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Great book. All of Wilbur Smith's novels are well written, well researched and have good story lines. I have not yet completed the Courtneys Series but am well through to this point at least and I find them all equally enjoyable.
5.0 out of 5 starsFelt as if I was watching a mesmerising TV show!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2020
A long read but boy did I savour and cherish every last page. As always Smith has this captivating writing style that resonates his characters thoughts and feelings through you and explains even the most intricate of descriptions simplistically. He is a natural storyteller.
Power of the Sword takes place around 15 years after the events of the Burning Shore- Centaine's son Sasha is now near a grown man and Manfred, her discredited son, is a year younger. The novel takes you through their journey from adolescence to adulthood both experienced through two very diverse roads and shaped by the political views of their background and the burgeoning second world war. It is a story about endurance through a time of depression.
However what marks this book as being it's own from the others is that we now see the Courtney family from a new perspective. Whilst we have always been made to side with this family of wealth and power we can now make our own judgments upon them. Centaine, for instance, was a heroine in the last book, and whilst she still may be, she makes decisions in this book which are remorseless to ensure her and Sasha's survival and prestige. As a result we find ourselves sympathising with Lothar and Manfred De La Rey whose struggles are hot. These latter characters become respected through their humble endeavours. Then, through twists of fate and intricate character development, we observe the reverse. Manfred, although being justified in doing so, is beguiled by the Nazis as Sasha wizens and earns his respect as a British hero championing their cause in South Africa. Nonetheless, it goes without saying that Centaine reaps what she sown from her previous passion as she experiences a new flame.
I couldn't put the book down and the ending was a real page turner. It almost becomes a thriller! In conclusion, credit to Mr Smith for creating these complex and believable characters that will stay with me forever.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 20, 2014
The 5 books, The Burning Shore (1985), Power of the Sword (1986), Rage (1987), A Time To Die (1989) and Golden Fox (1990) form the second series of the Courtney's in Africa. and are intended to be read in that order.
In this book, Power of the Sword, we meet some of the new characters in Shasa Courtney and Manfred De La Rey who are bitter enemies but also unknowingly half brothers. However the lives of Shasa and Manfred are closely entwined as they both rise up into positions of great influence. Shasa into high society and Manfred into the Nazis. Both even going to the Berlin Olympics to represent South Africa.
It is all intriguing stuff if a fair bit contrived. Will Manfred succeed in his mission to assassinate the SA prime minister. And what about Moses Gamma waiting in the wings to outdo Nelson Mandela while seducing all in his path no matter the age, sex or anything else.
The whole series to date have been some of my favourite books despite them also being a bit cheesy.
4.0 out of 5 starsStart on book one and you're hooked
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2017
Reading all of the Courtneys for the second time. Last read them years ago. A good read. Love the writing style of Wilbur Smith. His story telling pulls you in and keeps you interested. Not tempted to skip like I do with some other authors. His story set in South Africa gives you an insight into the history of the country. He obviously loves the country and makes you fall in love with it too...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 29, 2014
First class read once again from the writer of the Courtney series with explosive action from the word go. Using the background of African politics, South Africa in particular we follow the course of the next generation of the family as they take the measure of each other to the final conclusion in Rage (the next book in the series).
Mr Smith certainly has the ability to write such books that you feel you are actually there, the sights, smells, the colourful people and the all round drama of the times you can just experience them page by page. As stated previously in the books I have read to date in this series, I lived in South Africa for 35 years and can appreciate the extent that Mr Smith has gone to in his research which has enabled him to write books of such quality.
I can never tire of these books and they come high recommended by myself. Don't be put off by the length of the book, it is a worthwhile book to read.
5.0 out of 5 starsA History lesson within a wonderful story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2019
As I am an avid fan of Wilbur Smith and lived for some time in S .Africa, I enjoyed this novel tremendously. It is a somewhat sad story, hopefully family reconciliation will take place in the next novel in the series which I will begin very soon. A tremendous read as well as a great history of a troubled time in S Africa.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2019
Did Wilbur Smith really write this book? It is not up to his usual standard. I have read a number of his books including all of the Egyptian series and this is the 5th book I have read in The Courtney series, but I found this book to be very slow and filled out with very little action. There was too much infill and not enough story. I had to struggle to get to the end.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 1, 2015
A wonderful gripping story of a family as they grow and react to the World about them as it passes through key passages of world history. From the after effects of the Great War to the years immediately after World War II. Wilbur Smith cleverly manages to weave real events and people together with his characters and storyline. Helps if you have read the preceding story (Burning Shore) but not imperative. Smith shows his love of Africa and the depth of his knowledge of it's history and struggles of it's people.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 21, 2019
An intriguing Family saga travelling through the history of Africa and high lIghting the evolving political And racial situation around those peoples of European and tribal origins. Looking forward to the next we’ll researched episode!
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat book driving you through history
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2016
Powerfully written Smith captures, as ever, the landscape and setting of the lands of Africa and Germany (Berlin games) to remarkable precision.
Strong characters and familiar historical points leads the reader to the depths of the finery of the English language while letting imagination paint the scenes. As living in the 21st Century we know how historical events play out but Smith provides deeper insight while being true to the account.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 6, 2018
I read these when I was younger and they are so good I couldn't resist buying them again on kindle even though I almost know the stories off by heart. One of the best writers. Love the Courtney series.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2014
I have read most of smiths books and I have always loved the Courtneys story but I found this book laborious, dragged out and very predictable. I did finish it and it is not a bad story but, it's not paced fast enough and I found I did not really like or care about any of the characters (unlike the earlier Courtney novels)