Courtney's War (Courtney, #17)
The brand new Courtney Series novel, and the much-anticipated sequel to the global bestseller WAR CRY Paris, 1939 -Torn apart by war, Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are thousands of miles apart, both struggling for their lives.  Gerhard - despite his objections to the Nazi regime - is fighting for the Fatherland, hoping to one day have the opportunity to rid Germany of Hitler and his cronies. But as his unit is thrown into the hellish attrition of the Battle of Stalingrad, he knows his chances of survival are dwindling by the day. Meanwhile Saffron - recruited by the Special Operations Executive and sent to occupied Belgium to discover how the Nazis have infiltrated SOE's network - soon finds herself being hunted by Germany's most ruthless spymaster.  Confronted by evil beyond their worst imaginings, the lovers must each make the hardest choice of all: sacrifice themselves, or do whatever they can to survive, hoping that one day they will be reunited. Courtney's War  is an epic story of courage, betrayal and undying love that takes the reader to the very heart of a world at war.

Courtney's War (Courtney, #17) Details

TitleCourtney's War (Courtney, #17)
Author
ReleaseSep 18th, 2018
PublisherZaffre
ISBN-139781499861297
Rating
GenreFiction, Thriller

Courtney's War (Courtney, #17) Review

  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Wilbur Smith, David Churchill, and Bonnier Zaffre USA for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. After a few novels in the Courtney saga proved to be complete duds, I was pleased to see Wilbur Smith team up with David Churchill and returned things to the 20th century, where the series has flourished. In the Spring of 1939, young love is blossoming between Saffron Courtney and Gerha First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Wilbur Smith, David Churchill, and Bonnier Zaffre USA for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. After a few novels in the Courtney saga proved to be complete duds, I was pleased to see Wilbur Smith team up with David Churchill and returned things to the 20th century, where the series has flourished. In the Spring of 1939, young love is blossoming between Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach. Highly educated and politically savvy, both Saffron and Gerhard can feel the tides turning in Europe and anticipate the Nazis will begin their push through Europe, triggering another massive war. After spending time in Paris, these young lovers must part, vowing to find one another as soon as possible. Fast-forward to 1942, where Saffron Courtney is deeply embedded into ‘Baker Street’, a covert group led by a handful of British spies. Her goal will be to infiltrate the National Socialist movement in Belgium and the Netherlands, with hopes of learning Nazi news that can be fed back to the Allies. Meanwhile, Gerhard has become a valuable asset to the Germans, working in the air during the Battle of Stalingrad, shooting down any Russian plane that dares get too close. During one flyover, Gerhard sees some of the atrocities being done to large portions of the Jewish community, only later learning that it is the Final Solution ramping up. Vowing to himself to bring down the Nazis, Gerhard must carefully destroy the political machine without being caught, with a brother who is fully engaged in the Nazi movement and smells a rat. As Saffron returns to the African continent to help build her backstory, she spends some time with family and renews old acquaintances, only to be pulled away and sent to Belgium. Her actions may not be as covert as she hoped, but she can hope to remain one step ahead of the Germans hunting her down. With the War reaching its climax, both Saffron and Gerhard will have to work hard to return Europe to its proper course, though Nazis are ruthless and are happy to scrub out anyone who does not respect the Reich’s power. Brilliant in its delivery and full of wonderful storylines, Smith and Churchill show that this is one saga to which dedicated readers can return with pride. Recommended for those who love the Courtneys in all their glory.It was a difficult decision to choose this book, having been so disheartened by some of the recent novels in this saga. That said, I had to tell myself that those novels that took things onto the high seas many generations ago were part of a sub-series that never caught my attention. With some of my favourite characters and 20th century history mixed together, I knew that Wilbur Smith (alongside his writing companion, David Churchill) should get the benefit of the doubt. This is a return to the great Courtney stories and the reader should find it easy to glide into the comfort of familiar names (had they read much of the previous novels) while finding the plot riveting and eager to comprehend. Saffron Courtney remains a strong, independent woman who, even though she is madly in love, finds little issue with remaining grounded and able to make snap decisions. She has become a powerhouse character in previous novels and only grows more likeable and independent-minded here. Her tactics will likely have the reader cheering her on as she makes her way through early 1940s Europe in an age where women were still not given their due. Gerhard von Meerbach proves to be as interesting as he is cocky, though some of that is surely a ruse as he hides within the Nazis in order to bring them down. He is strong-willed, as is seen throughout and particularly in the last segment of the book, always hoping that he will be reunited with the woman he loves. While there may be an imbalance in that love between the two characters, the reader can surely feel the connection throughout the parallel plots as they develop. The story itself is strong and uses Second World War history and some of the less familiar angles to keep things from becoming too predictable. Saffron’s seeking to penetrate the Nazis is as intriguing as it is unpredictable, while Gerhard seems more passive in his attempts to weaken the military might for which he fights. The handful of worthwhile secondary characters do well to push the story forward, particularly as to go to either support or suppress our aforementioned protagonists. I can only hope that the reader will see some of the vilification that I did throughout the book, from actual Nazi officers as well as those who support National Socialism in other domains. The narrative kept a good pace, giving the reader action throughout. However, with unnumbered, lengthy chapters, some segments seemed to stretch out without that literary breath that invigorates a stellar story. Let’s be glad the Courtneys are back in fine form.Kudos, Messrs. Smith and Churchill, for returning the Courtney saga to its rightful place with a strong novel. I can only hope this will continue, as you boasted, Mr. Smith, in your recently published memoir that you loves this series with all your heart.Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsWhile this book is part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone. This is my first time reading a Wilbur Smith novel and I was fascinated to learn it is the longest running series in publishing history according to the book's back cover. And while I might not be interested in the books featuring the Courtney family all the way back in the 1600s, I wouldn't mind checking out the ones that take place during the 20th century.It's 1939 and Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach 3.5 starsWhile this book is part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone. This is my first time reading a Wilbur Smith novel and I was fascinated to learn it is the longest running series in publishing history according to the book's back cover. And while I might not be interested in the books featuring the Courtney family all the way back in the 1600s, I wouldn't mind checking out the ones that take place during the 20th century.It's 1939 and Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are deeply in love but they are forced to separate. He is going to fight for Germany even though he opposes the Nazi regime. Saffron is recruited as a spy working for the Allies and is sent to Belgium to see how the Nazis have infiltrated Special Operative Executive's network. War forces a person to make tough decisions and soon choices must be made just in order to survive. What I enjoyed most was Saffron had an interesting story line and not one you typically see with female characters in historical fiction about World War 2. She wasn't a nurse or working in a factory, she was actually in the thick of things as much as Gerhard. My only criticism is at almost 450 pages, I felt like it was slightly too long and would have benefited by trimming off at least 50 pages. Overall, it's a good story and I definitely recommend to long time fans of the series as well as those who like World War 2 historical fiction.I won a free copy of this book from Bookish First and the publisher. I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Kayleigh
    January 1, 1970
    Although this is technically part of a series I didn’t feel as though I needed to have read any of the others. It could easily be a standalone. This book is heartbreaking and emotional and fast paced but it was such a good read. The characters were instantly likeable and I was routing for Saffron and Gerhard from the start. I was nearly crying at the end and my heart aches a little at some of the situations and horrors that they lived through and saw. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read any Although this is technically part of a series I didn’t feel as though I needed to have read any of the others. It could easily be a standalone. This book is heartbreaking and emotional and fast paced but it was such a good read. The characters were instantly likeable and I was routing for Saffron and Gerhard from the start. I was nearly crying at the end and my heart aches a little at some of the situations and horrors that they lived through and saw. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read any books based in the war and this was a good one to delve back into it with. It’s written in a way that draws you in and keeps you hooked until the very end. I would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction set in the war.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    Torn apart by war, Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are thousands of miles apart, both struggling for their lives. Gerhard despite his objections to the Nazi regime is fighting for the Fatherland, hoping to one day have the opportunity to rid Germany of Hitler and his cronies. But as his unit is thrown into the hellish attrition of the Battle of Stalingrad, he knows his chances of survival are dwindling by the day. Meanwhile Saffron - recruited by the Special Operations Executive and se Torn apart by war, Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are thousands of miles apart, both struggling for their lives. Gerhard despite his objections to the Nazi regime is fighting for the Fatherland, hoping to one day have the opportunity to rid Germany of Hitler and his cronies. But as his unit is thrown into the hellish attrition of the Battle of Stalingrad, he knows his chances of survival are dwindling by the day. Meanwhile Saffron - recruited by the Special Operations Executive and sent to occupied Belgium to discover how the Nazis have infiltrated SOE's network - soon finds herself being hunted. I’ve loved the author’s books ever since I read When the Lion Feeds & I eagerly awaited his next book each year or so. However recently his books have lost their way but I’m glad to say this is back to his best. We first met Saffy & Gerhard in War Cry & the story of their fathers was in Assegai, I’m so glad they are now centre stage. This is a harrowing book at times & really brings home the horrors of the Second World War, I cringed, I gasped, I felt sick, I cried & I couldn't put it down. There are quite a few things that are left unresolved so desperately need the next book in the series.My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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  • Kate Vocke
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't realize this was a part of a series but I definitely think you can read this on its own! The Courtney family definitely has some history and some stories! All the way back to the 1600s!This one takes place in the late 1930's and Saffron Courtney is in a Romeo and Juliet type situation with Gerhard von Meerbach. The side of the war they are on and the people that they works for is tearing them apart. It's a really awesome point of few from a female's perspective during the war and not ju I didn't realize this was a part of a series but I definitely think you can read this on its own! The Courtney family definitely has some history and some stories! All the way back to the 1600s!This one takes place in the late 1930's and Saffron Courtney is in a Romeo and Juliet type situation with Gerhard von Meerbach. The side of the war they are on and the people that they works for is tearing them apart. It's a really awesome point of few from a female's perspective during the war and not just as a nurse or a wife - but as someone fully entrenched in the war. I really liked how engaging her story was and it kept me riveted from beginning to end - thanks goodness so, because this one is a commitment at 450 pages!
