I really do love epic adventure stories. They are the ultimate form of escapism and Wilbur Smith is the greatest portrayer of that escapist atmosphere. The story revolves around the Courtney family and this is the first in a series of sequels and prequels. Set in Southern Africa Smith manages to kneed in an accurate factual basis for this tale as he has done in his books since. The atmosphere really transports you back to what it was like at the dawn of the 19th century. There is no doubt that Smith is a master storyteller and he develops his characters and settings with equal pace and skill and you end up reading the book fairly quickly and feel an apprehensive need to search out the next in the series to find out what becomes of the Courtneys. Give it a go - beats going to these huge, effects-laden cinema extravaganzas which cost the same as the book and i can guarantee that it will change your outlook on adventure writing.