Birds Of Prey – Wilbur Smith


Publication date: 1997

Hardcover with dust jacket.

Book Condition:

In stock


Birds Of Prey – Wilbur Smith

Birds of Prey is a 1977 adventure novel by Wilbur Smith. It is the first book in the Courtney series, and follows the adventures of Sir Francis Courtney, a British sailor who is shipwrecked on the coast of South Africa in the early 1800s.

Courtney is rescued by a group of Khoikhoi people, and he learns about their culture and traditions. He also falls in love with a Khoikhoi woman named Mbegu.

Courtney eventually decides to leave the Khoikhoi people and return to England. However, he is captured by a group of Dutch slavers. Courtney is taken to Cape Town, where he is sold as a slave.

Courtney manages to escape from slavery, and he joins a group of pirates who are attacking the Dutch East India Company’s ships. Courtney becomes a successful pirate, and he amasses a large fortune.

Courtney eventually returns to South Africa, where he buys a farm and starts a family with Mbegu. However, Courtney’s past as a pirate catches up with him, and he is forced to defend his family from the Dutch East India Company.

Birds of Prey is a thrilling adventure novel that is full of action, suspense, and romance. It is a story about courage, determination, and the power of love.


The novel explores a number of themes, including:

  • Courage
  • Determination
  • The power of love
  • The dangers of slavery
  • The importance of fighting for freedom


  • Sir Francis Courtney: A British sailor who is shipwrecked on the coast of South Africa in the early 1800s.
  • Mbegu: A Khoikhoi woman who rescues Courtney and falls in love with him.
  • Captain Van der Velden: A Dutch slaver who captures Courtney.
  • Admiral Pieter de Jong: The governor of Cape Town and the commander of the Dutch East India Company’s forces in South Africa.

Critical reception

Birds of Prey was a critical and commercial success upon its publication. It was praised for its fast-paced plot, its well-developed characters, and its exciting action sequences. The novel has been translated into over 20 languages and has sold over 2 million copies.

Birds of Prey is a must-read for fans of adventure novels. It is a thrilling and exciting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.


  • adventure
  • historical fiction
  • pirates
  • slavery
  • freedom
  • courage
  • determination
  • love
  • fast-paced
  • well-developed characters
  • exciting action sequences
  • best-selling