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Courtney Books In Order

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Publication Order of Courtney Books

Chronological Order of Courtney Books

Writing is an art. There is no denying this fact! Just like art, it requires years of practice to become one of the greats even you are a gifted writer by birth. There simply is no equivalent to hard work, commitment and patience. One of the most renowned book series in existence is the “Courtney” series which literally spans decades. The series itself contains 13 books which is quite a high number for a novel series and is spread across 5 decades! With the first book of the series coming out in 1964 and the last one hitting the book stores almost 7 years ago in 2009. The books are a work of Wilbur Smith- A Zambian writer born in the year 1933 who went to South Africa to pursue his higher education. The basic theme of the novels being the different people and the families living in the African continent and how they spend their lives.

The book series of 13 novels can essentially be split into 3 parts themselves with the first one being a trilogy, the second part covering 5 books and the last one catering for the remaining 5 novels. The books follow the journey of the Courtney family from the 1860s to 1987 but are not necessarily written in a chronological order instead the setting and scene constantly keeps shifting in time back and forth. Owing to that, it is recommended to follow the books in the order given below, please note that the dates written along with the title are showing the point in time the book is following rather than the publication date. Following this order leads to a more streamlined and chronological reading:

· Birds of Prey à1660s

· Monsoon à 1690s

· Blue Horizon à 1730s

· When the Lion Feeds à 1860s-1890s

· Triumph of the Sun à 1880s

· The Sound of Thunder à 1899-1906

· Assegai à 1906-1918

· The Burning Shore à 1917-1920

· A Sparrow Falls à 1918-1925

· Power of the Sword à 1931-1948

· Rage à 1950s and 1960s

· Golden Fox à 1969-1979

· A Time To Die à 1987

As explained earlier, the book series can be divided into three parts; talking broadly, the first part follows the twins Sean and Garrick Courtney and is set during the 1860s all the way up to 1925. The second set of 5 books covers Centaine de Thiry Courtney, her sons and grandchildren between 1917 and 1987 while the last 5 books focuses on Courtney family from the 1660s through until 1918 while also addressing to the successive generations of the family.

The three segments are described independently in the following passages keeping in mind not to give any big spoilers so read on for a spoiler free description:

· The First Portion:

The first part of the series, following the Courtney twins Sean and Garrick is all about the war with the Zulus, love and betrayal. Beginning at “When the Lion Feeds”, the twins, though born at the same time could not be more poles apart from each other. Their lives, their likes and dislikes could not be of a more contrasting nature and when a woman comes between the two she threatens to put a brother against a brother. The narrative then moves forward several years and new characters get in entwined with the fate of the twins in “The Sound of Thunder”. More love life follows our characters along with the Boer war. The concluding chapter of this trilogy dubbed “A sparrow Falls” shows the story being concluded with the First World War playing a big part in the story.

· The Second Portion:

The second part starts with “The Burning Shore” and the reader finds out that the narrative has shifted greatly since the conclusion of the last chapter as well as the fact that there is an almost new set of characters with their own stories now. It generally follows Michael who is a bastard born child of Sean Courtney and follows his adventures through World War One and also later when he finds love in the form of Centaine de Thiry who is a French woman by nationality. The story is just not as simple as that to be honest, with passions, power struggles, murders and deceptions. The other books of the series pretty much follow onwards with this story with old characters being constantly shaved off to make way for new faces with their own stories and agendas. The 5 book portion ends at “A time to Die” which is also the last book of the series in the chronological order.

· The Third Portion:

The third sequence is set between the 17th and the 19th century and mainly focuses its attention on the successive of springs and generations of the Courtney family. It begins with “Birds of Prey” and the Anglo-Dutch naval war. The story follows the rise to power of Sir Francis Courtney as he grows from humble beginnings to becoming a knight by the end of the first book as the looming threat of Arab invaders begins to take its toll on them. The narrative then shifts for the successive books and begins to follow the stories of different Courtney family members in adventures of their own, their conflicts at sea, their conflicts with the Arabs, the civil wars that threaten to destroy the peace of the land and eventually the story submerges into the horrors that the First World War brought with it with blood shed, in humane sufferings and just unbearable stories of valor, strength and sacrifices which made mortal men into immortal figures.Watching all their favorite characters come to life on the big screen will be a vivid experience for any body and is definitely something to look forward to in the near or the far future of the film or the TV industry.

The series is arguably the longest spanning series in history which has seen more than 5 decades. The book series has been read by millions of people worldwide and has touched the hearts of many of its readers. The series has still not been converted into an official season or movie adaptation but for those who have read the series, this will just add another reason to love the series. Watching all their favorite characters come to life on the big screen will be a vivid experience for any body and is definitely something to look forward to in the near or the far future of the film or the TV industry.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Courtney

2 Responses to “Courtney”

  1. Dave: 3 years ago

    Assegai is a good book. Do the same people follow and what is the sequence????

    • Graeme: 3 years ago

      While within the Courtney Universe and series, that is book 1 of part of the Assegai Trilogy. Book 2 is War Cry and Book 3 is Courtney’s War. So read War Cry next 🙂


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