Wilbur Smith Biography
Wilbur Addison Smith was a British-African novelist who wrote more than 50 novels in his lifetime. Smith is a household name among contemporary novelists. He was born on January 9, 1933, in Zambia, a country betwixt South, Central and East Africa.
Wilbur Smith was named after the famous aviator Wilbur Wright. Since childhood, Smith thought he never fitted in with the other students and constantly felt out of place. Smith's father was a metal worker who Smith described as a "tough man". Wilbur Smith attended Michaelhouse for high school, and Rhodes University to get his Bachelor's Degree in Commerce in 1954. Smith tried his hands at various jobs like a gold mine, fishing boats, whaling ship, rubber factory and finally his own sheet metal establishment. He had always been fond of books.
Wilbur Smith started writing in his spare time, while he was working with the Inland Revenue Service. He sent out his first story 'On Flinder's Face' with the pen name Steven Lawrence and the story was accepted by Argosy magazine in 1963. He earned a good commission for it and was motivated to write more. However his first written novel The Gods First Make Mad was rejected by several publishers. He was discouraged, but with the enthusiasm of Ursula Williams, his agent from London, he started writing When the Lion Feeds, where Wilbur Smith introduces the characters Sean Courtney and Garrick Courtney and the rest is history.
The Complete List of Wilbur Smith Books in Order
The Courtney novels follows the life of the Courtney family through three centuries. In the first sequence, which starts with When the Lion Feeds, we see the life of Sean Courtney (and the twin Garrcick Courtney). In the second sequence, which begins with The Burning Shore, we follow Michael, the illegitimate son of Sean Courtney. The third sequence commencing with Birds of Prey, we see other characters from the Courtney family like Sir Francis Courtney, Leon Courtney, and Ryder Courtney. The Courtney series takes us through several generations, detailed plots, complex family trees, and a range of settings like Johannesburg, European wilderness, Dutch East India Company, the World War I, the World War II, South Africa, Anglo-Dutch Naval War and so on.
Publication Dates Order
- WHEN THE LION FEEDS (1964) "When a traveller gets a thorn in his foot,’ Mbejane went on softly, ‘and he is wise he plucks it out – and he is a fool who leaves it and says “I will keep this thorn to prick me so that I will always remember the road upon which I have travelled.” Nkosi, it is better to remember with pleasure than with pain." Get This Book
- THE SOUND OF THUNDER (1966) Get This Book
- A SPARROW FALLS (1977) Get This Book
- THE BURNING SHORE (1985) Get This Book
- POWER OF THE SWORD (1986) Get This Book
- RAGE (1987) "History is a river that never ends. Today is history, and I am here at the fountainhead." Get This Book
- A TIME TO DIE (1989) Get This Book
- GOLDEN FOX (1990) "The best cure for racism is to have somebody shoot at you. Man, it does not matter then what color the arse is that comes to save yours-black or white, you're ready to give it a big fat kiss." Get This Book
- THE TRIUMPH OF THE SUN (1992) Get This Book
- BIRDS OF PREY (1997) Get This Book
- MONSOON (1999) "A man follows the path laid out for him. He does his duty to God and his King. He does what he must do, not what pleases him. God's truth, boy, what kind of world would this be if every man did what pleased him alone? Who would plough the fields and reap the harvest, if every man had the right to say, 'I don't want to do that.' In this world there is a place for every man, but every man must know his place." Get This Book
- BLUE HORIZON (2003) Get This Book
- ASSEGAI (2009) Get This Book
- GOLDEN LION (2015) (with Giles Kristian) Get This Book
- WAR CRY (2017) (with David Churchill) Get This Book
- THE TIGER'S PREY (2017) (with Tom Harper) Get This Book
- COURTNEY'S WAR (2018) "There had been virtually no opposition, but three years of almost continuous action had taught Gerhard how, in times like this, the greatest danger was complacency." Get This Book
- GHOST FIRE (2019) Get This Book
- LEGACY OF WAR (2021) Get This Book
- STORM TIDE (2022) Get This Book
Birds of Prey (1997)
Golden Lion (2015) (with Giles Kristian)
The Tiger's Prey (2017) (with Tom Harper)
Blue Horizon (2003)
Ghost Fire (2019)
Storm Tide (2022)
When the Lion Feeds (1964)
The Triumph of the Sun (1992)
The Sound of Thunder (1966)
The Burning Shore (1985)
A Sparrow Falls (1977)
War Cry (2017) (with David Churchill)
Power of the Sword (1986)
Courtney's War (2018)
Legacy of War (2021)
Golden Fox (1990)
A Time to Die (1989)
Jack Courtney Books
The Ballantyne books call upon the story of the Ballantyne family through the 19th century, against the setting of Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe.
- A FALCON FLIES (1980) Get This Book
- MEN OF MEN (1981) Get This Book
- THE ANGELS WEEP (1982) Get this Book
- THE LEOPARD HUNTS IN DARKNESS (1984) "They do say that socialism is the ideal philosophy-just as long as you have capitalists to pay for it."Get This Book
- THE TRIUMPH OF THE SUN (1992) Get This Book
- KING OF KINGS (2019) Get This Book
- CALL OF THE RAVEN (2020) (with Corban Addison) Get This Book
Call of the Raven (2020)
A Falcon Flies (1980)
Men of Men (1981)
The Triumph of the Sun (1992)
The Angels Weep (1982)
The Leopard Hunts in Darkness (1984)
Courtney & Ballantynes Books
- THE TRIUMPH OF THE SUN (1992)
- KING OF KINGS (2019)
To maintain chronology, The Triumph of the Sun may be read after The Lion Feeds and Men of Men.
