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Monsoon (Courtney #10)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  4,562 ratings  ·  125 reviews
One man. Three sons. A powerful destiny waiting to unfold.

Once a voracious adventurer, it has been many years since Hal Courtney has dared the high seas. Now he must return with three of his sons - Tom, Dorian, and Guy - to protect the East India Trading Company from looting pirates, in exchange for half of the fortune he recovers. Riding the wind-tossed seas toward Arabia...more
Paperback, 822 pages
Published April 15th 2000 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1999)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4* of five

The Book Report: Second chronologically in the Courtney family saga, Monsoon covers Hal Courtney and his sons' efforts to end the scourge of piracy plaguing the East India Company, and their inexorable, inevitable removal from an England too small and too meager to hold the family's talents, abilities, and personalities, to a colonial future in the Cape Colony.

The multipolar world of southern and eastern Africa, its long-established power dynamics, and the astounding riches of...more
I love Wilbur Smith's adventure stories. It's like watching an Errol Flynn movie and 960 pages just fly on by. The Courtney family saga hooks you in. Unfortunately, the first book I read was a later one in the series, so now I must backtrack. I ordered the old ones so stay tuned for reviews of them later.

Like my own family, there is enmity between the Courtney brothers. One brother is kidnapped and raised as a Muslim. We learn some of the mores and attitudes of Muslim behavior. Two favorite char...more
Jo Bennie
The book opens at the end of the 17th century with teenage Tom Courtney up to mischief, sneaking into the chapel of his father's great estate with his twin brother Guy to meet with a serving girl for sex, making his half brother Dorian look out. Dorian sounds the alarm as their older brother, the brutal William, approaches and they all flee. Tom and Dorian are caught by William and Dorian is only saved from being strangled by his father Hal, a powerful man who has built up his massive estate thr...more
Walter Van praag
I did not realise this was a sequel to Birds of Prey, but none the less it was an excellent read. Could hardly put this book down. Fortunately there were enough pages for it not to be a weekend book! The plot was brilliant and as a book seriously well researched and written. Even just on its own this book is worth reading even if you haven't read Birds of Prey yet.

Wilbur Smith is one of my favourite writers in general, despite his books always having Africa and history as the central themes and...more
May 07, 2008 Phil rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Historical fiction fans
This book continues the tale begun in 'Birds Of Prey'. Smith is the greatest adventure writer ever. He takes you to a world that is totally believable and has a talent for putting his characters in cliffhanging situations without making them seem contrived. The hero overcomes all obstacles and gets the girl in the end, but you know that as soon as you pick the book up. Who cares. This is another of those books where you want to go hang out with the characters for a while and the only disappointm...more
Andrea Ratti
Sebbene Uccelli da preda mi abbia piacevolmente sopreso con le sue avventure, Monsone �� riuscito a soprendermi ancora di pi��.
Smith scrive con un'abilit�� davvero intrigante, che riesce a trasportare il lettore direttamente nella scena, come se fosse realmente presente quando gli eventi si realizzano, quasi quanto un'evasione dalla realt��.
L'unico neo ��, secondo me, una consistente ripresa dello schema narrativo del romanzo precedente: il viaggio del giovane che tutto ad un tratto si scopre u...more
Josh Bishop
Hal Courtney must balance raising a family with the extreme dangers of the high seas. Monsoon is the story of a man charged with hunting an extremely dangerous pirate, while he must also see to the success and safety of his children. The Courtneys gain a foothold in the wondrous and uncharted country of Africa. This is an action-packed, heart-wrenching adventure that kept me enthralled until the very end.

This book is an exceptional composition! After reading "Birds of Prey", I was worried that t...more
So I love Historical Fiction. I really love tall ships. Oh and I do find converging cultures an incredibly rich and interesting topic. But I did not like this book at all.

