Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


Courtney Family Adventures (Volume 13)

Wilbur Smith

St. Martin's Paperbacks


Mass Market Paperbound

Wilbur Smith has won acclaim worldwide as the master of the historical novel. Now, in Assegai he takes readers on an unforgettable African adventure set against the gathering clouds of war.

It is 1913 and Leon Courtney, an ex-soldier turned professional hunter in British East Africa, guides the rich and powerful from America and Europe on big-game safaris. Leon had never sought fame, but an expedition alongside U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt has made him one of the most sought-after hunters on the continent. Soon, he finds that with celebrity comes not just wealth—but also danger.

Leon is recruited by his uncle Penrod Ballantyne, commander of the British forces in East Africa, to gather information on one of his clients: Count Otto von Meerbach, a German industrialist whose company builds aircraft and vehicles for the Kaiser's burgeoning army. While spying, Leon falls desperately in love with von Meerbach's beautiful and enigmatic mistress, Eva von Wellberg.

On the eve of the World War, Leon stumbles on a plot by Count von Meerbach that could wipe out the British forces in Africa. He finds himself left alone to frustrate von Meerbach's plan, and in grave peril as he learns more about the enigmatic Eva.

Set amidst the tensions that will spark a war across continents, Assegai delivers the fast-paced action and vivid history that has made Wilbur Smith an internationally bestselling author.


Praise for Assegai

“One thrilling package that will be eagerly devoured by fans.” —Publishers Weekly

“There is a reason Smith is a hugely popular writer of historical novels: his remarkable talent for re-creating historical periods and crafting characters we care about is virtually unmatched in the genre. Smith [has] been entertaining readers for nearly five decades, and if this novel is any indication, he is showing no signs of slowing down.” —Booklist

“A Rider Haggard for our times” —Financial Times

“The unflagging career of Wilbur Smith is remarkable. Smith, 76, began publishing in the mid 1960's. He is not only the only author from that era to endure: John le Carre, P D James, Ruth Rendell and Dick Francis are also stars still. But he, unlike them, remains popular in a genre – gung-ho adventure… Defying another trend, Smith's hardback novel Assegai has, albeit at heavy discounting, outsold every novel in paperback.” —The Times

“Smith writes with passion and close observation about the sights and sounds of Africa...once you've started reading it you will certainly keep turning the pages.” —The Daily Express

“Smith manages to serve up adventure, history and melodrama in one thrilling package that will be eagerly devoured by series fans” —Publishers Weekly

“Wilbur Smith is an adept at thrilling and harrowing scenes, researches his facts, gets it all too horribly spot-on. Terribly competent ...” —The Sunday Times

“A thundering good read is virtually the only way of describing Wilbur Smith`s books.” —The Irish Times

“Smith is a master.” —Publishers Weekly on Wilbur Smith

“One of the world's most popular adventure writers. ” —The Washington Post Book World on Wilbur Smith

“A rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftsmanship. ” —Tulsa World on Wilbur Smith

“Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared.” —The Times (UK) on Wilbur Smith

“Best Historical Novelist--I say Wilbur Smith, with his swashbuckling novels of Africa. The bodices of rip and the blood flows. You can get lost in Wilbur Smith and misplace all of August.” —Stephen King on Wilbur Smith

“Action is Wilur Smith's game, and he is a master.” —The Washington Post Book World on Wilbur Smith

“The world's leading adventure writer.” —Daily Express (UK) on Wilbur Smith

“Wilbur Smith rarely misses a trick.” —Sunday Times on Wilbur Smith

“Smith is a captivating storyteller.” —The Orlando Sentinel on Wilbur Smith

“No one does adventure quite like Smith.” —Daily Mirror (UK) on Wilbur Smith

“A thundering good' read is virtually the only way of describing Wilbur Smith's books.” —The Irish Times on Wilbur Smith

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Smith is the bestselling author of many novels, each meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His bestselling Courtney series includes The Sound of Thunder, Birds of Prey, Monsoon, and Blue Horizon. His other books include Those in Peril, River God, Warlock, The Seventh Scroll, and The Sunbird. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages and have sold over 120 million copies. Smith was born to a British family in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, in Central Africa, and attended Rhodes University in South Africa. He has homes in Cape Town, London, Switzerland and Malta.

Wilbur Smith

Read a Q&A with Wilbur Smith

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