apart with wooden pegs. Leon stopped when he reached them and stared down at them. ‘Why are their mouths prised open?’ he asked, in Kiswahili, as his sergeant came up beside him.    ‘They drowned them,’ Manyoro answered quietly, in the same language. Leon saw then that the clay beneath their heads was stained where some spilled liquid had dried. Then he noticed that their nostrils had been plugged with balls of clay – they must have been forced to draw their last breaths through their mouths.    ‘Drowned?’ Leon shook his head in incomprehension. Then, suddenly, he became aware of the sharp ammonia stink of urine. ‘No!’    ‘Yes,’ said Manyoro. ‘It is one of the things the Nandi do to their enemies. They piss in their open mouths until they drown. The Nandi are not men, they are baboons.’ His contempt and tribal enmity were undisguised.    ‘I would like to find those who did this,’ Leon muttered, disgust giving way to anger.    ‘I will find them. They have not gone far.’    Leon looked away from the sickening butchery to the heights of the escarpment that stood a thousand feet above them. He lifted his slouch hat and wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of the hand that held the Webley service revolver. With a visible effort he brought his emotions under control, then looked down again.    ‘First we must bury these people,’ he told Manyoro. ‘We cannot leave them for the birds.’ Cautiously they searched the buildings and found them deserted, with signs that the government staff had fled at the first hint of trouble. Then Leon sent Manyoro and three askari to search the banana plantation thoroughly and to secure the outside perimeter of the boma.    While they were busy, he went back to the Turveys’ living quarters, a small cottage behind the office block. It had also been ransacked but he found a pile of sheets in a cupboard that had been overlooked by the looters. He gathered up an armful and took them outside. He pulled out the stakes with which the Turveys had been pegged to the ground, then removed the wedges from their mouths. Some of their teeth were broken and their lips had been crushed. Leon wetted his neckerchief with water from his canteen and wiped their faces clean of dried blood and urine. He tried to move their arms to their sides but rigor mortis had stiffened them. He wrapped their bodies in the sheets.    The earth in the banana plantation was soft and damp from recent rain. While he and some of the askari stood guard against another attack, four others went to work with their trenching tools to dig a single grave for the family.   Excerpted from Assegai by Wilbur Smith Copyright © 2009 by Wilbur Smith Published in 2009 by St. Martin’s Press  All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher

Continues...

Excerpted from Assegai by Smith, Wilbur Copyright © 2009 by Smith, Wilbur. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2010

    Not Up To WS Quality

    If you enjoy reading about the gratuitous killing of wildlife in order to gratify the unjustly inflated ego of "white hunters," this book is for you. If you like the imperialist attitude of men who invaded countries outside their own borders for exploitation and furtherance of their idea of their own inate superiority, by all means, spend your money here.

    I've read other WS novels and thoroughly enjoyed them. I understand that in the period in which this novel is set, these attitudes were routine. But at least half the book (which is where I could take no more) is devoted to enthusiastic descriptions of the killing of wildlife, much of which is now endangered, and all of which is today depleted.

    The bloodthirsty men who carry out these hunts describe themselves as "white hunters." In fact, it is their native underlings who do the actual tracking but receive none of the fame, glory, or money.

    I find WS's hearty descriptions unsavory and I will never again buy a book of his without very careful scrutiny.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    My New Nook

    Just bought a Nook and it is so awesome. It's really suppose to be for my wife but I think we will have to share. Everyone at B&N is so helpful and we enjoy going a couple of times a week.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not Wilbur's best work!

    Having read most of the works written by Wilbur Smith I found Assegai a departure from his usual much more suspenseful works. The style exhibited made me check to see if a ghost writer (ala Clancy) was credited. Alas not so. I just didn't have the intimate contact with the characters, the terrain or the environment that I've had with his many other books. What I missed most was the feeling of actually being in Africa. The feeling of being on the chase as the spoor is taken or a pursuit. Although not a bad read, I hope to see better in the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    Assegai by Wilbur Smith

    I love Wilbur Smith's books as they are always action packed and have memorable charactors. Assegai takes a long time to get into the plot and over does the hunting scenes. The romamce is very trite and seems to be an after thought. With that said, the book is still a page turner thats keeps your interest high. Wilbur Smith has a way with making villians you hate and heros you love. The descriptions are vivid and come to life in your mind. His stories have a unique ability to transport you to another time and place, you learn a little history each time you read a Wilbur Smith novel. Overall, a good book but not Smith's best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2009

    Wilbur Smith is the best.

