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The Burning Shore (Courtney #4)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,754 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Centaine de Thiry grew up with privilege, wealth, and freedom on a sprawling French estate. Then war came crashing down around her, and a daring young South African aviator named Michael Courtney stole her heart amidst the destruction. But the tides of fate and battle sent the young woman on a journey across a dangerous sea to the coast of Africa.

When Centaine's ship is t
Paperback, 640 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1985)
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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
4th out of 35 books — 60 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!
80th out of 139 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 12, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Returning to the Courtney series, Smith takes readers into the next generation of the family and their exploits. While fighting the Great War in Europe, Michael Courtney, illegitimate son of Sean Courtney, crosses paths with a young Frenchwoman, Centaine de Thiry. They soon fall in love and during a passionate night, conceive a child. They plan to marry and return to the African subcontinent after the war, much to Centaine's curiosity and delight. While running a routine air reconnaissance missi ...more
Nov 29, 2014 Graham rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww1, africa
The beginning of a new Courtney saga, following on from the WHEN THE LION FEEDS trilogy. I found THE BURNING SHORE a bit of a slog to read, perhaps because Smith's previous novel, THE LEOPARD HUNTS IN DARKNESS, was an absolutely triumphant book and one of my favourite reads of all time; this one can't help but pale in comparison.

There's much to love here, but somehow the book lacks the spark of life present in earlier works, and there's a slight sense of Smith going through the motions. Still, i
Erica Mukherjee
Jun 07, 2015 Erica Mukherjee rated it really liked it
Shelves: action-mystery
Sometimes, a good novel doesn’t know when to stop. Gone With the Wind comes to mind, as Scarlett is crying for Rhett’s departure and the reader is gnashing her teeth wondering what will happen when Scarlett “thinks about it tomorrow.”

Though The Burning Shores, by Wilbur Smith, isn’t in the same category as Margaret Mitchell’s classic, the book ends abruptly, leaving enchanted readers eager for a sequel. Fortunately, Smith wrote almost a dozen novels on the African exploits of the same family th
Jan 15, 2009 Scott rated it it was ok
This book was a bit tedious; one huge disaster after another for the young heroine (I forget her name). Within the span of 25 pages she loses her fiance, father, horse, estate/home and forced to endure hardship after hardship (while pregnant). The transport ship she is on heading for Africa is torpedoed; countless others are lost. She is attacked by a huge great white and gets away by feeding it her life raft mate (all for the sake of her unborn child); it was a pretty brutal telling. If you enj ...more
Alessandro Canale
Fin troppo facile lasciarsi rapire da un romanzo del genere. Pensateci. Ha tutto quel che si possa desiderare in un romanzo d'avventura. Una gagliarda eroina, pronta ad affrontare un destino a lei avverso a fronte alta, a sottrarsi ripetutamente agli artigli della morte combattendo con le unghie e con i denti. Un cavaliere dell'aria dallo spiccato senso dell'onore, ingenuo sostenitore di romantici duelli aerei tra gentiluomini sullo sfondo di un paesaggio disastrato dalla guerra. E poi il perico ...more
Dec 27, 2011 Marcris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mentre il personaggio di Centaine iniziò come una stella gigantesca, luminosa e splendida, finì piccola piccola, mediocre, miserabile a tratti; quello di Lothar che peggio non poteva sembrare, quando era più piccolo, come il punto quasi invisibile e immobile che vide Centaine quando si allontanò con Garrick ed Anna, invece era più grande, più umano nonostante la crudeltà inutile di certe sue azioni. Alla fine risultò il più vero, il più coerente.

