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Courtney's War

(Courtney #17)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,925 ratings  ·  161 reviews
The brand new Courtney Series novel, and the much-anticipated sequel to the global bestseller WAR CRY Paris, 1939. Torn apart by war, Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are thousands of miles apart, both struggling for their lives. Gerhard - despite his objections to the Nazi regime - is fighting for the Fatherland, hoping to one day have the opportunity to rid Germ ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published September 26th 2018 by Zaffre (first published September 18th 2018)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  1,925 ratings  ·  161 reviews

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Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy, librarything
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
Thank You Simon and Schuster for sending me this ARC through LibraryThing. I enjoyed this historical fiction book. It a love story set during WWII. Gerhard von Meerbach and Saffron Courtney meet and fall in love in 1939. When the war starts, he becomes a pilot in the German Luftwaffe and she becomes a spy for the British SOE(Special Operations Executive). The story moved slowly in the first third of the book but became a page turner halfway through. It is part of a seri
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Wilbur Smith, David Churchill, and Bonnier Zaffre USA for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

After a few novels in the Courtney saga proved to be complete duds, I was pleased to see Wilbur Smith team up with David Churchill and returned things to the 20th century, where the series has flourished. In the Spring of 1939, young love is blossoming between Saffron Courtney and Gerha
Katie B
3.5 stars

While this book is part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone. This is my first time reading a Wilbur Smith novel and I was fascinated to learn it is the longest running series in publishing history according to the book's back cover. And while I might not be interested in the books featuring the Courtney family all the way back in the 1600s, I wouldn't mind checking out the ones that take place during the 20th century.

It's 1939 and Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach
Oct 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did I expect more, yes I did, but it just wasn't my cup of tea, I just could'nt get into it, I have loved all the Courtneys, just not this one. ...more
Wilbur Smith is a well established author, with over 130 million of his novels sold worldwide and today I decided that I needed to get to know him. Courtney's War is a WWII spy thriller packed full of action, intrigue, and the horror endured in the camps of Sachsenhausen and Dachau.

The Courtney in question is Saffron Courtney, a white South African recruited by England's Special Operations Executive. Saffron does fall into a bit of a cliche that I have witnessed in spy/action thrillers. She's
Lisa Zetes
Thank you Simon & Schuster for this Arc copy.

This is a WWII book and although I read many WWII historical novels, I found this one hard too get into. It start's in 1939 Paris with two lovers Gerhard Von Meerbach and Saffron Courtney. But when the war breaks out Gerhard is sent to fight for Nazi Germany and Saffron is recruited for the opposition as a spy. I have to say Saffron's character was very interesting and not your typical one as a female in WWII novels. This book is #16 in a series but c
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is technically part of a series I didn’t feel as though I needed to have read any of the others.
It could easily be a standalone.

This book is heartbreaking and emotional and fast paced but it was such a good read.

The characters were instantly likeable and I was routing for Saffron and Gerhard from the start.
I was nearly crying at the end and my heart aches a little at some of the situations and horrors that they lived through and saw.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve read any
I love really thick, meandering novels set during some dramatic period of history, with larger than life protagonists and cast of thousands (think Leon Uris or MM Kaye.) Sadly, this is a genre that seems to have largely died out.

Except for Wilbur Smith.

This wonderfully larger-than-life tale is set during WW2 and follows our heroine, Saffron, a daughter of a wealthy Englishman living in Kenya and Gerhard, the younger son of an evil German industrialist.

