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Monsoon (Courtney #10)

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  7,557 Ratings  ·  186 Reviews
Monsoon, a Courtney Family Adventure from Wilbur Smith

One man. Three sons. A powerful destiny waiting to unfold.

Monsoon is the sweeping epic that continues the saga begun in Wilbur Smith's bestselling Birds of Prey. 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 Gu
Paperback, 822 pages
Published April 15th 2000 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1999)
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Oct 02, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seldom read the type of book referred to as a “guilty pleasure.” It’s not because I’m some beret-wearing, croissant-eating, Proust-reading snob. (The fact that I wear berets and eat croissants is coincidental). To the contrary, I’m as comfortable as the next person wallowing in the gutter drinking Yellow Tail chardonnay and reading Ken Follett. It’s just that the books I use to escape are conceptually different. When I’ve had a long day at work, I like to read big fat histories on World War I ...more
Richard Derus
Apr 14, 2012 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Frik Prinsloo
Oct 16, 2016 Frik Prinsloo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Action packed, continous flow. Hal Courtney and his close family are at it again. Real life drama with a twist. Just as I thought, this is the best Wilbur Smith novel by far. He knows how to keep you in suspense while the plot unfolds. I would have love to live my life as Tom Courtney, it must have been amazing. This book keeps you in suspense till the last page. Well deserved 5 stars
Jul 04, 2015 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Smith continues the final collection of Courtney novels, developing some of the early ancestry of the family he has made famous in nine previous novels. The novel opens with an adult Hal Courtney, who has taken up a life as a farmer in rural England. Courtney has four sons from a few marriages: William, twins Tom and Guy, as well as Dorian. These boys have their own quirky characteristics, which are exemplified throughout the novel. When the English summon Hal to take up a nautical voyage to con ...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
Jo Bennie
Jul 10, 2011 Jo Bennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: s
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
May 18, 2011 Luckngrace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Inderpreet Singh
That was one hell of a novel I just finished reading. I read at quite a good pace of 100-150 pages daily. It was like the longest movie I had ever seen. Now I have a really fresh vocabulary related to ship, pirates and voyage. I felt like I am too voyaging with them while reading word to word which was so eloquently presented. It was enchanting to read how it started, how they fought, killed, died and finally united. And also wonderful description of love intermittently throughout the novel made ...more
Doug Oudin
Jan 23, 2016 Doug Oudin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wilbur Smith fascinates me. His knowledge of the African continent and affinity with the sea help bring his stories to life. He's graphic in his descriptions; so if you have a faint heart, you might not want to read the often gory and brutal details that often accompany his tales. On the other hand, his explicit renderings of pillaging, raping, and mutilating that unfold in the majority of his books are filled with details and insights that make his imagery captivating.
He also weaves a full tale
May 07, 2008 Phil rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Constance Lapsati
Γουίλμπουρ Σμιθ είναι αυτός. Με κάθε ένα του βιβλίο, φεύγεις. Κι όταν κάποτε θα τελειώσουν οι σελίδες, εκεί είναι που λες αν μπορείς να περιμένεις το επόμενό του. Αν δεν μπορείς, απλά, τον ξαναδιαβάζεις.
Mar 07, 2014 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 16, 2016 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a throughly enjoyable read. It continues the story started in Birds of Prey. And now we have the transition from one generation to another, from Henry Courtney to his sons William, Tom, Guy and Dorian. It is mostly about how the sons grow up and make their way in the world. Some turn out well, others, less so. There is plenty of sailing and pirate action to accompany this. So hold onto your hats if you decide to read it.
Oct 22, 2016 Boris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another exciting historical adventure novel by Wilbur Smith, a sprawling saga of the lives of Hal Courtney from "Birds of Prey" and his four sons from three marriages.

As in the Wilbur Smith novels I've read so far, there is much historical detail of the period (17th century) and very graphic descriptions of the brutality and violence of those times.

The story left one wondering about the further lives of Tom Courtenay and his two surviving brothers. Perhaps it's too late now but a sequel to this
Nov 20, 2016 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love every one of the books in this series. I've learned so much about Africa. Liked reading about how the Courtney family ended up in Africa. Excellent writing. Keeps me spellbound.
Thom Swennes
Jun 03, 2016 Thom Swennes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
At the dusk of the Seventeenth Century, England and Holland were both vying for position in the east. The English East Indian Trading Company and the Dutch United East Indian Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC), were stiff, protective, and bitter competitors. Since Prince Willem II took over the English throne, making him the Stadhouder of Holland, Prince of Orange, and King William III, King of England and Ireland, the two trading interests found a way to coexist in this new and ...more
Steven Lee
Feb 03, 2016 Steven Lee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not enjoy this book. It is a lengthy good that spans a huge stretch of the world but the characters are narrow and flat. This is the first book in this series that I have read. I think it stands on its own just fine. The author goes to some lengths to highlight the connections between previous novels. I will say that it is pretty obvious where future books will build from.

The novel primarily focuses on the eastern shores of Africa in the 17th century. The main characters are Englishmen pa
Mar 23, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently read that ABC has purchased the rights to three of Wilbur Smiths books to make a mini-series. The three books were "Birds of Prey", "Monsoon", and "Blue Horizon". I had read and enjoyed "Birds of Prey" several years ago, so I figured I should go ahead and read the other two.

I was surprised to see how much I enjoyed "Monsoon". In fact, to save time, I'm recommending my brother skip the first book, "Birds of Prey", and go right to "Monsoon" (any necessary background is given at the appr
Josh Bishop
Feb 08, 2013 Josh Bishop rated it it was amazing
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
Ray Kelly
Dec 01, 2014 Ray Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Monsoon is the 10th book by Wilbur Smith in the Courtney family series and it continues on from Birds of Prey. Set in the dawn of the eighteenth century in England, East Africa, and Arabia, it relates the lives and loves of the three sons of Hal Courtney. The East India Trading Company is suffering catastrophic losses at the hands of pirates on the high seas. Sir Hal Courtney, after four years away from service, prepares for his latest and most dangerous voyage to take care of the pirates. Like ...more
Jul 01, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrea Ratti
Feb 19, 2014 Andrea Ratti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 08, 2016 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like a great story this is the one to read. No need to worry about the place in the series, it stands alone. Smith is so masterful and descriptive that I came away feeling that I had been there with sight, sounds, smells. He is a little graphic in the battle scenes. This is an author that clearly does his homework. Unless he has actually been on sailing ships he has delved deep into all aspects of sailing, navigation and language. It is so interesting.

This was a great tale with every angl
May 23, 2013 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rita Chapman
Jun 13, 2016 Rita Chapman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wilbur Smith is the ultimate story-teller. Monsoon is set in the eighteenth century and centres around the Courtney family. It tells of pirates, sailing, slave-traders and violent battles - not my type of book at all - and yet I was enthralled from the beginning. Would these brothers ever be reunited and the love and passion for their women be fulfilled? Monsoon is one of those books you want to keep reading to find out what happens and yet you don't want it to end. Personally I would have prefe ...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
Karunakaran N.
Nov 05, 2013 Karunakaran N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fic-historical
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 &a
Mar 05, 2009 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 05, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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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)
  • Power of the Sword (Courtney #5)
  • Rage (Courtney #6)
  • A Time to Die
  • Golden Fox
  • Birds of Prey (Courtney #9)
  • Blue Horizon  (Courtney #11)

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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.” 21 likes
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