Synopsis - Ballantyne Series

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Ballantyne series

Synopsis - Ballantyne Series

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

Sometimes I feel like my head is full and I forget things. Like what happened what and in which book. I copied some summaries of Wilbur's books (from amazon, britishempire.co.uk and wikipedia) and put them together here. I hope it refreshes somebody's memory as well.

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 - King of Kings (2019)
The Ballantyne family meets the Courtney family again. Cairo, 1888. A beautiful September day. Penrod Ballantyne and his fiancee, Amber Benbrook, stroll hand in hand. The future is theirs for the taking. But when Penrod's jealous former lover, Lady Agatha, plants doubt about his character, Amber leaves him and travels to the wilds of Abyssinia with her twin sister, Saffron, and her adventurer husband, Ryder Courtney. On a mission to establish a silver mine, they make the dangerous journey to the new capital of Addis Ababa, where they are welcomed by Menelik, the King of Kings. But Italy has designs on Abyssinia, and there are rumours of a plan to invade. Back in Cairo, a devastated Penrod seeks oblivion in the city's opium dens. When he is rescued by his old friend, Lorenzo De Fonseca, now in the Italian army, and offered the chance to assess the situation around the Abyssinian border, Penrod leaps at the chance of action. With storm clouds gathering, and on opposing sides of the invasion, can Penrod and Amber find their way back to one another - against all the odds?
Timeframe: 1888 (Cairo)
Last edited by dtietens on Thu May 16, 2019 6:53 am, edited 1 time 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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