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  • Sam Ehresman
    January 1, 1970
    I love this genre of books. I was sucked in by page 10! I look forward to reading the rest of it! The cover is beautiful and I wasn’t sure what I would find when I started reading. There are covers where you can look at them a hundred times and never remember them. Then there are covers that will stick with you, but more than that they will compel you to look again and again. This book is the latter of the two. Every time I look at the cover of this book I see something different. One could argu I love this genre of books. I was sucked in by page 10! I look forward to reading the rest of it! The cover is beautiful and I wasn’t sure what I would find when I started reading. There are covers where you can look at them a hundred times and never remember them. Then there are covers that will stick with you, but more than that they will compel you to look again and again. This book is the latter of the two. Every time I look at the cover of this book I see something different. One could argue that it is a design flaw, but I don’t think that’s the case. It succeeds in catching my attention, and has more than once gotten me to seek it out, which means it did its job. The cover art completely conveys the story, both in its whimsical quality and its interpretation of the story. I was pleasantly surprised with the beginning of the book. It grabbed my attention from the beginning. The book seems well thought out and I love the story so far. I’ve always heard great things about this author. I’ve had friends tell me how much they loved the author’s other books. I like the authors writing style. It is different than what I normally read, but it is definitely interesting. The book sounds like a great way to introduce the reader to this author’s work. I would definitely get on board with reading this. Beyond that, the setting and characters are rich, and the writing is just what I like. I found that the characters to be multi-dimensional, interesting, and they stayed with me after reading the excerpt. Minimal dialogue interspersed throughout straightforward narration, which is sophisticated and thought-provoking, but not flowery. This is my kind of book for sure! The plot is so interesting I cannot wait to see where this story goes. The synopsis is definitely intriguing with the promise of an intricately woven tale. The premise and set up of this book are extremely intriguing, and I really want to know where the story is going to go. I can see multiple possibilities. The plot was believable and the situations were not over-the-top so it easily sucked me in and didn’t let go. The plot was interesting and moved at a good pace. I enjoyed the characters and was interested in what happened with them. This book seems to be right up my alley. The excerpt I read was fantastic and definitely something right up my alley. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those books I can't put down! I enjoy how the author introduces the characters. This book is richly imagined and a very powerful novel. I love the period detail and how naturally it is described through the action. I love the story telling voice as well. At the end of the excerpt I read, I wasn’t ready to stop reading, as I had been fully immersed in the world and story. What little we’ve been able to learn about the characters so far leaves me eager to see how they develop. The excerpt makes the reader want to dig much deeper into these characters. It kept me wondering and wanting to know more. I appreciate the attention to details that was given in the pages that I read. The author surprises us with its way of writing so light and easy to understand. From the beginning, the plot that presents us, traps and envelops us in adrenaline. I cannot wait to read the rest of this book! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre and is looking for a thrilling, page turning, hard to put down book! I can’t wait until this book comes out so that I can read the rest of it! I really want to know what happens next and I believe others will love this book as well. It has a lot of the things that I love in a novel. Love the first impression! I will be looking to either buy it at the book store or Amazon, or even borrow it at my local library.
