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A Falcon Flies


LauraLou
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This is the story about a brother and sister (Zouga and Robyn) who travel to Africa in the 1860s to look for their missing missionary father. The sister is a doctor and wants to gather information about the slave trade and the son is an army officer interested in finding gold and shooting things.

 

It’s a very good book, exciting and informative and also a good length. It’s nice to have a book that’s on such an interesting subject not over in 200 pages. I’ve currently awaiting the next in the series to arrive but I notice it’s about Zouga, so I hope the whole book isn’t just going to be descriptions of the slaughter of animals. Now for my mini-rants. Seriously this book has made me hate people, slavers, the African Kings willing to sell their people into slavery or slaughter whole villages because of one person and the men who just want to shoot everything.

 

That’s my first mini rant too much animals slaughter! I know it’s realistic but for crying out loud leave the elephants alone! Good on that one for trampling Matthew. What do these hunters expect anyway (the people today) they make money from ivory but if they just keep killing the elephants at ridiculous rates they’ll do themselves out of a trade anyway. How can you describe something as magnificent and then kill it?

 

I felt Robyn Ballantyne’s morals were very questionable. She doesn’t deserve Clinton, she’s only going for him because Mungo’s married. Seriously what does she see in Mungo?! She finds out he’s a slaver and then sleeps with him, gets pregnant and then planes to foist the baby onto Clinton, so she sets about flirting with him, is pleased to have a miscarriage and then tells him she’s not interested. This is the woman who we keep getting told by the author is unendingly compassionate. Then there’s the end, I thought she was being melodramatic when she wrote the letter saying she was being “forced” onto the ship to treat the slaves. No, it’s you that decided to stay and then keep jumping into bed with Mungo St John. Even after everything he does to her she still feels the need to apologise when his ship is destroyed. Finally the worst is at the end when Clinton, the man who saved her life and all the slaves, tells her his court martial is coming up and instead she cries that Mungo is sailing out of her life! If Clinton knew the real Robyn he’d run a mile and rightly so, what a user. I didn’t completely hate her and I know the author didn’t want to present her as perfect or with simple emotions, but still…

 

Sorry I'm just finishing the book so my thoughts about it are all fresh and intense lol! It had to come out.

 

He should just write a book about Clinton because he rocks :D and is probably actually the most moral character.

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Wilbur SMith is one of my favourite authors. I've read mosts of his books more than a few times and this one is due to be read again later this year. I'm not sure that I agree with your criticisms of the hunting as I have always thought that Mr Smith describes the hunt very well. But as he points out if you don't get it you won't feel it.

Don't worry about the next book being about Zouga. It is more about his sons and is even better than this one.

He should just write a book about Clinton because he rocks :D and is probably actually the most moral character.
That's not going to happen. This series was written in the 1980s and he has moved on since then.
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Yeah I know, I still would have liked to see more Clinton. :(

 

I look forward to the next book and I've also bought "Birds of Prey".

 

I don't think the way he wrote the hunting scenes was bad but I just rooted for the elephants and not the hunters. I just don't like reading detailed descriptions about animals being slaughtered especially animals that are being hunted senselessly to extinction.

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Birds of Prey is a very good book.

If I can offer some advice I suggest reading the following books an seeing as you have started with A Falcon Flies, try them in the following order:

 

A Falcon Flies

Men Of Men

The Angels Weep

The Leopard Hunts In Darkness

When The Lion Feeds

The Sound of Thunder

A Sparrow Falls

The Burning SHore

Power of the Sword

Rage

A Time to Die

Golden Fox

Birds of Prey

Monsoon

Blue Horizon

The Triumph of the Sun

Assegai

 

And then you can explore his other books...

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You could do Birds of Prey earlier.

 

How about this order?

 

A Falcon Flies

Men Of Men

The Angels Weep

The Leopard Hunts In Darkness

 

Birds of Prey

Monsoon

Blue Horizon

When The Lion Feeds

The Sound of Thunder

A Sparrow Falls

The Burning Shore

Power of the Sword

Rage

A Time to Die

Golden Fox

 

The Triumph of the Sun

Assegai

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  • 2 months later...

I have just finished reading the four Ballantyne books.

A Falcon Flies *****

Men of Men ****

The Angel's Weep ****

The Leopard Hunts in Darkness *****

 

Men of Men continues the story of Zouga and Robyn and their children. Initally sett in the diamond rush of Kimberly the story moves to the land of the Matabele in what will be known as Rhodesia.

 

The first half of The Angel's Weep follows immediately after Men of Men. But the second half moves the action to the Rhodesian civil war of the late 1970s. The main characters in this later story are direct descendents of the characters in the earlier stories.

 

The Leopard Hunts in Darkness takes place shortly after Zimbabwean independence.

 

All four books are cracking adventures. I've lost count of the number of times I have read them but they are still as good as the first time.

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