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Cuando Comen Los Leones / When the Lions Feed
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Cuando Comen Los Leones / When the Lions Feed (Courtney #1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  6,805 ratings  ·  221 reviews
Sudafrica, fines del siglo pasado. La cria del ganado, las guerras contra las tribus zulues, la fiebre del oro en Johannesburgo, las cacerias de elefantes, son los hitos que marcan una vida entregada al riesgo y la aventura. Porque Sean Courteney ha nacido para destacarse. "Algo siempre muere cuando comen los leones pero siempre hay alimento para quienes los siguen," dice ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 28th 2003 by Emece Editores (first published 1964)
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An outstanding first novel from Wilbur Smith.

This one has it all: romance, adventure, war, intrigue, horror, danger, family saga and betrayal. It brings an era of African history to life both richly and with plenty of verve. It may be a cliche to say so, but I couldn't put it down.

The book is segmented into three sections. The first is an almost autobiographical account of growing up on a rural farmstead. Here we're introduced to a pair of larger than life characters, Sean and Garry, who straigh
Wilbur Smith is one of those names you see taking up three to four shelves in used bookstores, with weathered spines and yellowed pages. Jeffrey Archer is another one.
I only bother to mention Jeffrey Archer because I found these two to be very similar in writing styles as well. The fact that the only books I've read by these fellas have been their first may be the reason this is so.

When the Lion Feeds is something I needed at the time (and what do you know, this is exactly how I started my revi
Reading this Wilbur Smith novel, three decades after I read the last one, The Dark of the Sun, I quickly realized how far I have strayed from reading popular fiction: like hero Sean Courtney, once you leave home, you can never come back.

This book is still a page turner despite its age. Short chapters, each with incidents of dramatic consequence, thread about 20 years of the hero’s life, from his days on the family farm in Natal to his intention of returning home to visit his alcoholic twin broth
Wow. The end of this book just stunned me. This was quite an amazing story and given the length of this series (13 books in total from the looks of it) and the mass-market paperback-edness of it, I was expecting a lot of heroism, action, some tragedy and just an overall feeling of fluff. I could not have been more wrong. This was utterly fantastic and riveting. Adventure, coming-of-age, drama and historical fiction full of brutal realism and humanity. For the most part, the characters aren't her ...more
S.R.R. Colvin
This is one of Smith's older books and what a welcome relief it was to read a real beginning!

This one starts out telling a story of twins Sean and Garrick Courtney and allows the reader an opportunity to grow close to the characters before following them into action.

I am so worn out with books that start in the "heat of battle" with characters the reader hasn't had time to love or hate. I realize that's the unfortunate current formula to get an agent to request a manuscript, but I LOVE that "Whe
This is the first volume in the two volume of When the Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith from the Courteney series. This may obviously be the same ISBN for both the first volume paper back issue and the hard book of its entire two volumes in one book. I read the first volume and rushed back to get the second volume in vein of reading most of the Courteney series.
The average point’s skillmanship writing and some loose writing contained here. The story starts first with the background as life being impo
"Francois, how many men up at the face?" "Cave in" "Francois voice was now hysterically shrill. "Cave in". He broke Sean's grip and raced away towards the lift station, the mud flying from his gumboots. His terror infected Sean and he ran a dozen paces after francois before he stopped himself. For precious seconds he wavered with fear slithering round like a reptile in his stomach: go back to call the others and perhaps die with them or follow francois and live.

Into the wilds of Natla in the 187
Conrad K.
Wilbur Smith has always been a favorite of readers in Southern Africa. His style of writing seems to hit a note with many who live in that region. This book - the first he published in 1964 - tells the story of two young brothers growing up on a farm in Natal and torn apart by actions in their youth. They become involved in the Zulu Wars and then, as young men become rich in the Witwatersrand Gold Rush. This is family saga that contains everything - danger, poverty, victory, injustice, romance, ...more
Sean N Noonan
Oct 20, 2011 Sean N Noonan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of adventure who can suspend their own disbelief.
An exhillerating adventure, the excitement and pace are breathtaking. The way in which action and passion are mixed leads me to want to be able to write with such a style. The world the book describes never really existed, the characters and morals are more fantastical than real life drama, but that is part of the story's beauty.