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  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    Courtney's War by Wilbur Smith is a novel that examines the experience of WWII from both the German and Allies perspective. There is a lot I liked about this book but there is also a lot I didn't like and in some instances I found it to be implausible.The novel begins in Paris shortly before the main onslaught of WWII. Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are a couple in love but know they are about to be separated because Gerhard is German and Saffron is a South African living in England. Courtney's War by Wilbur Smith is a novel that examines the experience of WWII from both the German and Allies perspective. There is a lot I liked about this book but there is also a lot I didn't like and in some instances I found it to be implausible.The novel begins in Paris shortly before the main onslaught of WWII. Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are a couple in love but know they are about to be separated because Gerhard is German and Saffron is a South African living in England. When Gerhard returns to Germany to fight a war he doesn't believe in for a Fuhrer he despises Saffron joins the Allied forces. Proving herself more than capable to hold her own as a driver in North Africa she is recruited by the British Special Operations Executive and trains as a spy to infiltrate occupied territories and work with resistance forces. Meanwhile Gerhard has become a Luftwaffe pilot and endures the misery of the Battle of Stalingrad.What I really liked about this book is it tells the story of the women who risked everything and operated in what had been male dominated jobs until WWII. Saffron was a strong female lead that I liked and respected.What I didn't like is the implausible piece of the story when Saffrons on one of her father's ships when it is bombed. Her father is severely wounded, Gerhard is part of it, Saffron sees him and instead of being angry she silently celebrates the fact he is still alive. I can't believe anyone's feelings would be unchanged after that. I believe it would be an unforgivable act.Also, I hated the ending of the book. It seemed rushed and incomplete. The reader is left wondering what happens to a couple of the villains and the future of Saffron and Gerhard is not completely explored.The storyline was well developed except for the ending and easy to follow. The book switches back and forth between Saffron and Gerhard's experiences with ease and without leaving the reader confused.Character development was done well. I got the sense I knew who these characters were. However, I do not believe Saffron would be as forgiving of Gerhard's participation in the attack on her father's ship since it left him gravely wounded.I would recommend this book mainly based on the history of the British SOE and the way it presents the role women played in the war. There are problems with the book but it shows a piece of the war rarely explored in other books about WWII.I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it.
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  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy from Readers First in exchange for an honest review. This was a book in a series which i hadn't read any others of but don't feel like i was missing out as enough backstory was discussed to get you up to speed if you hadn't read any other. Also the fact that this takes place during such an infamous period of history means you are kind of up to speed already.The pace is relentless, from the excerpt we got for this we were left on a cliffhanger thinking our heroine had been I received a free copy from Readers First in exchange for an honest review. This was a book in a series which i hadn't read any others of but don't feel like i was missing out as enough backstory was discussed to get you up to speed if you hadn't read any other. Also the fact that this takes place during such an infamous period of history means you are kind of up to speed already.The pace is relentless, from the excerpt we got for this we were left on a cliffhanger thinking our heroine had been captured by the Germans, how cruel you were to do that to us, i was extremely relieved when i read what had actually happened once i got the full book (no spoilers as to the circumstances around it, but i thoroughly enjoyed being duped).We switch between Saffron Courtney on her special training to be inserted behind enemy lines to aid in the resistance in Belgium, and the fighting of Gerhard von Meerbach who was unfortunate enough to have been posted into the hell of the siege on Stalingrad.Once Saffron completes her training she is then sent to South Africa to inveigle her way into the enemies good graces to get them to transport her into Belgium, to discover the truth into why all of their previous spies were so easily captured. Once she makes it into Belgium and completes her mission there is a very tense escape attempt that had me gripped throughout.Gerhard on the other hand goes from bad to worse, getting away from Stalingrad he finds himself jumping from base to base as the German's retreat further to their homeland until eventually his voicing of his displeasure at the Fuhrer finds him arrested and taken to one of the prisoner camps and eventually on to Dachau. The horrors of those have been well documented and Wilbur Smith holds no punches in his descriptions of what we find there and the treatments the prisoners suffered.As much as this is a work of fiction, so much of it is based in historic fact that as harrowing a read as it is I couldn't stop and finished this book off a little over a day after starting it. It was extremely well written and kept me turning the page to find out how it would end.
