Book review: Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith

Post date: 
Monday, 16 May 2016

Vidar Hjardeng, RNIB Trustee and Diversity Consultant for ITV News, reviews Wilbur Smith and Giles Kristian’s (contributor) new book. 

 
Co-written by Wilbur Smith and Giles Kristian, this is the newest edition in the long-running Hal Courtney series. 
 
While I’m not familiar with the works or the literary style of either writer, I am familiar with the narrative skills of Sean Barrett, who’s voiced a wealth of spoken word material. He’s got a very soothing voice and is excellent at depicting different characters. This is just as well, because there are plenty of them, hailing from all manner of far flung places around the world. 
 
Set in the 17th century and the Golden Bough, the ship that Hal Courtney (the story’s hero) captains, sails down the East African coast from Ethiopia to Zanzibar.
 
We encounter the exotic, in the form of sultans and royalty, but there’s also an awful lot of squalor and hardship; people battling in shark-infested waters, tramping through savannah and desert. 
 
With all kinds of wars, battles, different religious influences and themes of piracy; it’s not the easiest of backdrops for people living their day-to-day lives. 
 
Hal marries General Judith Nazet, an interesting character in her own right. Can he finally defeat his nemesis, the Scottish Earl known simply as ‘The Buzzard’? You’ll have to read it to find out. 
 
The combination of the story, characters and the broad range of themes and storylines means there’s a lot going on here, and some may think this is a little too action-packed. But it makes for an exciting and enjoyable read, and is well worth your time over the festive period.
 

Read Golden Lion 

Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith is available as a talking book or on DAISY CD or USB stick, and also in braille and large print. Call the Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email helpline@rnib.org.uk.
 

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