The New York Times bestselling author and one of the greatest adventure writers of our time returns with a pulse-pounding tale of danger, courage, and suspense.Tom Courtney and his brother Dorian battled both vicious enemies and nature itself on the high seas, finally reaching the Cape of Good Hope to start life afresh. Now, half a generation later, they are successful and contented: merchants and family men, prospering on the very edge of an immense and beautiful continent, Africa. In the tradition of Wilbur Smith's earlier bestseller, Monsoon, this spellbinding new novel introduces the next generation of Courtneys. They are out to stake their claim in Southern Africa, traveling along the infamous "Robbers' Road."
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Thomas Dunne Books
June 03, 2003
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Excerpt from Blue Horizon by Wilbur Smith
The three stood at the very edge of the sea and watched the moon laying a pathway of shimmering iridescence across the dark waters.
'Full of the moon in two days,' Jim Courtney said confidently. 'The big reds will be hungry as lions.' A wave came sliding up the beach and foamed around his ankles.
'Let's get her launched, instead of standing here jabbering,' his cousin, Mansur Courtney, suggested. His hair shone like newly minted copper in the moonlight, his smile sparkling as brightly. Lightly he elbowed the black youth who stood beside him, wearing only a white loincloth. 'Come on, Zama.' They bent to it together. The small craft slid forward reluctantly, and they heaved again, but this time it stuck fast in the wet sand.
'Wait for the next big one,' Jim ordered, and they gathered themselves. 'Here it comes!' The swell humped up far out, then raced towards them, gathering height. It burst white on the break-line, then creamed in, throwing the bows of the skiff high and making them stagger with its power -- they had to cling to the gunwale with the water swirling waist high around them.
'Together now!' Jim yelled, and they threw their combined weight on the boat. 'Run with her!' She came unstuck and rode free, and they used the backwash of the wave to take her out until they were shoulder deep. 'Get on the oars!' Jim spluttered as the next wave broke over his head. They reached up, grabbed the side of the skiff and hauled themselves on board, the seawater running off them. Laughing with excitement, they seized the long oars that were lying ready and thrust them between the thole pins.
'Heave away!' The oars bit, swung and came clear, dripping with silver in the moonlight, leaving tiny luminous whirlpools on the surface. The skiff danced clear of the turbulent break-line, and they fell into the easy rhythm of long practice.
'Which way ' Mansur asked. Both he and Zama looked naturally to Jim for the decision: Jim was always the leader.
'The Cauldron!' Jim said, with finality. 'I thought so.' Mansur laughed. 'You still got a grudge against Big Julie.' Zama spat over the side without missing the stroke.
'Have a care, Somoya. Big Julie still has a grudge against you.' Zama spoke in Lozi, his native tongue. 'Somoya' meant 'wild wind'. It was the name that Jim had been given in childhood for his temper.