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  • Julie Failla Earhart
    January 1, 1970
    I was attracted to this novel on the cover. I “think” it’s a Packard emblazoned with Nazi swastikas. I was even more excited when I won a copy from Bookishfirst.com. What the blub on Bookish didn’t mention was that this is the 17th in the Courtney Family series. I blame myself; I should have done more research before I entered the contest. Live and learn.The story begins in 1939 with Saffron Courtney meeting with her love, Luftwaffe air ace Gerhard von Meerbach, in Paris in the spring. The know I was attracted to this novel on the cover. I “think” it’s a Packard emblazoned with Nazi swastikas. I was even more excited when I won a copy from Bookishfirst.com. What the blub on Bookish didn’t mention was that this is the 17th in the Courtney Family series. I blame myself; I should have done more research before I entered the contest. Live and learn.The story begins in 1939 with Saffron Courtney meeting with her love, Luftwaffe air ace Gerhard von Meerbach, in Paris in the spring. The know war is coming, yet cling to each other as they would a life preserver if they were afloat in the ocean.Smith bridges the gap between readers meeting the couple with this little paragraph: “In less than five months, in the early hours of Friday, September 1, 1939, Hitler unleashed the forces of Nazi Germany against Poland. Two days later, Great Britain declared was on Germany. And slaughter, suffering and horror exploded across the world.”Smith then jumps to 1942. Saffron is trying to identify the agent who betrayed the British Special Operations spy network to the Nazis. Meanwhile, Gerhard is watching the beginning of the Final Solution as it is tested for high ranking Nazi officials. The images Smith evokes kept me awake for several nights.Gerhard manages to survive the Battle of Stalingrad, but his anti-Nazi sentiments lead him to be thrown into Dachau. Will he survive the Hitler’s Final Solution?The book is well-written; 130 million copies of his novels sold worldwide prove that he is a good writer. However, this isn’t a standalone novel. A lot of the time I felt lost when Smith delved into the characters’ backstories. I could not care about the characters at all. Another thing that bothered me was that in the About the Author section, there is no mention of Smith’s co-author, David Churchill. Is he related to Winston? Readers want to know things like this. Due to these reasons, “Courtney’s War” receives 3 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    What the what? Apparently this is the 17th, THE 17TH! book in this series. Holy NAZI Romanticization. What the hell. I DNF'd this book at the half way point. I found myself first, falling asleep mid way through into 2 pages every single night, and I have no problem with romance novels, which is what this book seemed to be billing itself as. But it was a dual narrator, some parts told by Saffron, who was born in South Africa and was being trained by the English to fight against the Nazis, one of What the what? Apparently this is the 17th, THE 17TH! book in this series. Holy NAZI Romanticization. What the hell. I DNF'd this book at the half way point. I found myself first, falling asleep mid way through into 2 pages every single night, and I have no problem with romance novels, which is what this book seemed to be billing itself as. But it was a dual narrator, some parts told by Saffron, who was born in South Africa and was being trained by the English to fight against the Nazis, one of which she's in love with (I don't freaking get it either, stay with me here), and the other Narrator is some heart of gold isn't really a Nazi is just related to a bunch of them and is fighting with them because his family threatened a bunch of the people he really loves so instead of escaping and going to fight with Saffron which is what any other self respecting fictional hero would do he puts on his Nazi uniform and is present at the gassing of thousands of....okay I literally cannot go on at this point. I have no idea what the hell the author was trying to accomplish, and I don't know who could finish this book after this. This shit is ridiculous. I couldn't finish it. Whatever the authors' motives were, they got lost in translation and your one protagonist is literally in love with a NAZI. That's not how this works guys, that's now how any of this works. Burn your book.
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  • Tony Nielsen
    January 1, 1970
    Eighty five year old Wilbur Smith has sold well over a hundred million copies of his books, since he first hit pay-dirt with "When the Lion Feeds". Many of his books are centred on Africa, which is where grew up with his parents on their farm in Zambia.I am not sure exactly how many of his thirty-something books I've read but he has been a constant in my To Read pile for decades now. Its inevitable that there will be a degree of uneven-ness with a prolific writer like Wilbur Smith, but actually Eighty five year old Wilbur Smith has sold well over a hundred million copies of his books, since he first hit pay-dirt with "When the Lion Feeds". Many of his books are centred on Africa, which is where grew up with his parents on their farm in Zambia.I am not sure exactly how many of his thirty-something books I've read but he has been a constant in my To Read pile for decades now. Its inevitable that there will be a degree of uneven-ness with a prolific writer like Wilbur Smith, but actually in his case that isn't so. And "Courtney's War" proves once again that a talented writer can deliver, despite age and a long list of earlier publications. In fact I was pleasantly surprised at just how good a read this new novel is.The setting is World War Two, the main characters become separated on opposite sides of the conflict, Saffron Courtney, born in Africa but based in England, and her beloved German boyfriend Gerhard Von Meerbach. They both have a tough war, with courage and commitment to their causes prominent, at least until Gerhard becomes disenchanted by the Nazi dogma.Its rather refreshing to be able to thoroughly recommend a new novel by an aging rock star of the novel writing world. "Courtney's War" is every bit worthy of that recommendation.