    I came to be a fan of Wilbur Smith only a few years ago and admit that I have tried diligently to catch up on his many wonderful books. There are books that you read, books that you scan, and books that you simply skip pages to get to the end. I have yet to find a book by this author that fits into any of these categories. Once you have read one of his books, you will find that without realizing it, you have been absorbed into the world about which he writes. I truly love reading his books. They are filled with the rawness of life in any era he deems worthy to draw his notice. His characters are larger than life and you mourn the loss of even the most minor of them. Stories are deeply explored and funded with a wealth of information and research. The complexity of his characters is realistic and occasionally disturbing. I am always captivated by the depth of his understanding of history and humanty. I would highly recommend any book penned by him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Disappointing

    I love Wilbur Smith - own everything he's ever written - and buy any new title as soon as I can. This time, though, I'm afraid I was disappointed in the quality of the book. His writing is still good, he still has a great sense of Africa, but this book does not have the depth of his previous novels. I thought the characters were thin, and that his plot wasn't nearly so much as adventure as that of romance. I love an escapist week-end with Smith - this one left me feeling unsatisfied.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    Great book

    Excellent read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An engrossing fun read

    I am a big fan of Wilbur Smith and to me he is the best adventure writer out there. However, his books have been inconsistent. Some are great and some are boring. Happily, this book is among his best. For the first hundred pages or so I felt that the book was going to be a bit formulaic and was ready to be underwhelmed. Boy was I wrong. The book totally took off and I read the last 250 pages in one sitting. This book reads like a movie - it is that involving. One word of warning - Wilbur Smith's books are not for prudes or the squeamish. I'm neither and found it great fun.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    wilbur smith is back

    if you love his other books? you will love this one. the plot is amazing and the story is eazy to follow. its back to africa and villans. i recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    Typical enthralling Wilbur Smith.

    Enjoyed this very much. Recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Wilbur Smith.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Somewhat disappointed

    I have read and loved every book written by Wilbur Smith. I was disappointed in "Assegi." I mean Courtney was going to spend his life on Safari, how was he going to find the love of his life? Oh, here comes a beautiful girl, being abused, needing a man to save her, and just happens to be single. It just lacked believability. I loved the action, and the characters, but it seems the story was not well thought out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    Great Book

    Really, really liked this story. Wilbur Smith is a master writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    Wilbur Smith strikes again.

    Wilbur Smith's books are usually a perfect combination of Action, Romance, History, and Geography. His early books mostly focused on southern Africa from the countries of South Africa north to Zimbabwe. Then he wrote a series of books on northwestern Africa following the Nile from Egypt south to Ethiopia. His latest book, ASSEGAI, connects up these two regions by using Kenya and Uganda as his setting. The big question is: What comes next; he has used up all of Western Africa (the rift valley)? To summarize, Wilbur Smith's books are so good that I wish that I had written them myself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Assegai is pure CLASSIC Wilbur Smith!

    Finally! Wilbur Smith has returned to the love of his youth and the heart of his fame. Assegai is cleanly written and fluidly fast-paced, not a a dull page in the book. It brilliantly illustrates Wilbur's gifted talent as a skillful storyteller. He has masterfully woven his love and knowledge of the animals and the people of Africa, and it's history into a truly enjoyable read. In my opinion, to date, the best book Wilbur Smith has ever written. - - Barbara Davis, author of DARKSIDE OF DEBONAIR

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

    Very good

    I don't understand some of the reviews, with the upset over wildlife being killed. This is a book of fiction, granted things like this used to happen. But if you have EVER read a Wilbur Smith book it shouldn't surprise you that the killing of wildlife will play a prominent part in the book. For pity sakes this book is about a Big Game Hunter. So with that said. I thought this was a good book. And an enjoyable read.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    Epic!

    How do you get to travel africa for less than $20.00 dollars? Take the trip with Mr. Smith. He will take you on a safari you will long remember.

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  • Posted June 3, 2011

    Fast paced and geat read .

    Smith works his magic again. Interesting look at a timeframe we have hear very little about.

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  • Posted May 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wilbur has still got it!

    A must read for Wilbur Smith fans. He brings Afica alive.

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    A must for Wilbur Smith fans and for those seeking a new, exciting author

    It has been years since I have read any Wilbur Smith. A friend gave me Assegai and I was thrilled to see he had something new out. One of the best books I have ever read of any kind was Smith's The Sunbird which if you haven't read it, you should if you can find a copy. To this very day, whenever I think about it, I am overcome with the same incredible feelings. Assegai ranks pretty high by Smith's standards. I found it to be frighteningly realistic by historical standards of the time period and the story line was graphic, detailed and inescapable even from the beginning. I hope that safari life in Africa has moved away from Smith's depiction of it, but it all touched my heart and kept me totally engrossed right until the end. I was disappointed when I finished it only because I enjoyed it so much. It is a long and detailed read, but once I got the characters names down pat, it just took off soaring and whisked me away to a world I could never have fathomed, but am grateful that Smith brought it to me!

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    It's good to have the Courtney's & Ballantine's back !

    Ever since Wilbur Smith moved out of the SAR, we were deprieved of the great novels of the Ballantyne's and Courtney's. Can not say that the Egyptian Series were not to his standards, but it is thanks to the original series that I became an avid reader of his, therefore a huge WELCOME BACK !

    With the exception of the courtroom section of the book that I found a wee bit too "Grishamesque", I have to say that this is again a great novel and I do hope that the series continue.

    Munir HAMAMCIOGLU- Istanbul, Türkiye

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