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Power of the Sword (Courtney #5)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,889 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Shasa Courtney was groomed by his French-born mother to take control of the Courtney Mining and Finance Company, whose font of wealth was sown deep beneath African soil. But Shasa's brother, Manfred, had been trained by his renegade father to be a hunter--of lions, and of men.

As the two boys became men, they took on the extraordinary powers of each parent: Shasa, a man in
Paperback, 880 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1986)
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River God by Wilbur SmithBirds of Prey by Wilbur SmithWhen the Lion Feeds by Wilbur SmithThe Burning Shore by Wilbur SmithMonsoon by Wilbur Smith
Best of Wilbur A. Smith
6th out of 35 books — 58 voters
The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie SmithChild 44 by Tom Rob SmithThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithPride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-SmithGorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
Smith is so popular!
105th out of 139 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 19, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Building off the drama of the previous novel, Smith paves the way for another explosive tale in Power of the Sword. As readers will remember, Centaine de Thiry Courtney has two sons; Shasa, from her relationship with Michael Courtney, and Manfred De La Rey, from a tryst with Lothar while she remained lost in the African backcountry. When Lothar committed a dastardly act, Centaine disowned him and refused to acknowledge Manfred whatsoever. As the novel opens, both boys are teens, though neither k ...more
This book, which is set in southern Africa and Nazi Germany, is both very interesting and exciting. Very infrequently does its pace even begin to flag during its nearly 870 pages. It is un-put-down-able.

This is a story of hatred between two brothers and between two races: the Afrikaners and the English South Africans. It is also the story of rich versus poor, and black people versus white. Above all, it is a well-told adventure story set against the background of the flow of South African histor
Henry Brown
Dec 02, 2014 Henry Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
This novel's setting is South Africa, from the early days of the Great Depression up to the beginning of Apartheid. I've long considered Wilbur Smith an armchair social anthropologist, and it may not be as evident in the characters of this book, but he certainly gave every last one of them some serious much so that it's difficult for me to decide who the hero is. I guess I'd have to name Centaine Courtney as the heroine. She may be an adulterous, ruthless capitalist opportunist who de ...more
Jun 13, 2015 Emma rated it it was amazing
Another incredible adventure in South Africa before, during, and after WWII.
I loved this book, the story continues from The Burning Shore (Courtney #4) by Wilbur Smith with the following generation of characters. It was great, as good as the first book. If you want adventure, drama, suspense, this is the book for you.
Aug 09, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
Wilbur Smith delivers again. This guy is shooting up to favorite author status for me. This is the fifth book of his I have read, and they all follow the same Courtney family of South Africa. At this point, we have entered the World War II era and the book ends just after the war.

Smith's books have it all. History, adventure, sex appeal, tough guys, and everything else you could ask for in a fun read. I understand the criticisms by people about Smith's take on African people and women, but I th
James Hayward
Sep 29, 2015 James Hayward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I am sad the book has come to an end I have enjoyed reading this so much. Through out the book the story is told from various different perspectives and crafted into an amazing page turner . All the main characters are very well portrayed you get to know them really well by the end of the book. The book also contains very accurate facts about the history leading up to world war two and just after it , I have been googling loads and learnt a lot.
Feb 20, 2009 CanadianEditor rated it it was ok
Wilbur Smith is a true master of adventure fiction, but this installment in the Courtney family saga is a disappointment. After a strong opening with the big, beautifully-crafted action scenes that are typical of Smith's work, the book descends into a plodding soap opera that eventually fizzles out. Power of the Sword contrasts poorly with The Burning Shore, the previous book in the series, where Smith was on his game from the start to (almost) finish.
Mar 27, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be pretty amazing and fascinating. It really played with the idea of grey areas and sometimes I really wasn't sure who I should have been rooting for. If you'd rather a clear cut good vs. evil then this book isn't for you. I was however, unaware when I picked this book up that is was part of a series and I just hope I enjoy the others as much as I enjoyed this one.
Apr 04, 2015 Sonny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Wilbur Smith's book is a powerful and mermerizing story of South Africa. In reading the book, one feels transported to that incredible land with its wildlife and amazing history. The twists and turns of the plot lead where you would never expect, eventually giving one the feeling of being there as the South African government takes form. This book was hard to put down.

Mark Edlund
Jun 15, 2014 Mark Edlund rated it liked it
History series
If Smith could just write action and avoid dialogue I would like his books more (maybe). A continuation of the Courtney saga getting us up to the end of the second world war and goes through the Olympic games. Villains are bad, heroes are good but does no one realize the blacks are actually human as well?
No Canadian references
Feb 24, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing
another excellent and spellbinding chapter in the saga of the Courtneys! just wish they were not so long because it really doesn't help get down my book mountain!!!!!!
Marie Bouteille
Someone lent me a book by Wilbur Smith once (I can't remember which one, though) and I really didn't like it because of the numerous descriptions of animal slaughter. I got a little scared as I started this one, with the fishing scene but then it got better. I enjoyed the journey through South African history, which I confess I know not much about. Though a bit lengthy at the beginning and sometimes a bit too sentimental for my taste, I got hooked by this, what we call in French,"roman fleuve" ( ...more
Mar 10, 2014 Pablos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Czyn, którego dopuściła się Centaine w związku ze swoim drugim dzieckiem spowodował, że zamiast tym bardziej oczekiwać na dalszy ciąg miałem kłopoty z utrzymaniem uwagi przy lekturze “Prawa miecza”. Nie kupuję tego, nie jestem w stanie przyjąć do wiadomości takiego rozwiązania swoich spraw, jakie zastosowała młoda Francuzka. I to jest pierwszy powód, przez który lektura powieści trwała bardzo długo.

