War Cry by Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Smith’s latest installment in his Courtney Family series is entitled War Cry. It is as riveting as his other books. The book is strongest in the beginning and the end. It seems to get a bit bogged down in the middle.

Although I did not read Assegai (the prequel to War Cry), I could piece together what happened based on the writing in this book – Leon Courtney was the main protagonist with his wife Eva. Leon continues to be the main protagonist in War Cry along with his daughter Saffron.

Smith’s writing is detailed with great descriptions. I especially like the descriptions of Kenya and its native people. The African plain is brought to life with Smith’s prose.

The character development is excellent. Smith firmly establishes the backgrounds of the antagonists and protagonists. This is particularly true of Konrad and Gerhard von Meerbach. Evilness seems to seep from Konrad’s character and the opposite is mainly true of Gerhard. Although women were free to be who they wanted to be in the 1930s and 1940s than anytime.

I think that some of Saffron’s actions are a bit out of context. She is much bolder and gets away with more than she probably would have if she lived during those times. Don’t get me wrong, I think her character is solid, she is a little hard to believe at times.

War Cry is a wonderful work of fiction by a master storyteller.


War Cry Book Cover War Cry
Wilbur Smith, David Churchill,
William Morrow
September 26, 2017

A thrilling tale of espionage, adventure, and danger, set in Africa and spanning from the Great War’s end to the dark days of World War II WAR CRY As a member of the remarkable Courtney family, Leon Courtney knows how quickly fortunes can be won and lost. Over the course of more than two centuries, generations of his family have risen and fallen with the tides of history. Leon, too, has experienced his own share of triumph and pain. In the wake of his beloved wife’s death, the renowned big-game hunter is raising his young daughter, Saffron, alone in colonial Kenya. In the 1920s, the continent of Africa is a dangerous place. As Leon attempts to navigate the murky political waters of this most exquisitely beautiful and wildest of lands, his daughter grows into an independent and headstrong young woman bound for a far different life in Britain, as a student at Oxford. But over the course of more than two decades, spies, traitors, and adventurers will dog their every step. As the fitful years of peace lead to the outbreak of the Second World War—involving Africa once more—Leon and Saffron must fight for their survival . . . and that of their illustrious family.

About the author

Jeff Grim

Jeff Grim has been a reader all of his life. He has had a particular interest in military history, any war at any time. His fascination with military history has brought him to an interest in historical fiction where the history comes alive with fictitious heroes and villains. Recently, Jeff has become interested in historical mysteries set in various time periods.

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1 Comment

  • I read several Wilbur Smith books some time back. My problem with him was graphic descriptions of physical cruelty. I have a fairly low threshold for that stuff. Your mileage may vary.

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