Editorial Reviews of Birds Of Prey

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Editorial Reviews of Birds Of Prey

Postby John R » Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:09 pm

http://my.linkbaton.com/get?lbCC=q&nC=q ... 031220339X

For anyone who is interested in reading professional views of Wilbur's book. If I can find any more I will add them on.

From Booklist
Smith, author of the best-sellers River God (1994) and The Seventh Scroll (1995), offers another meticulously researched, exhaustive adventure saga in this, his latest novel. Set in 1667, the story follows the escapades of the infamous pirate Sir Francis Courteney and his son, Hal. After the Courteneys and their rough-hewn pirate crew raid a Dutch East India Company ship (in the name of the British crown), they are pursued from one end of the African coast to the other. During the chase, treacherous sea battles ensue, with gory deaths and gruesome shark and crocodile attacks thrown in for good measure. Eventually, the pirates are captured, and Sir Francis is executed, forcing young Hal to take over as leader. A swashbuckling, epic tale of love, deceit, bravery, and drama on the high seas, this book is filled with menacing pirates, honorable sea captains, treacherous and greedy men and women, and sea galleons loaded with treasure. Fans of Smith's previous work will not be disappointed. Kathleen Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews
South African writer Smith leaves the Egyptian sands of River God (1994) and The Seventh Scroll (1995) to deliver a breathlessly plotted, clich‚-clogged swashbuckler of English pirates harrying Dutch traders off the Cape of Good Hope in 1667. After helping Sir Francis Drake defeat the Spanish Armada, Sir Francis Courteney, his teenage son Hal, and their trusty African sidekick Aboli are roaming the seas aboard the Lady Edwinna as privateers--seamen licensed by King Charles II to prey on ships of the Dutch East India Company as part of England's war against the Dutch. After slipping past their scurrilous rival, Angus, Lord Cumbrae (a.k.a. the Buzzard), the Courteneys seize a Dutch trader and ransom its aristocratic passengers: the loathsomely fat Dutch colony governor Petrus Jacobus van de Velde; his sexy, sadistic wife Katrinka; and the mad, mustachioed musketeer Colonel Cornelius Schreuder, with whom Katrinka is having an affair. The governor whimpers, Katrinka seduces Hal, and Schreuder vows revenge. Meanwhile, Sam Bowles, a cowardly member of the crew, betrays the Courteneys to the Buzzard, who betrays everyone to Colonel Schreuder, who throws the Courteneys and their crew into prison. Sir Francis is tortured and executed, and Hal, Aboli, and the rest of the not-so-merry men are sold into slavery but manage to stage a dashing escape with Colonel Schreuder in hot pursuit. Everybody seeks revenge on everybody else; Hal discovers true love and loss and, in a stirring shipboard climax, faces down bad Colonel Schreuder in a sword-slashing duel to the death. Though Smith's 27th novel brims with his characteristic love of African flora and fauna, the clunky prose, tawdry sex scenes, and trite plotting make this well-researched, fast-paced epic nearly unreadable. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal
In 1667, Sir Francis Courteney commands his ship off the coast of Africa in England's war against the Dutch. He has groomed his son Hal to succeed him as captain. Birds of Prey chronicles Hal's swift and bloody passage to manhood after his father's torture and death at the hands of the Dutch. Escaping with the remaining crew, Hal makes his way overland to claim his father's hidden treasure and confront the treacherous English captain who betrayed them. Men are hacked apart in sword fights, blown to bits in shipboard battles, mauled by crocodiles, and more in this tale from the prolific author of such historical fare as The Seventh Scroll (LJ 4/15/95). Short on character development and tight plotting, this meandering escapist novel will be relished by those who enjoy swashbuckling tales with nonstop action.

"Constant excitement...[A] fast-moving tale. What could be better for the beach or backyard?"--The Washington Post Book World

"[A] rousing adventure story...Smith is a captivating storyteller."--Orlando Sentinel

"Birds of Prey is a wonderful novel filled with excitement, pirates and vivid sea battles. The heroes are handsome and memorable and overcome tremendous odds to defeat unscrupulous enemies, to remain honorable and wise and always win the fair maiden in the end...In short, it is vintage Wilbur Smith."--Times Record News (Wichita Falls, TX)
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John R
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