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The Golden Lion

(Courtney #14)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,992 ratings  ·  246 reviews
In this sweeping adventure full of danger, action, and intrigue, the master who has been the model for bestselling authors such as Clive Cussler and Bernard Cornwell returns to his longest-running series, taking fans back to the very beginnings of the Courtney family saga

The son pirate and merchant Sir Frances Courtney, Henry “Hal” Courtney was raised at sea. When war brok
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published October 20th 2015 by William Morrow (first published July 22nd 2015)
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George Most of the Wilbur Smith's books have sexuality in them, but not very graphic. Also, has a lot of action along with violence. If he was my child, I wo…moreMost of the Wilbur Smith's books have sexuality in them, but not very graphic. Also, has a lot of action along with violence. If he was my child, I would allow him to read Wilbur Smith. Wilbur Smith books is an experience you will never forget.

There's one author I would highly recommend for younger children, especially teens and that is Howard Pease. I read most of his books when I was a teen, and remember there were times I couldn't put his books down and read all night. His books are clean with a lot of action. Howard Pease is my favorite of all time. The only problem with his books are they are all out of print and difficult to find.(less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  3,992 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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Dec 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
The Courtney saga draws to a close (at least based on the number of published work) with author Giles Kristian taking control of the ship and returning to the high seas. Henry 'Hal' Courtney is back for another seafaring adventure, this time in the early days after the passing of his father. The novel opens with Angus Cochran (nicknamed the Buzzard), nemesis of Hal's father, Francis, washing up on land, missing a hand and eye, clinging to life. Cochran is nursed back to health and then enslaved ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first thing I have to say is the cover of this book is beautiful. It just looks like an epic book and it is. Reading this book was like being drawn into an amazing adventure with the two main characters Captain Hal Courtney and his love Judith Nazet. They are the heroes of this story and the love story between these two was so sweet. I also loved that Judith was just as tough of a fighter as the men. This is the first book I've read in the Courtney series and I definitely want to read more b ...more
Paul Parsons
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Now this one sounds like the old Wilbur Smith. Dated back in the time of Birds of Prey, this one has great heroes, heroines, and gross villains willing to put their enemies through all kinds of inhuman torment. Wooden sailing ships, buried treasure, African fighters protecting their European masters...good stuff.
S.J.A. Turney
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book and one I was looking forward to reading. I’ve read a few of Smith’s novels in the past and he’s a recognised master of the pen and I’ve read everything Giles has written and have yet to be disappointed by him. So something written by both of them? Well it had to be a win.

The book is the latest in the Courtney series of which I had thus far read only one. Since Smith books tend to leap about a bit era-wise and the Courtney series more than most I didn’t know what exactly to ex
Jason Koivu
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wilbur Smith's name kept popping up on my radar. I guess the Big Brother powers that be thought I'd enjoy his brand of action-adventure historical fiction. Well, they were right, he said begrudgingly. The Golden Lion was a fun read. Very solid historical details. There were points when I thought plot devices could be utilized better to make the story more tense and thrilling, instead of predictable and slightly anticlimactic, but all in all, this was good stuff. I'll definitely be reading more S ...more
DNF. But only because I realised it was a series book.
Ndola Hutton
Feb 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
I really, really did not like this book. It was recommended to me by a regular at work, and I no longer trust their opinion. This book is why I need feminism, and why the world needs black lives matter. There is exactly one female character (two others show up for maybe twenty pages, so I'm not counting them), and despite being a fearsome warrior, she spends half the book waiting to be saved by the main character. She is also pregnant, a condition that quickly takes over her entire character. Ju ...more
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
It was with a little scepticism that I decided to read Wilbur Smith’s latest book, Golden Lion. Being a big fan of Wilbur Smith, his last two books were really disappointing and his latest book is the first one that has been co-written with Giles Kristian.

This story does not disappoint though as the style that was used was similar to his earlier books. Returning to the adventures of the Courtney family, we follow the adventures of Hal Courtney, Captain of the Golden Bough in the early 17th Centu
Robin Carter
Sep 17, 2015 rated it liked it

I have thought long and hard about the best way to approach reviewing this book and as usual i have decided to fall back on my usual frank open honest feelings and hope nothing offends.

I’m not a reader of Wilbur Smiths books and im a huge fan of Giles Kristian’s, i have read both authors multiple times so feel i can comment on either style.

The book opens in dramatic style and and roared into action but very soon (for me) i felt that the book became something very much led and styled by el
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith with Giles Christian

I finally finished this novel after a slow start!

I must say it did start to really pick up and I started to really enjoy it and didn't want it to end.

It was an African ship/sea adventure with tales of slavery, gold, elephants and the mention of lions.

It's the first Wilbur Smith novel I've ever read and I must say it's well-written and an excellent swashbuckling tale set in Africa.

If you love Ships and adventures set at sea you are going to love thi
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This presented an interesting perspective of event between Birds of Prey and Monsoon. It fills in a bit of the history between the two, mostly focusing on the time frame just after Birds of Prey. While I enjoyed it, I didn't think it quite had the impact the other two novels did. But still a worthwhile read. ...more
M. Sofia
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it
The title of the book has little to do with the plot itself, if not a vague quote at the beginning, the book is addictive.
The style of Wilbur Smith is always light, fluent, accurate and pleasant and egregious is the characterization.
There are no unnecessary characters. Even the extras are functional to the story and really well presented. The author has done a perfect job in making these characters move in an exciting and varied history, which are themselves to enrich and make it more interestin
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This new chapter in the Courtneys saga was great! Already Birds of Prey was one of my favorite hist fiction books.... and Monsoon was a stunning sequel ... Having this story that takes place in the middle of the two books was great. It brought me back to a saga I love and it was no disappointment.

