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When the Lion Feeds (Courtney Family, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – October 3, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews
Book 1 of 13 in the Courtney Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Plenty of incident and colour” ―The Observer

“Pride of place goes to When the Lion Feeds because it is bigger, wider and more full of plot than all the others put together ...” ―The Daily Telegraph

“Wilbur Smith has built up his wide-screen adventure story with energy and shrewdness.” ―Sunday Times

“Mr. Smith is a natural story-teller who moves confidently and often splendidly in his period and sustains a flow of convincing incident without repeating his excitement.” ―The Scotsman

“A very impressive book in its wide scope and its descriptive colour.” ―Sphere

“Smith is a master.” ―Publishers Weekly

“One of the world's most popular adventure writers. ” ―The Washington Post Book World

“A rare author who wields a razor-sharp sword of craftsmanship. ” ―Tulsa World

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

“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

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

“The world's leading adventure writer.” ―Daily Express (UK)

“Wilbur Smith rarely misses a trick.” ―Sunday Times

“Smith is a captivating storyteller.” ―The Orlando Sentinel

“No one does adventure quite like Smith.” ―Daily Mirror (UK)

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

From the Publisher

13 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Courtney Family (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Courtney Family, Book 1 edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312940661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312940669
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When the Lion Feeds was truely a thrilling and realistic book. I grew up in South Africa and when I want to remember I read the wonderful stories Wilbur Smith has written. I have grown very fond of the Courtney Saga. Each character draws me into all the excitement that Africa has to offer. Sean Courtney who is the hero in this novel starts an historical journey through the African Bush. Almost all of Wilbur Smith's books show the beauty and mysteries that the the dark continent has to offer. When reading this novel I remember what it is like to appreciate such a marvelous landscape with all its treasures. Great reading filled with history and excitement.
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Format: Paperback
This is was the first novel Wilbur Smith published and it begins the Courtney saga with a bang....almost literally. Disimiliar twins Sean and Garrick are hunting when an accidental shot from Sean cost Garrick one of his legs and then builds from there....The Zulu War, the opening of the gold fields of South Africa, building (and losing...) financial empires all sprawled across the vast canvas of Africa and Smith's love of the "Dark Continent" shows on nearly every page...Any book by Wilbur Smith is worth reading, it would truly be a crime to miss this one....
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Format: Hardcover
I was given this book in October 1975 by a friend who said, "Join me in a love of adventure, history and characters that become part of your very existence." I couldn't resist the challenge. I was drawn into the book and was immediately transported into another life. This book has everything. If you never read another author, you will be captivated with all Wilbur Smith books once you have read this one. I was. I have now read every one of his works, at least ten times each. I get through the whole collection and a year later, find myself returning to them again. Now I buy them as presents for the un-initiated.
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Format: Hardcover
Find it absolutely incredible that so few people have reviewed this excellent work ! Smith's first novel is a magnificent saga of 1880's South Africa. The Courtenays brothers, Sean and Gary, are two farm boys whose close relationship is shattered by a hunting accident that wedges between them an animosity and life-long rivalry. The story line is strong and absorbing : love, adventure and history, a man's book that women would find well worth a read. The book is the first of a brilliant trilogy. Do yourself a favour and read them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It has been a long time since I read "River God" by Wilbur Smith and I was curious to check out the first book in his Courtney Family Adventures series. I think I read that this was his first novel or at least one of his first (copyright 1964) and I was surprised at the literary skill he displayed so early in his writing career. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would not hesitate to recommend it to any fan of historical fiction. His development of characters, especially Sean Courtney and Dufford Charleywood, is exceptional. In fact, Dufford is one of the more unique characters I have come across in literature and it was hard for me to put the book down whenever he was part of the "action". I also enjoyed his depiction of mid to late 1800's life in South Africa and found his description of the South Aftrica countryside realistic and fascinating although I cannot attest to its accuracy as I have never been there. I give the book 4.4 stars and will most certainly read several more books in the Courtney series in the months to come.
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Format: Paperback
The first book in Wilbur Smith's compelling saga of the Courtney family. It starts with the adventures of Sean Courtney, the original "Great White Hunter" in early Africa. Somewhat of a vagabond, we follow this irrisistable character through his journeys of self discovery, and his founding of what will later become the Courtney Dynasty. The sibling rivalry that starts as a tragic accident, becomes a heartwrenching legacy for future generations. The conflict between two brothers echoes the conflict between English and Afrikaans, between Black and White, between Hunter and Hunted, between Weak and Strong. It is a metaphor for the tragedy and lost love of Africa Herself. Its is the cornerstone of Wilbur Smith's writing, and makes every future publication all the more compelling and unique. Every element of a truly great novel is present, and after reading it you are bound to become a lifelong fan. Wilbur Smith is one of the greatest writers on the African condition. .Each new publication is eagerly awaited by his fans, and a Best Seller even before the first copy is sold.
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By Mick on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
This was the first novel that captured the hearts of many, thought provoking and deep in both mystery and action, Wilbur offers provoking thoughts and a view to the past, once again not all of his writings are fictional in whole; there is a breath of reality invoked in each passage and chapter. It's a fictional work, with a tender side to fact.

I now have all his works, most I have read in the past, only a few have I missed. 26 large volumes, gives hours of great reading, only three books are short. A readers dream come true.

The last book, 'The Triumph of the Sun' is still waiting to be read, I prefer paperbacks; on this occasion I chose to accept the hard cover, rather than wait.

Such an Author, a grand epitaph of a great writer, indeed. Few will feel cheated by the many works he has created, though for some the confusion of where to start can be daunting. Almost all Wilburs works can be read as seperate works of Art, but, it it's far better to start at the beginning and much more rewarding.
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