They fall in love at first sight in the 193
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelved
Disappointed in the extreme. This is not the Wilbur Smith I so admired many yeas ago. I literally consumed his early novels on the Courtney Series, the Ballantyne Series, and several of the Standalones. I was mesmerized by the tales of Rhodesia and South Africa. His treatment of whites and blacks seemed even handed - I realize these were fiction, and so I do not have a well grounded academic understanding of the realities of the tragedies that occurred in that blood soaked corner of the world. T ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What the what? Apparently this is the 17th, THE 17TH! book in this series. Holy NAZI Romanticization. What the hell. I DNF'd this book at the half way point. I found myself first, falling asleep mid way through into 2 pages every single night, and I have no problem with romance novels, which is what this book seemed to be billing itself as. But it was a dual narrator, some parts told by Saffron, who was born in South Africa and was being trained by the English to fight against the Nazis, one of ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Torn apart by war, Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are thousands of miles apart, both struggling for their lives. Gerhard despite his objections to the Nazi regime is fighting for the Fatherland, hoping to one day have the opportunity to rid Germany of Hitler and his cronies. But as his unit is thrown into the hellish attrition of the Battle of Stalingrad, he knows his chances of survival are dwindling by the day. Meanwhile Saffron - recruited by the Special Operations Executive and se ...more
Michelle B
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wilbur Smith is one of the best living epic saga novelists and has yet again written another 5/5 book. Although he is now in his mid 80s and has a co-writer (I understand so he can produce books to keep up with the demand from his loyal readers) his books continue to keep up the same standard and I cannot differentiate between those written by Wilbur himself and these later books.
This book follows Saffron Courtney and her love, Gerhard von Meerbach. Happily together before the outbreak of WWII t
Michelle Arredondo
Historical fiction set in WWII times. Author Wilbur Smith does so much justice to this genre. Superb writing style, great characters, intense story building. I don't know if I find the topic of anything "Nazi" appealing but it comes with the time this story takes place and must be incorporated and I don't know if the romance is something that I am really all that interested in but again..the characters and the story building make these books interesting and so I come back for more unti ...more
I hope the story of Saffron & Gerhard continues.
Andrew Harris
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant read, well up there as one of his best
Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
I didn't realize this was a part of a series but I definitely think you can read this on its own! The Courtney family definitely has some history and some stories! All the way back to the 1600s!

This one takes place in the late 1930's and Saffron Courtney is in a Romeo and Juliet type situation with Gerhard von Meerbach. The side of the war they are on and the people that they works for is tearing them apart. It's a really awesome point of few from a female's perspective during the war and not ju
Camilla Isley
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Saffron’s side of the story... but Gherard’s seemed a bit (view spoiler) ...more
Courtney's War by Wilbur Smith is a novel that examines the experience of WWII from both the German and Allies perspective. There is a lot I liked about this book but there is also a lot I didn't like and in some instances I found it to be implausible.

The novel begins in Paris shortly before the main onslaught of WWII. Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are a couple in love but know they are about to be separated because Gerhard is German and Saffron is a South African living in England.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy from Readers First in exchange for an honest review.

This was a book in a series which i hadn't read any others of but don't feel like i was missing out as enough backstory was discussed to get you up to speed if you hadn't read any other. Also the fact that this takes place during such an infamous period of history means you are kind of up to speed already.

The pace is relentless, from the excerpt we got for this we were left on a cliffhanger thinking our heroine had been
Elite Group
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of two lovers, torn apart by war.

Courtney’s War is the final book in the Assegai trilogy, which itself is part of the larger Courtney/Ballantyne series of novels by Wilbur Smith.

Paris, April 1939. Saffron Courtney and Gerhard Von Meerbach pose for a photograph in front of the Eiffel Tower. They are very much in love but know that the war clouds are gathering over Europe and are snatching every minute they can together, for Gerhard is German and Saffron is a British Colonial.

Fast forwar
Julie Failla Earhart
I was attracted to this novel on the cover. I “think” it’s a Packard emblazoned with Nazi swastikas. I was even more excited when I won a copy from What the blub on Bookish didn’t mention was that this is the 17th in the Courtney Family series. I blame myself; I should have done more research before I entered the contest. Live and learn.