It belies reason. It has everything.... Twins, a dark and exotic evil brother, swords and fighting, pirates, kidnapping, sex scenes!, multilingual, courageous, well educated and deadly fighting heros......... everything.....!!! But I had real difficulty turning each page... and I am a prolific reader... I never not finish a bo...more
An excellent pirate and adventure story, which never gets old. It seems hard to believe, but for centuries all the European nations would send out sea captains with a legal license to steal, a directive to attack merchant ships... so long as it was from someone else. They were backed by investors as any company or venture would be. (I laughed at the part where the hero is earnestly trying to get someone to fund his new ship to steal from the French. A great many parallels to any modern business...more
I feel like I should be recommending an author insted of a book. Would save time. Anything Wilbur writes is factastic. Much fun. If you like far off places, much adventure, hero's and beautiful damsels, he is your author. Even in these times, some things don't change.
Hal Courtney has left his active life on the sea and is raising his four sons at High Weald in England. His sons from three different mothers fight to gain their father's love and respect. William, the oldest and by English law the heir does not like his younger brothers and the feeling is mutual. Hal is called back to the sea by Lord Child to retrieve two ships for the John Company. He takes his sons with him and leaves William in charge of the estates. During the struggle to recapture the ship...more
قصي بن خليفة
قصة من خيال الكاتب ، وقعت أحداثها منذ 300 سنة في البحار والأراضي ما بين بريطانيا وعمان وأفريقيا. أبدع الكاتب في وصف تفاصيل هذه الأحداث والأماكن والناس وأعمالهم وكأنك معهم ، وأعجبني خاصة وصفه للرحلات البحرية عبر المحيطات في ذلك الزمان.
Gold Mine قرأت له سابقاً رواية
وكانت رائعة.ولكن وللأسف عجبت من أحداث هذه الرواية في نصفها الثاني وبدت غير منطقية و فقدت كثيراً من جاذبية أسلوب الكاتب وواقعية التفاصيل التي يرويها فقد طغت عنصريته الواضحة على إجادته حيث بدأ الصراع بين الأخوين الانجليز وجماعتهما من طرف...more
Monsoon is an enthralling parallel story of two brothers, one emerging as a swashbuckling 17th century privateer off the coast of Zanzibar. The other is enslaved and brought up by an Arab prince in the Horn of Africa. Here you can see the emergence of the future financial and emotional foundations of the Courtney family in later South Africa. One thing that I notice in these books, which are always very readable, is the odd word(s) that Wilbur Smith introduces in each book (or perhaps it is a we...more
Karunakaran N.
A tale spun in the dawn of the Eighteenth Century. The mighty East India Trading Company suffers catastrophic losses from pirates on the high seas. This sets in Sir Hal Courtney for his latest and most dangerous voyage along with his sons Tom, Guy & Dorian. The tale of survival of these 3 sons separated by the destiny carries all the powerful drama and rich emotions of a bygone time into this action-packed tale of the sea.
The end is so abrupt... Without anything spelt on the future of Tom &...more
By far the best of Wilbur Smith. A great "mens adventure" novel that takes the reader on a time warp into the high sea's with pirates, fortune, and booty. ANd yes, I mean the modern day booty. This book pulled me into this series of novels and they are great to read when on vacation located near a body of water. Even if it is a lake and the extent of your adventure is how to get the cooler and lawn chair down to the shore in one trip. I have read the entire series and they are all fun. When read...more
His best work hands down. I read this while traveling around the middle east and gained a new appreciation for Islamic history. I know he can embellish a bit, but it's all for a good read. A fascinating time period, which comes alive under Smith's masterful touch.
This may be one of the best pirate/privateer books on the market. The story spans years and feels very epic, much like a high fantasy book, except this takes place in our world. A vivid account of life at sea and the hardships experie...more
A fantastic offering from Wilbur Smith who is easily one of my favorite authors. This story takes us back to the time of tall ships and exploration and presents a great look at both English society and Arab-Muslim society of the time. This story, like all of his stories, has loads of adventure, love, detail on sailing, hunting, and religion - basically everything I would want in a story such as this. The pace of the book never slows down and I found it hard to put down. High recommended if this...more
Sharang Limaye
'Monsoon' is good, old-fashioned escapist fiction with the right amount of everything that keeps you hooked to a book. There are noble heroes and devilish villains.. pretty girls and deadly fights.. and that age-old tale of blood being thicker than water. At 947 pages, the book is a bit of a tome. But don't let that deter you. 20 pages into it and you would not regret having picked it up. Not exactly a literary masterpiece but then, that's not what you expect from a Wilbur Smith novel, right?
Lorey Christensen
Good storyline. For me, it seemed to drag on a little in a couple of areas. However, I will read the other books in the series
By far one of the best historical fiction books I've read since Michener! I've read other novels by Smith and while I've enjoyed them, this tale of the Courtney men enthralled me.

