Chronology/Reading order

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Ballantyne series

Chronology/Reading order

Postby Matbow » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:10 pm

The order to read the Ballantyne's is:

A falcon Flies
Men of Men
The Angels Weep
The Leopard Hunts in the Darkness

HTH.
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Postby Bee » Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:05 pm

I've only read the first two so yeah... but it seems that everyone favours the Courtney series. Is there a reason? I enjoyed the Ballantyne books, but I couldn't say that I liked them better than the Courtney series... they're about equal in my books.
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Postby Monsoon » Sat Nov 05, 2005 1:08 pm

It seems the Courtneys are more the favoured family, they did receive the earliest introduction to the readership so that could be why they are more popular with most people.. just guessing though.
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Postby Matbow » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:36 am

Yeah, it definately does seem the Courtneys are more popular. IMHO, the 2 Ballantynes I have read compare to the "middle" Courtneys. But, they don't come close to the birds of prey, monsoon and blue horizon sub trilogy - which for many new/younger readers will be the first WS books they pick up and will judge all the others by.
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Postby Nefer » Sun Nov 06, 2005 12:58 pm

It may also be because WS is telling the semi-sort-of history of Zimbabwe through the Ballantyne familes. For some, the reading may get a little heavy, and with too many historical references.

I thought it strange to be reading about Cecil J. Rhodes, personally. He was an actual player in the history of Southern Africa, but not everyone will know that. So the meaning of what WS is trying to put across may be lost to some.
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Postby Matbow » Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:21 pm

Yeah, I found that quite strange too...it made me do a bit of research into him.

Not sure about people not knowing who he is tho - I would assume that most people over here in the UK would know the name and the country. Maybe that's just the UK tho, a lot of our History taught at school is about the old Empire and Commonwealth etc...
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Postby WSI » Mon Nov 28, 2005 12:56 pm

... and now with Triumph of the Sun the Courtneys and the Ballantynes come together :)
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Postby Bids » Fri May 12, 2006 3:12 am

Hey Guys,

Im currently still reading through the Courtney's and wondering weather i should read the Ballantynes first before i read triumph of the sun. Anyone give me some advise? Ive read all the courtneys bar Birds of Prey (currently reading) Blue Horizon and Monsoon and obviuosly Triumph of the sun
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Postby Monsoon » Fri May 12, 2006 7:06 am

Hey Bids, you can carry on with the Courtney series including Triumph of the Sun with no problems. Triumph has barely any relation with any of Wilburs books so far and the plot and characters are completely detached from anything gone before. So you could leave the Ballantynes for another time if you so wish.
While a tiger eyed its prey and an eagle raged in a thunderous sky a river of darkness fell upon a burning sun and the wolf cried tis a time to die, thus did the angels weep as power and triumph in those golden eyes did creep.


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Postby Bids » Fri May 12, 2006 7:12 am

Cheers Monsoon, Yeah i plan on finishing all the Courtney's however im gona be a little lost when ive finally finished them. Ive grown quite attatched to the Courtney family
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Postby Monsoon » Fri May 12, 2006 7:16 am

Right now i reckon you are in amongst his best books! Make sure Monsoon comes before Blue Horizon though. :)
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Postby Bids » Fri May 12, 2006 7:21 am

Geez that was quick. Yeah im bout 100 pages through Birds of prey and its getting quite good. Found it a little difficult going from Africa to the Seas but im warming to it.
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The Ballantyne Series

Postby Son of the Silver Fox » Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:53 pm

In my opinion the first two "Men of Men", "A falcon Flies" are good historic fiction, but the gem is the third ."The Angels Weep" is the best book Wilbur Smith has ever wrote. He managed to sum up the whole end of the colonial era, when you think about it this is the world that our author came from. I was too young and unaware to know of these events but when I finished I was depressed for days feeling the death of Rhodesia. The greatest writers can take you to an unfamiliar time and a place, and can make you feel it, taste it, and care. The fourth book "The Leopard Hunts In Darkness" goes along with "A time to Die" in the Courtney books as looks at the post colonial Africa.
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Postby John R » Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:43 pm

Wow, Angels weeps sounds amazing! Best he's ever wrote? Thats high praise indeed. Just started Falcon now so looking forward to working my way through the Ballantynes
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Postby Bee » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:08 pm

I need to purchase Angel's weep yet... and all this talk about it is making me look forward to Christmas break when I'll have some time to read.
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Postby Dee » Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:20 am

I've read all of WSs books except 2. My husband and I are now re-reading them. He's begun the Courtneys and I've just finished reading all 4 Ballantyne books. Couldn't put them down. They are just as good the second time around. Am beginning to work out a Ballantyne family tree plus a Kumala family tree.
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Postby John R » Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:19 am

Hey Dee, welcome to the forum!
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Re: The Ballantyne Series

Postby Matbow » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:53 pm

Son of the Silver Fox wrote:The fourth book "The Leopard Hunts In Darkness" goes along with "A time to Die" in the Courtney books as looks at the post colonial Africa.


Completely agree with you there - I'm reading "Leopard" at the moment and I'm findind it very similar to "A Time to Die" (in a good way), similar style of plot and characters. Good stuff!
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Postby Son of the Silver Fox » Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:48 pm

I just started over with the Courtney Novels in the order which they were written. I read the first three and thoroughly enjoyed them, Finally got a copy of "Dead Leaves Two Years In The Rhodesian War" and allowed myself to get sidetracked with that. Have now started Power Of The Sword. Saving and Savoring The Ballantynes like Desert.
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Postby John R » Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:14 pm

Power of the Sword is a great book, as they all are really. I've only read them in order that they were published (with the exception of A time to die) i now think that it doesn't matter which order you read them in. As for the Ballentynes...i've only had a brief taste of Falcon flies, and enjoyed that but had to leave it for River God. From what i got, i don't think it will hit the hights of the Courtney series.
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