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  • Michelle B
    January 1, 1970
    Wilbur Smith is one of the best living epic saga novelists and has yet again written another 5/5 book. Although he is now in his mid 80s and has a co-writer (I understand so he can produce books to keep up with the demand from his loyal readers) his books continue to keep up the same standard and I cannot differentiate between those written by Wilbur himself and these later books.This book follows Saffron Courtney and her love, Gerhard von Meerbach. Happily together before the outbreak of WWII t Wilbur Smith is one of the best living epic saga novelists and has yet again written another 5/5 book. Although he is now in his mid 80s and has a co-writer (I understand so he can produce books to keep up with the demand from his loyal readers) his books continue to keep up the same standard and I cannot differentiate between those written by Wilbur himself and these later books.This book follows Saffron Courtney and her love, Gerhard von Meerbach. Happily together before the outbreak of WWII they are soon torn apart. Will they ever see each other again?Saffron shows she is a true Courtney and quickly proves her worth. Gerhard has to go against everything he believes in and fight alongside the Nazis.Although this is a work of fiction the events of WWII are portrayed accurately and it makes for heart wrenching read at times. Gerhard faces some dreadful scenes, and as usual Wilbur evokes a very graphic picture of what it must have been like. The journey takes us across Europe via Wilbur’s favourite South Africa.A great read which I could not put down. Highly recommend to all fans and also suitable for those new to Wilbur’s works.Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    I was unaware after beginning this book that it was a part of a series, and had another book that was directly tied to the main characters, but reading Courtney's War was almost like reading a stand alone. The author provides enough of the character's backgrounds that you do not feel as if you have truly missed anything too important in the other books. It was more or less completely accessible for a reader who had never delved into any of the other works in the series. I buzzed through this one I was unaware after beginning this book that it was a part of a series, and had another book that was directly tied to the main characters, but reading Courtney's War was almost like reading a stand alone. The author provides enough of the character's backgrounds that you do not feel as if you have truly missed anything too important in the other books. It was more or less completely accessible for a reader who had never delved into any of the other works in the series. I buzzed through this one quite quickly. I enjoyed both of the main lovebirds, especially Saffron Courtney, who exuded strength and confidence. Between her and Gerhard, we get an interesting look at different forms of resistance throughout WW2. I am a sucker for any book set during WW2, as I find the history to be incredibly fascinating, and I think that there was some interesting and more obscure history in this novel that helps it stand out from all the other WW2 love stories. The author kept a fast and exciting pace and held back no punches in terms of the dark history of the war. I found this to be a very interesting and quick read. I'm curious to what the other books in the series are like.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    On the first two pages I was not sure that this would be "my kind" of story since it seemed to be more of a romance tale with two physically-perfect partners. However, the author quickly introduced the wartime drama, along with the conflict of one pro-Nazi brother versus a rationally-clear headed brother. The preview pages are not enough for me to even begin to think that I know what is going to happen, and had one of those "oh no" moments when the preview came to a sudden end. I enjoy all of th On the first two pages I was not sure that this would be "my kind" of story since it seemed to be more of a romance tale with two physically-perfect partners. However, the author quickly introduced the wartime drama, along with the conflict of one pro-Nazi brother versus a rationally-clear headed brother. The preview pages are not enough for me to even begin to think that I know what is going to happen, and had one of those "oh no" moments when the preview came to a sudden end. I enjoy all of the details of Paris life, the streets, the food, the restaurants, and I also want to know what is going to happen to Wilbur Smith's characters. Is this seemingly-innocent, beautiful girl a spy or did she somehow get pulled into the war effort after personal losses? Although this book is listed as part of a Courtney series, it definitely seems to stand alone; this is not like a television series where you have to know any or all of the characters or the conflicts in order to appreciate one episode - or in this case, one book.