The story begins in 1939 with Saffron Courtney meeting with her love, Luftwaffe air ace Gerhard von Meerbach, in Paris in the spring. The know
Rajesh Amradi
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another extraordinary tale of love and war. Wilbur Smith's narration is simply astonishing. It's impossible to get out of this smoothly flowing story once you begin reading.
With all the talk of war, even though you know how it would turn out, there was still some unpredictability in the character arcs of Saffron and Gerhard. The suspense in certain scenarios was well maintained. Overall the story was amazing and doesn't fail to bring out the emotions of the reader.

The time period of this st
Neil Spark
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast-moving adventure set during World War II. Lovers Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are having a romantic time in Paris on the eve of war.

They go their separate ways: von Meebach to the Luftwaffe where he rises through the ranks. He’s not a Nazi but his nemesis, brother Konrad, is the epitome of Nazi barbarism. Konrad’s obsession for revenge fuelled by jealousy is an engaging sub-plot. Von Meebach is prominent in the Battle of Stalingrad where his opposition to the Nazi regime har
Tony Nielsen
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eighty five year old Wilbur Smith has sold well over a hundred million copies of his books, since he first hit pay-dirt with "When the Lion Feeds". Many of his books are centred on Africa, which is where grew up with his parents on their farm in Zambia.

I am not sure exactly how many of his thirty-something books I've read but he has been a constant in my To Read pile for decades now. Its inevitable that there will be a degree of uneven-ness with a prolific writer like Wilbur Smith, but actually
Richard West
OK - just so you'll know, the obligatory, graphic, X-rated sex scene is on page 5 of this one. Apparently Wilbur Smith feels adding these scenes early on in his books adds something. It doesn't. Maybe he's frustrated and this is his way of getting his jollies - writing about it - I don't know....I do know these scenes don't add a thing to what is an otherwise excellent book.

Picking up where #15 in the Courtney saga left off, we are once again introduced to Saffron Courtney in 1939 and for 447 pa
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was unaware after beginning this book that it was a part of a series, and had another book that was directly tied to the main characters, but reading Courtney's War was almost like reading a stand alone. The author provides enough of the character's backgrounds that you do not feel as if you have truly missed anything too important in the other books. It was more or less completely accessible for a reader who had never delved into any of the other works in the series. I buzzed through this one ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have a lot of respect for Wilbur Smith as an historical novelist, but Courtney’s War is absolutely the worst book he has ever produced. I’d like to place the blame on his ghost, David Churchill, but I think Smith should have done more to oversee the project. The plot is thin, confused, and implausible. Set in WWII, it involves two (or more?) star crossed lovers on opposite sides. There are numerous side vignettes and detailed descriptions of atrocities that have virtually nothing to do with th ...more
Ike Levick
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-reads
Book 6
Courtney’s War by Wilbur Smith and David Churchill

First of all, the first chapter had me completely HOOKED! I loved everything about it. Read it! The rest of the book was also excellent - featuring a brave SOE female spy who is part of the beloved Courtney dynasty (this is book 18, I’ve only read the first five or so, way back in my teens).

The main characters and secondary characters are so well portrayed, so intriguing, so superbly brought to life. With excellent dialogue. And the baddie
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, adventure

On the first two pages I was not sure that this would be "my kind" of story since it seemed to be more of a romance tale with two physically-perfect partners. However, the author quickly introduced the wartime drama, along with the conflict of one pro-Nazi brother versus a rationally-clear headed brother. The preview pages are not enough for me to even begin to think that I know what is going to happen, and had one of those "oh no" moments when the preview came to a sudden end. I enjoy all of th
This was my first foray into Wilbur Smith. I'm a long-time historical fiction fan, and I wanted to broaden my horizons into unfamiliar authors for my job (librarian). I was immediately captured by Smith's colorful and descriptive storytelling; he doesn't ramble on, and each descriptive paragraph allowed me to paint the scene in my mind before going into character dialogue. Smith definitely has a beautiful enjoyable way with words. This book was moving with definitively morally corrupt characters ...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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