Linda's Reviews > Assegai

Assegai by Wilbur Smith
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's review
Sep 16, 2012

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bookshelves: audio
Read from August 06 to September 15, 2012 — I own a copy

This is the story of a young officer in the British army stationed in South Africa in the years leading up to and, to a lesser extent, during WWI. He becomes a brother to a Mauri as he saves the man after a deadly encounter with another tribe of Africans who have been killing settlers. The Mauri's mother is a respected and powerful "witch" doctor and she "adopts" the young soldier. The young officer's uncle is the head of the British army in Africa, and the uncle introduces the young man to an older British hunter who takes foreigners on game hunts. The young officer eventually becomes partners with the older hunter, after becoming friends with former President Roosevelt and his son Kermit. About halfway through the book, the young officer (now in intelligence and reporting directly to his uncle) meets the love of his life, who, it turns out, is a British spy and the mistress of a very important German industrialist. The remainder of the book focuses on the exploits of the young officer involving the German industrialist, the mistress/spy.

The story has lots of action -- lions and buffalos, planes, spears, guns, a dirigible, natives, and more. It is definitely a period piece reflecting a very different world from that of today's South Africa. Probably best described as a very long "beach" read.

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