Hat's off to a Master story teller! Not that I am the first to say so, nor the foremost...
First published in 1964, the story begins the Courtney Family series about the late 1800's in South Africa. Sean and his unlike twin brother spar continually. Sean is a bully! When Sean causes an accident with the brother that precipitates Garry's leg having to be amputated, Sean doesn't feel much regret. The story then of how Africa provided adventures for Sean, continues after some both twins experience war. Then Garry is left behind at the farm property while Sean goes gold mining, meets and ...more
This was an engaging enough read, touching on those things South African - the Zulu wars, the Dutch influence, gold and diamond mining, cattle ranching, the wholesale slaughter of elephants for their tusks, and the heartache that comes with it all. But after a while it was rather like reading about waves: good things are going to happen, and then bad things are going to happen, but then good things happen, and more bad things happen... it's all unfolding much like a map.

The first two parts were
Yolanda Ramos
I read this book in my early teens. My brother was in the bush war and I "stole" it whilst he was away. Since then I've picked up every WS book. The harshness and wild beauty of Africa in the early days of colonization is wonderfully portrayed. I loved everything about it, the characters, the plot, the descriptions. A must read if you interested in Africa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steph Cumbie
Having read all of his Egypt books (and LOVING them) I decided to tackle his Courtney series set in S. Africa.

The story is broken in 3 parts.
In the first part I had a hard time at first with the main character (Sean...he was a real turd lol) but once the story got going and other characters were introduced I forgot all about the first part of the book and really enjoyed the adventure.There were some serious ups and downs...I even cried at one point. I had a hard time putting it down at times.

Wilbur Smith's very first book. This book starts the Courtney series and takes place in South Africa just before the Boer War. Sean and his twin brother Garrick borrow their father's shotgun and go hunting while their parents are out. Sean trips and accidentally shoots his brother. Garrick loses his leg, and thus starts the saga of the Courtney brothers. Sean eventually leaves the family farm and strikes out with his ever faithful companion and servant Mbejane. There he finds wealth, power, adve ...more
Bryce Gordon
Really the first novel I have actually gotten all the way through. I felt the highs and the lows in this one! Going to have to read the next one
This is my first book by this author, and I can now say I have another favorite author. Wilbur Smith's writing is amazing. It is well above the average writing being published today. Smith writes historical fiction about Africa. This book was the first book he every published and is about South Africa in the late 1800's. I enjoyed every page of it, and will be reading more of his books soon. In fact I have already started on my second book. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who ...more
High adventure and plenty of entertainment in this one! I always enjoy Wilbur Smith's books. I liked the way he focused in, at times, on the conscience of the main character, Sean. I especially enjoyed the building of the town and the whole gold mining aspect, from the foundation of the mine construction to the inception of a stock market and all that "big business" brings with it!

This book is not for those who are squeamish when it comes to the subject of hunting. The author is very descriptive
I finally found this, the first of the Courtney Series and LOVED it! I had read Monsoon and Blue Horizon and really felt the need to begin at the beginning. Wilbur Smith is a phenomenal writer who lives in Africa and writes wonderful adventure stories of daring-do. This one has gold mining, Zulu warriors, elephant hunting, floods, animal attacks and lots of family intrigue. I felt as if I was there trekking across the transvaal with the Courtney clan. There are many books in the Courtney Series ...more
Trish Jackson
This is one of my most favorite books of all time.

Wilbur Smith's writing is masterful, as proven by the fact that he has written 30 best-selling novels.

This, his first, is still my favorite, possibly partly because my best friend's big sister, Diana Walton typed the manuscript and I was very young and impressionable when I read it the first time.

It's the first in the Courteney Series, the lion being Sean Courtney. So many words can be used to describe it, and here are a few: Gripping, terrifyin
Linda Harley
Having grown up in Natal, South Africa, I had a special appreciation for this book. Although I grew up in a much different era than Sean, a lot of the scenery has not changed much over the years, and so I enjoyed all of the descriptive writing. This is also the first book that I've ever read by author Wilbur Smith. At times it was rather exciting, with a lot of action and intrigue going on. I was amazed at how well Wilbur Smith was able to characterize all the different people and stay true to t ...more
Barry Doughty
This book confirms my theory that the best of a writers talent can be especially found in his first book. Why? because he is under no pressure from agents. "Where the lion feeds" is Wilbur's first book and whether you're man or woman I defy you to not find this book totally gripping right from the second page on. Its many years since I read it but I still remember how I was enthralled by his main characters frightening account of an attack by a rabid Hyena.
Ale Rivero
¿Qué decir de esta historia? He vuelto a descubrir al autor, después de unos cuántos años de tenerlo abandonado, y debo decir sinceramente que Wilbur Smith me ha vuelto a sorprender con todas las letras.
A pesar de que puede decirse que la historia de Sean Courteney es un dramón, y de los grandes, lo que prevalece es el deseo de seguir adelante a pesar de toda las cosas malas que pueden suceder, porque lo que sí caracteriza a nuestro personaje principal es el tesón con el que vuelve a levantarse
Wilbur Smith's first book and the start of the novels following the Courtney family. This book has no overall plot, instead it's all character driven.