Ancient Egypt Books
The Ancient Egypt books are a series of historical fiction novels. The series starts with the book River God, the story of a brave eunuch slave Taita, owned by Lord Intef. The books is supposed to have been inspired from the events of the Hykos invasion in Egypt. The next book in the Egyptian series in the Seventh Scroll which follows Nicholas Quenton-Harper as he unveils the tomb of Tanus. The book Warlock further shows the history of Egypt through the point of view of Taita, the slave. The book New Kingdom follows the story of Hui, a favorite son of an Egyptian Official.
- RIVER GOD (1984) "I was sitting in the Temple of Karnak on the Nile, as the sun was going down, and I was all alone, and the great Hypostyle Hall was full of shadows and ghosts of the past, and suddenly I heard this little voice saying "my name is Taita, write my story"… and if you believe that you'll believe anything."Get This Book
- SEVENTH SCROLL (1995) Get This Book
- WARLOCK (1995) Get This Book
- THE QUEST (2007) Get This Book
- DESERT GOD (2014) "Good intelligence wins battles long before the first arrow is shot or the first sword is drawn from its scabbard."Get This Book
- PHARAOH (2016) Get This Book
- THE NEW KINGDOM (2021) (with Mark Chadbourn)Get This Book
- TITANS OF WAR (2022) Get This Book
River God (1994)
Desert God (2014)
The Quest (2007)
The Seventh Scroll (1995)
The New Kingdom (2021)
Titans of War (2022)
Hector Cross Books
The Hector Cross books are a series of three novels by Wilbur Smith. Those in Peril is the first published novel in the series and follows the billionaire Hazel Bannock, the owner of Bannock Oil Corp, against the backdrop of African history. It also sees the journey of Major Hector Cross, an ex-SAS operation person. The Vicious Circle throws more light on the experiences of Hector Cross and his adversaries. The last book of the series, Predator, was written along with Tom Cain. We find Hector in the book as he keeps navigating through hardships and challenges.
Will Smith's standalone novels are extremely popular among his fans. Several of the books have been on the New York Times bestselling list and enjoy a huge readership.
- THE DARK OF THE SUN (1965) The Dark of the Sun tells the story of Bruce Curry and his journey through the African forests.Get This Book
- SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (1968) Shout at the Devil was a New York Times bestselling novel. It is based on the events of the First World War with the adventures of an Irish bandit Flynn Patrick O'Flynn. Get This Book
- GOLD MINE (1970) Gold Mine tells the story of a mining master Rod Ironsides and his quest through life.Get This Book
- THE DIAMOND HUNTERS (1971) The Diamond Hunters is the tale of fraternal clash and redemption against the backdrop of Cape Town.Get This Book
- THE SUNBIRD (1972) The Sunbird follows a brilliant archaeologist Dr Ben Kazin and his friend and foil Louren Sturvesant. Get This Book
- THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1974) The Eye of the Tiger is a thrilling book about unimaginable treasures under the Indian Ocean and the quest of Harry Fletcher, a soldier turned to fisherman, who is being drawn into a fatal mystery.Get This Book
- CRY WOLF (1976) Cry Wold is a war thriller and follows three characters - an American journalist, an Englishman and a Texan through gripping adventures.Get This Book
- HUNGRY AS THE SEA (1978) Hungry as the Sea revolves around a man Nick Berg struggling against his archrival. The story is set against the African coast and the Antarctic.Get This Book
- WILD JUSTICE (1979) Wild Justice tells the story of anti-terrorism leader Peter Stride and his fight against the hijacking of a jet off Seychelles.Get This Book
- EAGLE IN THE SKY (1980) This novel is based on the character of a wealthy inheritor of a large fortune, David Morgan, and his journey through wars and fight for survival in his beloved's country, Israel.Get This Book
- ELEPHANT SONG (1991) The Elephant Song is the story of an infamous naturalist who fights against evil forces of society along with his ally Kelly Kinnear, an anthropologist."A cynic had defined aid as simply the system by which poor white people in rich countries gave money to rich black people in poor countries to put into Swiss bank accounts."Get This Book
ON LEOPARD ROCK (2018)
On Leopard Rock is Wilbur Smith's only non-fiction book and it accounts for the writers journey through his writing career and life, in form of a memoir.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
In what order should I read Wilbur Smith books?
Wilbur Smith books can be read in the order of publication dates, or chronological order.
In what order should I read the Courtney novels?
The Courtney series has three sequences and can be read in order of publication, or the plot timeline as listed above.
What is the latest Wilbur Smith book called?
Titans of War is the latest Wilbur Smith book published in 2022 along with Mark Chadbourn.
What order should I read the Ballantyne novels?
The Ballantyne books can be read in chronological order starting with Call of the Raven, or in publication order starting with A Falcon Flies.