Great adventure!
Tom LA
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wilbur Smith gets back to his basics with this book, with a certain simplicity of plot, although his distinctive voice is still there. Yes, the perfect macho man gets ridiculous at times, and some hyperboles are spinning out of control, but do not make the mistake of putting Wilbur Smith in the bunch of "adventure writers" as if he was just one among many: for the richness of the descriptions, and for the great confidence about the African background that the author exudes, this is adventure wri ...more
Mark Donovan
Dec 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a tough read. Mr. Smith and his writing partner tried to fit so much into the book that it seemed to just run from one scene to another without a lot of in depth meat in any one section. As a result, I felt the characters were not as well developed as Mr. Wilbur usually does. I gave it three stars more out of respect for Mr. Smith's past work than this current one. I hope he does better in his next book. ...more
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Always a rollicking tale. The Golden Lion continues the Courtney family saga, taking the reader back in time and around the world. Wilbur Smith is one of those authors you can count on to deliver a fun and engaging story every time.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a free copy of this book. This in no way impacted my review.
Rodney Lutes
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to put down. Had a very abrupt ending which was unsatisfying. Overall I think that it was a good story and will be liked by most readers.

This was a go of story but the ending was very abrupt and a lot to be desired. Overall it is a book worth the time to read
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the book starts out really gruesome, what almost made me give up, fortunatley I didn't! After the first 30 pages we finally see the master at work once more. I have read every novel in the Courtney series and I wasn't disapointed by this one. A nice new novel in true Wilbur Smith style! ...more
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sweeping swashbuckling adventure. Works as a standalone. I can vouch for that because this is the first I've read in the Courtney series. ...more
Rita Chapman
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Blood thirsty and not up to Mr Smith's usual standard! ...more
Jeff Johnston
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-library
Typical story with Hal Courtney's star on the rise. Establishing himself in his own right as Captain of the Golden Bough
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
OK, it's too harsh to say that this isn't a great book - most of the Smith ones I've read haven't had any aspirations to be anything more than boys own adventure. And delivered it. This is another one with good goodies and bad baddies. Basically, casting would be from the 50s and 60s - good looking chisel jawed, decisive leads, and disfigured, disgusting or morally reprehensible (or both) baddies. It's a two and a half or a book of two halves.

What frustrated me is that Giles Kristian is a very g
John Marsh
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
D.A. Fellows
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/5 stars. Overall, this is a compelling adventure featuring my favourite Courtney character, Hal. The action is as savage and breathtaking as any of the previous Courtney novels, but I think the book is weaker for the co-authorship. As I understand it, Smith outlined the story and Kristian did the writing, with Smith then “sprinkling his magic” on the manuscript. Now, I don’t know if it’s just an intended change for a less patient audience nowadays, but I didn’t feel the immersion I’ve felt fro ...more
N.R. Tomasheski
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
I've long been a fan of Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series, and while I am a fan of classic adventure tales (Sabatini, Burroughs) I had not previously explored Smith's entries in this genre.
This novel, the 14th in the Courtney series, is a collaboration with another author of historical adventures, with whose work I was not familiar. Some reviewers have complained that this collaboration has diluted what they've come to expect from the Courtney
Tony Nielsen
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
As I have been an avid reader of Wilbur Smith's prolific writing over about three decades now it pains me to apply a two star rating to his latest, The Golden Lion. Frankly it could easily have been a one star. Unfortunately The Golden Lion is formulaic and repeats, not as well, the books that he became a best selling author for, way back when. Its a tale of piracy off the African Coast, with one of Smith's favoured families represented by a young maverick sea captain Henry Courtney. Smith has, ...more
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a bit of Smith getting back to his "roots" (with the addition of a co-writer, a la Tom Clancy or James Patterson). We're back in the late 1600s, with a bit of the best of both Smith worlds: adventures on the high seas and African bushwhacking. The addition of a co-writer has led to a few differences. One was a number of anachronistic phrases (none come to my mind at present, but they stick out like a sore thumb when reading, and I don't remember this problem previously). The sex is also ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I recently read that Wilbur Smith no longer writes his own novels. Apparently in 2012 he attempted to renegotiate his contract with random house to allow a staff of writers to continue with Smith’s characters and guidance. Random House turned down the idea but Harper Collins signed him up and Smith seems to be quite prolific again with mixed results. Several stinkers followed but the Golden Lion seems to have much of the flavor and excitement of his early tales. As he is using several different ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow ... The travel by Ship, the troubles that they face, the beauty of Africa, the fear from some quarters, the adventures ... its so nice to travel with Courtneys in their journey.

Very fast paced and the whole story wound around east of Africa - land and sea kept your imagination always on the high.

Only trouble I have is the chronology .... I didnt even know when Judith came into picture, in which sequence etc etc, but then who cares, the book is complete by itself with quick recaps and backgro
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this book for my monthly book club. Our topic this month was a book with a colour in the title. I picked this book quite randomly, as i have never read any Wilbur smith before but have always heard good things about him. This was the quickest i have read a book for my book club,and the story kept me going. Although i found out after starting that it is actuslly part of a series, i dont think you really have to have read the other books before. My only critisism would be that the ending ...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

Other books in the series

Courtney (1 - 10 of 19 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 (Courtney, #7)
  • Golden Fox (Courtney, #8)
  • Birds of Prey (Courtney, #9)
  • Monsoon (Courtney, #10)

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