Synopsis - Ballantyne Series

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Ballantyne series

Synopsis - Ballantyne Series

Postby dtietens » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:35 am

I copied some summaries of Wilbur's books (from amazon, and wikipedia) and put them together here.

B1 - A Falcon Flies (1980)
Dr Robyn Ballantyne is the daughter of a missionary who discovers that slavery is alive and well in the 1860s in the continent of Africa. She travels into the interior to try and fathom the source of the misery. However she comes into conflict with her brother's more earthly desires for monetary gain.
Timeframe: 1860s

B2 - Men of Men (1981)
Zouga Ballantyne is one of those Englishmen fired by envy by the discovery of gold in the Boer Republics. He is determined to join a group heading north to see if the gold seam or other riches lie in the African interior. The Matabele lands will become the target for their dreams of riches.
Timeframe: 1870s - 1890s (First Matabele War)

B3 - The Angels Weep (1982)
This book jumps between the 1890s and the 1970s as it tries to weave a narrative between the violence at the creation and the demise of Rhodesia as battles over race and land defined the very existence of the state.
Timeframe: First Part 1890s (Second Matabele War); Second Part 1977 (Rhodesian Bush War)

B4 - The Leopard Hunts in Darkness (1984)
The sole survivor of the Ballantyne family is asked to return to Africa on a secret mission funded by the World Bank. His cover is the writing of a book on Africa but his real task is to send back information on ivory poaching and signs of Soviet interference in the country. The Cold War and African tribal wars collide as Zimbabwe loses.
Timeframe: 1980s (Newly Independent Zimbabwe)

B5 - The Triumph of the Sun (2005)
The Ballantyne family meets the Courtney family in the besieged city of Khartoum in 1884 under the tutelage of the iron-willed General Gordon. Captain Ballantyne tries to smuggle a message out to the relieving force but is it too late?
Timeframe: 1880s (Siege of Khartoum)

B6 - Call of the Raven (2020)
The son of a wealthy plantation owner and a doting mother, Augustus Mungo St John is accustomed to the wealth and luxuries his privilege has afforded him. That is until he returns from university to discover his family ruined, his inheritance stolen and his childhood sweetheart, Camilla, taken by the conniving Chester Marion. Fuelled by anger, and love, Mungo swears vengeance and devotes his life to saving Camilla - and destroying Chester. Camilla, trapped in New Orleans and powerless to her position as a kept slave and Chester's brutish behaviour, must learn to do whatever it takes to survive. As Mungo battles his own fate and misfortune to achieve the revenge that drives him, and regain his power in the world, he must question what it takes for a man to survive when he has nothing, and what he is willing to do in order to get what he wants.
Timeframe: 1840s (Slavery in 1840s America)
Last edited by dtietens on Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:41 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Synopsis - Ballantyne Series

Postby John R » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:14 am

Currently finishing up on Men of Men for a 2nd time, but see that the Gold fields of Witswatersrand are mentioned. If Zouga was to venture there, he'd be there around the same time as sean Courtney was, no?
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Re: Synopsis - Ballantyne Series

Postby annagram » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:48 pm

Another good job here. Thanks
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