Drugim powodem jest coś znacznie gorszego: fabuła tej książki jest tak kompletnie przewidywalna, ż
Cathy (cathepsut)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Srikanth Manda
Mar 31, 2009 Srikanth Manda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Drill-sergeant Brown
Jun 16, 2015 Drill-sergeant Brown rated it it was amazing
A fictional account of a historical account that sheds a clear light of the challenges facing present day South African the The Bantu Education Act of 1953 has seen chicken of an oppressed population come home to roost, making the search for solutions to present day challenges more dogged.
Mar 20, 2014 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Each one of the books in this series is just jaw-dropping! They are so sweeping, in subject matter and character development. Smith's writing takes me to places I will never go and experience things I would otherwise never know.

I have learned so much about Africa, historical and geographical and political.
Tracey Kefford
Enjoying wading through this family saga. Wilbur Smith always tells a good story. Even better because it takes me back to Africa and I can relate to so much of his writing, whether he is talking of the plight of African nations or the wealth of the elite farmers. It is all so familiar. A good read. On to the next one Rage.
May 26, 2015 Henri rated it it was amazing
This could be called "The battle of the bastard brothers."
Manfred and Shasa meets for the first time in Walvis Bay when Centaine, Shasa's mother closes down Lothar's factory. Here starts the battle between the main characters of this novel.
From diamonds, to politics, Smith keeps the reader turning pages.
One thing that keeps getting to me in this novel, is that throughout the novel, I could not decide on my favorite of the brothers. Smith writes it so that one moment you like Shasa and you are
Jul 08, 2013 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Centaine de Thiry Courtney finds herself and her family on the edge just as the great depression starts. To preserve her gold mines and wealth she ends up destroying her former lover, Lothar De La Ray. Her son, Manfred De La Ray whom she has never seen having given him up at birth comes along to the fore of this part of the Courtney saga along with his half-brother Sasha Courtney. World War II begins and her sons are on opposite sides. Manfred ending up before the war in the Olympic Games in Ber ...more
Donna Collier
Feb 09, 2016 Donna Collier rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but not as much as some of the earlier ones. In this book and the last, there were not any characters that I was fully rooting for. All the characters in these books are flawed, just like in real life, but these specific characters leave little to love! Oh well, I will still probably keep reading the series - it will just be longer until I pick up the next one.
Apr 15, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Wilbur Smith is one of my favorite authors. Love the sweep of history and descriptions of South Africa. -The Saga goes on.This one covers the pre-aparteid period right before WWII with the rise of Hitler, and the formation of the gold mine unions. And the problems with the family fortunes due to the world wide Depression. The one illegitimate grandson brought up prep school English and polo and wanting to be a flyer like his dad and the other, brought up poor and tough , pro-Afrikaener and pro N ...more
Thomas West
Jan 24, 2016 Thomas West rated it really liked it
"R" has read this
Jun 14, 2013 Konstantina_pap rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real torture! The theme of two brothers that didn't even know it and the hatred between them might be interesting, but here there wasn't some real interaction between those two. We were following the lives of several different people, that met each other some time in their lives, but there wasn't a climax. At last, it was one the most tiresome books, I've ever read.
Jul 23, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
c1986. This book dwelt on a little known chapter of South Africa's history and makes for thrilling reading. FCN: Manfred de la Rey, Shasa Courtney, Centaine de Thiry, Lothar de la Rey, Swart Hendrick. FWFTB: boyhood, adversaries, savagery, Highveld, Afrikaner. "they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals" Psalm 63:10.
Fan Francis
May 30, 2012 Fan Francis rated it it was amazing
I read this a long time ago, and it is still amazing to be able to read this long long saga of the Courtneys, de la Reys fighting it out and shaping the future of South Africa in the middle of WW2. It is a history lesson as to how SA adopted apartheid, but the story is engrossing all the while. It took me close to a month to finish but feally satisfying at the end.
Apr 27, 2013 Mel rated it liked it
Shelves: romantic, adventure
The second book in the series and once again a wonderfully written book. Unfortunately I did not like this book as much as the first mainly due to focus of the book. Where the first book, the burning shore, was about adventure and war this book focused more on the politics surrounding the war. Would recommend but I hope the third book is similar to the first.
Morné Louw
Jun 16, 2013 Morné Louw rated it it was amazing
From the sea, to shore, to Germany and Cape Town, there is non-stop action and suspense. It is good to have the background of the Courtneys; of you read the books in the wrong order, as I have done with the Courtneys, you can easily be confused. A very gripping tale, with many disputes to be settled, one cannot put the book down. Excellent!
Kathy Einarson
Aug 09, 2015 Kathy Einarson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a story! What a writer! Amazing detail in EVERYTHING!
One problem-Hard to Put Down!
Nov 14, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
I love the way the author weaves an intriguing story around the history of South Africa. This book tells of the Afrikaaner movement, the beginnings of the ANC and the many struggles of black and white.

I have a deep live of the stories if Africa and this does not disappoint.
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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 14 books)
  • When the Lion Feeds (Courtney, #1)
  • Sound of Thunder (Courtney #2)
  • A Sparrow Falls (Courtney #3)
  • The Burning Shore (Courtney #4)
  • Rage (Courtney #6)
  • A Time to Die
  • Golden Fox
  • Birds of Prey (Courtney #9)
  • Monsoon (Courtney #10)
  • Blue Horizon  (Courtney #11)

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