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  • Alicia Herrington
    January 1, 1970
    Librarian: If your library has a historical fiction section, then there's a good chance that a decent percentage of the books in it occur during WWII. There's something about that war that tugs at the heart and the imagination. As such, deciding whether or not to order new WWII book can sometimes be difficult. After all, you don't want to oversaturate your collection. Personally, I would order this one. It's got romance, intrigue and a popular setting, all the things that draw people to historic Librarian: If your library has a historical fiction section, then there's a good chance that a decent percentage of the books in it occur during WWII. There's something about that war that tugs at the heart and the imagination. As such, deciding whether or not to order new WWII book can sometimes be difficult. After all, you don't want to oversaturate your collection. Personally, I would order this one. It's got romance, intrigue and a popular setting, all the things that draw people to historical fiction in the first place. You may be thinking that since this is the second book in a series, you shouldn't order it if you don't have the first book. Good news! This book can absolutely be read without reading the first book! Reader: I greatly enjoyed this one. It's not my favorite genre, but it's one that I definitely enjoy enough to want to read more of. This was a good step towards that goal. Now I just need to go back and read the first one.
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  • Gabriela Zago
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not a big fan of war romances, but I ended up kind of liking this story. Set during World War II, it tells the separate tales of two lovers, a German and a British soldiers, and all the adventures they must face before the War ends in 1945. Reading historical fiction is kind of interesting because you kind of know some of the things that are going to happen (like how long the war is going to last, or some key events in history), but you still have the unpredictable fate of the fiction love s I'm not a big fan of war romances, but I ended up kind of liking this story. Set during World War II, it tells the separate tales of two lovers, a German and a British soldiers, and all the adventures they must face before the War ends in 1945. Reading historical fiction is kind of interesting because you kind of know some of the things that are going to happen (like how long the war is going to last, or some key events in history), but you still have the unpredictable fate of the fiction love story that is being told in the book. In a way, I was interested in reading about the atrocities of the war - even though what characters went through is mere fiction, the things that they went through were actually true things that indeed happened during the war, and that is what makes the story even more compelling.
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  • Kim Bakos
    January 1, 1970
    Hard to get intoIt took me quite a while to get into this book - it was hard to follow some of the spy stuff and the ties between different countries if you don't already know about all the countries involved in WWII and the history of them. Such as knowing that the South Africans used to be Dutch, and that their language is derived from Flemish, which is spoken in parts of Belgium. Also, with this being the sequel to another story that was about the love story between the two main characters, a Hard to get intoIt took me quite a while to get into this book - it was hard to follow some of the spy stuff and the ties between different countries if you don't already know about all the countries involved in WWII and the history of them. Such as knowing that the South Africans used to be Dutch, and that their language is derived from Flemish, which is spoken in parts of Belgium. Also, with this being the sequel to another story that was about the love story between the two main characters, a lot of the back story is missing. But it was generally an enjoyable story and I learned more about the WWII era by reading this.The writing style is OK, not a quick read, but not laborious, either. Some of the descriptions in it are pretty graphic, but that's to be expected when you are dealing with war and the Holocaust.
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  • laurie White
    January 1, 1970
    OK, well. First this book was not my preferred genres. There is plenty of action in this novel and it reminds me of the Bourne movies or Mission Impossible. I love historical settings of WWII, just not this kind. I am sure this book is great and I only read about half. I had no problem visualizing what I was reading and getting into a few of the characters, I just had trouble with the story. I'm not going to give a bad review because the book isn't my preference in reading material. There is a s OK, well. First this book was not my preferred genres. There is plenty of action in this novel and it reminds me of the Bourne movies or Mission Impossible. I love historical settings of WWII, just not this kind. I am sure this book is great and I only read about half. I had no problem visualizing what I was reading and getting into a few of the characters, I just had trouble with the story. I'm not going to give a bad review because the book isn't my preference in reading material. There is a strong leading female character that I did like but other than that I was a little lost. I have found that spending time reading a book that I don't care for is a waste of my time. I hope others like the book and I'm sure they will.
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  • Juliat
    January 1, 1970
    Courtney’s War is the latest Courtney series novel based on Saffron Courtney’s exploits in the Special Operations Executive in the Second World War, and her lover Gerhard von Meerbachs fight to keep his integrity in Germany’s Luftwaffe. This is a fast paced thriller with an underlying love story that carries on from “War Cry”.It is well written and you hardly notice the input of David Churchill to the style of Wilbur Smith. The characters have enough substance to make them interesting and the pl Courtney’s War is the latest Courtney series novel based on Saffron Courtney’s exploits in the Special Operations Executive in the Second World War, and her lover Gerhard von Meerbachs fight to keep his integrity in Germany’s Luftwaffe. This is a fast paced thriller with an underlying love story that carries on from “War Cry”.It is well written and you hardly notice the input of David Churchill to the style of Wilbur Smith. The characters have enough substance to make them interesting and the plot has plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading avidly to see what happens next.As an existing fan I can recommend this book to other fans and to new readers of this series of books. Ideal escapism for a few hours.