It starts out with Sean and Garrick Courtney as teenagers growing up on their parents farm in South Africa, but after the first quarter of the book the story only follows Sean. This is not quite what I was expecting, but overall it was a rousing tail of adventure, love, betrayal, exploration, riches and friends gained and lost.
Sean leaves the farm
Wilbur Smith's first novel and it is a giant; love and love lost, Zulu wars, the gold rush, and the elephant hunts create the beginning of the Courtney family chronicles.

The Sound of Thunder and A Sparrow Falls are the sequels.
Obinna Udenwe
I have always wanted to be like Wilbur Smith.

He is one of those writers that inspires me alot. and with his vivid narrative of the character of the Courtney's i feel like i am one of them and it reminds me of my early childhood days.
Wilbur Smith is a master story teller. I read the entire Courtney saga after enjoying this one so much. All of them are so well written and filled with adventure. They make me want to visit Africa for sure!
Vibeke Lamark
Spennende historie om en hvit, rik familie i Afrika på attenhundretallet. Mange av bøkene til W. Smith handler om Courtney-failien. Har lest denne boken 2 ganger. Absolutt verdt å få med seg!
Jul 08, 2007 Lois rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: smith fans
Shelves: lobagsbooks
You either love Smith or you don't even attempt to read him. It helps if you have lived in Africa. I love him, and can't believe he is still able to write with such fluidity at the age of 80+.
I love reading a broad spectrum of books and have my kindle to thank now for more reading pleasure since I have little room for print. I am reading all of Wilbur Smith and find I have become a fan of a lot of his later books set in Egypt and Monsoon etc. Coming back to When the Lion Feeds after many years disappointed and didn't have the thrill of the first time around, I think I have got used to the new thumping blockbusters. Of course, Wilbur Smith is an examplary writer with technique. He can ...more
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Spy/Spec Ops Group: Wilbur Smith! 6 20 May 18, 2015 04:06AM  
How to read the Series? 11 72 Nov 06, 2014 01:18AM  
Fans of Wilbur Smith: Read order Courtney's 5 17 Jun 10, 2014 01:05PM  
  • Whitethorn
  • Safari
  • An Instant in the Wind
  • Running Blind
  • Jock of the Bushveld
  • Kringe in 'n Bos
  • Trade Wind
  • Uhuru
  • The Eagle in the Sand (Eagle, #7)
  • Sharpe's Regiment (Sharpe, #17)
  • Under Enemy Colors (Charles Hayden, #1)
  • Ramses: The Eternal Temple (Ramses, #2)
  • King of Kings (Warrior of Rome, #2)
Wilbur Smith is the bestselling author of many novels, each meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His bestselling Courtney series includes Assegai, The Sound of Thunder, Birds of Prey, Monsoon, and Blue Horizon. His other books include Those in Peril, River God, Warlock, The Seventh Scroll, and The Sunbird. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages and have so ...more
More about Wilbur Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Courtney (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Sound Of Thunder (Courtney #2)
  • A Sparrow Falls (Courtney #3)
  • The Burning Shore (Courtney #4)
  • Power of the Sword (Courtney #5)
  • Rage (Courtney #6)
  • A Time to Die (Courtney #7)
  • Golden Fox
  • Birds of Prey (Courtney #9)
  • Monsoon (Courtney #10)
  • Blue Horizon  (Courtney #11)
River God (Ancient Egypt, #1) The Seventh Scroll (Ancient Egypt, #2) Warlock: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Ancient Egypt, #3) Monsoon (Courtney #10) Birds of Prey (Courtney #9)

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“„Ако сълзите могат да изплатят нашите грехове — мислеше Шон, — бих плакал, за да купя опрощение за всички твои мъки в бъдещия ти живот, сине, ако можех сега да изплача всичко вместо теб, бих плакал, докато изтекат очите ми.” 3 likes
“Something always dies when the lion feeds – and yet there is meat for those that follow him.” 0 likes
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