Apr 22, 2015 Emma rated it it was amazing
I loved the book, but I didn't like on big part of the story, I mean I wanted it to go in the opposite way. Is that even possible?
(view spoiler)
Tom Tabasco
Oct 30, 2012 Tom Tabasco rated it it was amazing
Best Wilbur Smith book. Hidden behind a title that screams "Trash!"
Aug 18, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been slowly re-reading this series about 30 years after the first time I read them. This time I'm reading them in order, last time I don't think I did. It's been an interesting series to re-read. I remember the stories, but not really - more like I remember the broad outline of the story, but very few details. That being said, I'm sure I'm getting different things from them now because I'm reading them with different eyes - a different phase of life and more experiences under my belt. I'm f ...more
Sophie Ross
Jun 24, 2016 Sophie Ross rated it it was amazing
I couldn't love this book anymore! It may be set in WWI however many of the places mentioned in the book are places I know and love and consider to be my own home. It was lovely to read a book set in the environment of the Namibian Desert and the surrounding cities, I was able to relate massively to the way things were described, especially the blazing sun! I would highly recommend it to anyone who may or may not have visited Namibia. It may be book 4 in the series but you do not need to read th ...more
Mar 10, 2014 Pablos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Wilbur Smith swoją sagę o rodzie Courteneyów konstruował w bardzo ciekawy sposób. Pierwsze dwa tomy stanowiły całość, “Brama Chaki” natomiast niejako “zamykała” wątek Seana Courteneya. Rozgrywała się wiele lat później, a między wierszami dowiedzieliśmy się także wielu informacji o pozostałych postaciach, między innymi o Michaelu Courteneyu. Stąd też “Płonący brzeg” z początku czyta się dość dziwnie, bo doskonale wiemy, co Michaela czeka. Napięcie jest bardzo duże, czytelnik obawia się tego momen ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Tania rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2013 Dark-Draco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, thriller
In war torn France, Michael Courtney meets and falls in love with Centaine de Thiry, a young aristocrat living with her father and friend near the airfield he is stationed at. With both family's blessings, he proposes, but on the day of the wedding he watches his best friend blown from the sky. Seeking revenge, he realises, too late, that he cannot have a future with his love. Grief-stricken and pregnant, Centaine only suffers further as her family and lands are destroyed around her. Only then d ...more
Art Tirrell
Feb 03, 2013 Art Tirrell rated it it was amazing

Immense; Formidable; Gigantic

I love books set in Africa and have been a fan of Wilbur Smith's writing for years. It's only recently, however, with the advent of the Kindle and subsequent re-publication of many of his early works, that I have been able to access his full body of work.
With this access has come the realization that his earlier works are even better than the two I cut my teeth on, his amazing novels "River God" and "The Seventh Scroll."
The Burning Shore is the 5th in the Courtney fa
Mark Edlund
Feb 12, 2014 Mark Edlund rated it liked it
Historical fiction series
I hate when I read series out of order. I thought the books on the "Courtneys of Africa" would precede the Courtney series. Wrong. I got my first clue when Michael Courtney is introduced as a WWI fighter pilot. This book has a much stronger and central female character in Centaine. The dialogue is still florid but nobody touches his action sequences or stories about the wildlife. Now to go back to the beginning with "Where the Lion Feeds".
No Canadian references
Teresa MacGinley
I hated this book, so much so that I can't even rate it. On my quest to read all the Courtney books this was by far the most disappointing. It was a long time ago, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with the women characters being idiots. I also think that I had already put it down once before, picking it up again only because I needed to read it to get to the next book in the series. Worst novel by a favourite author.
Feb 10, 2012 Henri rated it really liked it
I would have given this one a 5 star rating, but unfortunately there are 150ish pages just past the middle of the book that sort of bored me a little. Other than a few small issues I can't take anything away from it.

Now for what I loved most of all.