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  • Katrina Yurenka
    January 1, 1970
    I must confess that I have not read the previous book, War Cry, and now must go back and do so. Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach have been separated because of the outbreak of war in 1939. Gerhard is fighting with the Nazis though he does not agree with Hitler and hopes he can change things from within. He is not optimistic about his chances of survival after being involved in the Battle of Stalingrad. He has joined a covert group fighting against Hitler's atrocities when he is captured I must confess that I have not read the previous book, War Cry, and now must go back and do so. Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach have been separated because of the outbreak of war in 1939. Gerhard is fighting with the Nazis though he does not agree with Hitler and hopes he can change things from within. He is not optimistic about his chances of survival after being involved in the Battle of Stalingrad. He has joined a covert group fighting against Hitler's atrocities when he is captured and sent to Dachau. In 1942 Saffron, meanwhile, has become somewhat of a spy, stationed in Belgium, with the Germans aware of her movements and thus actively searching for her. She must rescue Gerhard!
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  • Kim hansen
    January 1, 1970
    Now this was a good read. Wilbur Smith doesn't just focus on one character or one place but many different places and many different characters through out the book as well as the years that the second world war raged on until the end of the war. I enjoyed Saffron story the most as she had to deal with so much during that time. To read not only about germany but also some of what the other countries went through as well as people what they went through as the war raged on around them. As with ma Now this was a good read. Wilbur Smith doesn't just focus on one character or one place but many different places and many different characters through out the book as well as the years that the second world war raged on until the end of the war. I enjoyed Saffron story the most as she had to deal with so much during that time. To read not only about germany but also some of what the other countries went through as well as people what they went through as the war raged on around them. As with many other books food was like finding gold since there was a shortage even after the horror ended and people were trying to get back to normal. Some of the characters you think how can one human being do that to another. All in All a fabulous book.
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  • Andi Miller
    January 1, 1970
     I read the first chapter on another website and I was intrigued, it had got my attention, even at 1am. The book is in a huge series of books by Wilbur Smith, but it wasn't an issue. In fact it's made me want to go backwards and read the rest. It's one of those books where you have to research what you have read, because you just can't believe it to be true. That men could do that to other men. Thanks to Netgalley and Bonnier Zafre and of course Wilbur Smith for the opportunity to read and revie  I read the first chapter on another website and I was intrigued, it had got my attention, even at 1am. The book is in a huge series of books by Wilbur Smith, but it wasn't an issue. In fact it's made me want to go backwards and read the rest. It's one of those books where you have to research what you have read, because you just can't believe it to be true. That men could do that to other men. Thanks to Netgalley and Bonnier Zafre and of course Wilbur Smith for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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  • Anil Dhingra
    January 1, 1970
    Wilbur Smith is a master of historical fiction. This time he takes us through the second world war in Europe. No matter how many times one reads about it there is always a new angle to the theater. However the story line is a bit weak and plods along, not in the same league as his earlier books. The gentleman is now 85 years old and one has to grant that still he churns out books far more interesting than many younger historians.
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  • Kevin Murfitt
    January 1, 1970
    Another cracking story about the Courtney family. Very refreshing to have a female hero, dealing with many uncomfortable situations and very realistic attitudes and descriptive details synonymous of the times. Some uncomfortable reading of the liberation of Germany, but it happened and we should not shirk away from this reality. Great stuff.
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  • Sam Parker
    January 1, 1970
    A gripping taleAnother superb novel.Once started couldn't put it down.Marvellous description of camps, makes you feel you are there. Very disturbing too at times making you aware of how the Nazis were at the time of the war.Well done Wilbur. Look forward to the next instalment of the Courtneys and the Von Meerbachs.
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  • Simpson9820
    January 1, 1970
    Wilbur Smith wrote War Cry and Courtney's War with David Churchill. I enjoyed the first book more because it was in the true Wilbur Smith style. I was surprised he did not include a great deal of detail about Saffron's father and the other Courtneys.
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  • Radoslav Vician
    January 1, 1970
    After a long time an enjoyable read by Wilbur Smith.
  • Elsabe Du preez
    January 1, 1970
    Good
  • Eric
    January 1, 1970
    Good read!
  • Mary Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Well written historical novel set in 1930s. Part of a series, but it works fine as a stand alone. Intrigue and relationships drive this novel with Saffron and Gerhard at the center.
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