Swashbuckling adventure, historical details and atmosphere that made me want to travel to those places, people that Smith makes come alive and either love or hate..... It was one of those books that I hated to see end.

Good news...I discovered the prequel to this story! :}
An absolutely enchanting book, full of anger, passion, peace, war and the best of all PIRATES!!.
The story is set in the dawn of the eighteenth century where the East India Trading Company suffers great losses from Arab pirates on the high seas.
Smith's natural storytelling, takes you on a ride in the twists and turns of history and pictures an amazing era right before your eyes.
I admire his sense of imagination and can't wait to read more from him!!!
Davide Floris
Non gli do 5 stelle perché in alcuni punti la storia era un po' scontata, però devo dire che questo libro mi ha coinvolto sin da subito. Smith si è dimostrato ancora una volta l'abile narratore che è, costruendo una storia ricca di colpi di scena, avventura e tensione. 800 e passa pagine lette con l'ansia di scoprire come si sarebbe sviluppata la narrazione, con a volte delle interruzioni forzate, per "riprendermi" dai troppi colpi di scena.
Wilber Smith can really put together a sea story. His book is gritty, as realistic view of what life is like back in the wooden ship days. The seafarers of this book look to the sea life as one would a lover, and ships as a hot woman. There's fights, betrayals, and sorrow in this book. Wilbur puts us back in the days of sail. I could actually feel the hot dirty life of a seaman, and was amazed of how backward medicine was back then.
I so enjoyed escaping into this wonderfully told story. I enjoyed learning a little about the East India Company and about the way of the Arabs in Zanzibar and life at sea as well as the slave trade. Smith is a good story teller and the book, which I picked up while traveling was not adversely affected by the fact that I hadn't known it was a part of a series. I didn't need what came before or after this book.
Jeff W
Monsoon and Birds of Prey are two wonderful books that tells the story of the Courtney family and their adventures which start with Hal and then move on to his sons.

I find the 18th century England/high seas backdrop to be fascinating.

I personally prefer the Birds of Prey as the story/relationship of Hal and his father along with that story's villian make it a more compelling story.
Oct 02, 2010 Catarina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catarina by: Gaby
Okay so I didn't really finish this book, maybe in the future. But I really liked the story and the way it was told. Despite the very detailed writing it doesn't get repetitive, but it is a VERY big adventure which I believe is what threw me off. Of course, it makes it even more amazing because the author managed to keep the readers engaged and not bored throughout this enormous book.
I would have given this a 5+ if it had ended differently. It seemed like the author was in a very big hurry to finish the book.

After developing the plot, leading to an exciting finish, he ended it in a couple of pages. I would have enjoyed listening to the conversation between the two brothers, seperated for many years, discussing their different lives.
Christine Barnsley
You don't have to be into ships and all things nautical to absolutely love this historical novel. Very exciting, very interesting, and very well written. This writer really allows you to follow the characters through their complex lives, as well as all the interesting people that effects them. The Prodigal Daughter is the sequal and cannot be missed.
This one took a few years for me to get to. Mostly because I was a very inexperienced, impatient reader when I started it. But I'm glad I stuck with it until the end. I learned a lot about writing descriptions from this book, as well as a glimpse of what sea trade must've been like (in the extreme though) back the time period of King William.
Heather Tisdale
Classic Smith - a strong woman, heroic men, a brother who shouldn't be trusted (or 2 in this case), a chase through Africa where the main characters are at a serious disadvantage, a few very short but very hot scenese, etc. I really enjoyed it.

It's probably only a 4, but I'm feeling generous and I was in a good mood while reading it. =)
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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...
River God (Ancient Egypt, #1) The Seventh Scroll (Ancient Egypt, #2) Warlock: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Ancient Egypt, #3) When the Lion Feeds (Courtney, #1) Birds of Prey (Courtney #9)

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“A man follows the path laid out for him. He does his duty to God and his King. He does what he must do, not what pleases him. God's truth, boy, what kind of world would this be if every man did what pleased him alone? Who would plough the fields and reap the harvest, if every man had the right to say, 'I don't want to do that.' In this world there is a place for every man, but every man must know his place.” 11 likes
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