Like many, I have been saddened by the death of Sean Courtney in the earlier Courtney novel, and this one playing out in an overlapping timeline, he does make his appearance again, and it was wonderful to read about it. If I am right, The Burning Sho
aPriL is sometimes feral
Fever pitch adventure and a lot of interesting information about 1916 France and South Africa with exciting WW I airplane dogfights thrown in (think Snoopy) all quite vividly described. Big personalities and romantic in the way Star Wars (1977) or Indiana Jones was meant, only more bloody and full of angst and survivor's guilt. Fun, fast, perfect for buttered popcorn night. Men are brave and women are tough, everybody with marvelous fighting spirits and more than a mite crazed with passions. Hoo ...more
Quarta di copertina:
Centaine de Thiry non può dimenticare Michael Courteney. L'ha conosciuto in Francia, durante la guerra, quando il giovane pilota sudafricano imperversava contro l'aviazione tedesca; l'ha ammirato e lo ha amato, senza limiti. E quando l'ha perduto ha capito di dover raggiungere la sua terra. Ma l'Africa che, dopo una navigazione avventurosa, accoglie la giovane donna non è solo il continente abbagliante e fascinoso dei racconti di Michael, è anche una terra assetata, ostile,
Dave Fellows
Jun 30, 2016 Dave Fellows rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5 stars. This is some start to the next sequence of Courtney adventures. For a start, the main protagonist is female, unique so far in my own readings of Wilbur Smith. I have nothing against the tried and true strong, warrior-like male main characters, but it was a nice change of pace to journey through a woman's eyes this time, and Centaine is as strong and fiery as any of the Courtneys. It was also nice to meet some of the characters from the first sequence, some of whom met their demises du ...more
Oct 01, 2015 Paola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uno dei più belli scritti da Wilbur Smith.
Tiene col fiato sospeso dall'inizio alla fine e l'incontro coi boscimani poi è veramente emozionante!
Avventura e passione sono i fili conduttori, come in tutti i suoi libri del resto, ma qui viene sprigionata un'energia particolare che porterà ad una serie di vicende personali e storiche che segneranno i romanzi successivi.
Nov 16, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Can I add some more stars please? 5 are not enough! This was thrilling, gripping fast paced action full of emotion and drama. Very hard to put down, actually nigh on impossible, it is quite possibly my favourite Wilbur Smith so far!
peter faherty
Oct 15, 2015 peter faherty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to 're read this book. Please stop bothering me.

Stop bothering me. Aaaaaaasaaaa beginning cccccccc scoffed Dodd are you stupid in do not want to answer your questions. Stupid.
Non mi ha convinto del tutto, a tratti interessante e coinvolgente, a tratti lento.
La protagonista e' una ragazza decisa, passionale e forte, perde il suo primo amore e dalla Francia vuole a tutti i costi arrivare in Africa per conoscere la terra di Micheal, il padre che il suo bimbo non conoscera' mai, ma si trova ad affrontare prima l'affondamento della nave su cui viaggia, poi il deserto e mesi difficili. Lothar, assunto dal nonno del bambino, la trova e sembra rifiorire l'amore ma non dura p
James Hayward
Jul 12, 2015 James Hayward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
What a epic read this has been ! An amazing journey for Centaine plenty of hardships and sorrows. I was sad how the little San couple that looked after her died they were amazing characters. Hope the next book follows on from this one so I can see how Centaine two sons grow up.
Mar 23, 2014 Jegan rated it really liked it
Good historical novel. Made scenes of war to human relationships to details appear interesting. Those who read the book and not to spoil it but know what I mean, the name should have been Ernie.
Read this years ago and loved it. I've always loved a good story about a strong woman and this is certainly one.
Sarie Weaving
Dec 30, 2014 Sarie Weaving rated it it was amazing
I love Wilbur Smith's Courtney Series.
So far I have read:
1. When the Lion Feeds
2. The Sound of Thunder
3. A Sparrow Falls
4. The Burning Shore

Wilbur is a formidable writer, each story is always fresh from the last and I find it gripping and easy to read. I feel so much passion for the main characters and their experiences. Whenever I have read a few books and find my enthusiasm to read lagging I pick up a Wilbur Smith to re motivate me.

Next book: Power of The Sword - looking forward to it!
Jeanie Harper
This book was a long arduous story, good, but long.

It took a while to finish due to the font of the book.
Oct 10, 2014 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: history
First volume of the second Courtney sequence. <>"The fear drove them all a little mad, and forced them to drink far too much – enough to destroy the reflexes of normal men. But they were not normal men and the alcohol did not seem to affect them, it did not dull their eyesight nor slow their feet on the rudder bars. Normal men died in the first three weeks, they went down flaming like fir trees in a forest fire, or they smashed into the doughy, shell-ploughed earth with a force that shatte ...more
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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)
  • Power of the Sword (Courtney #5)
  • 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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