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Courtney's War

Narrated by: Sean Barrett
Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (353 ratings)
Regular price: £22.99
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Summary

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 listener to the very heart of a world at war.

©2018 Wilbur Smith (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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My First Wilbur Smith . . . Not my last!

I'd never tried Wilbur Smith before, an amazingly prolific author still going strong in his dotage, albeit ably supported these days by David Churchill. Courtney's War is actually the umpteenth book in Smith's series about the Courtney family apparently but it works perfectly as a stand-alone.


In many ways it's a traditional World War 2 thriller but as the lead is a female spy it perhaps sheds some of the traditional imagery. It works on its own because Saffron Courtney is a brand new character, a tough, sassy lady who becomes a secret operative.

The story is epic in scope spanning the entire length second world war though being character driven it never feels overdone. It touches on some of the real evils and horrors of the second world war, in particular the concentration camps and the appalling "Final Solution". I learned a couple of things about this that I had never heard of before.


The romantic angle does play a fairly large part on top of the suspense, horror and action. I don't think that Smith will be branching out into romantic fiction any time soon but he does it as well as most thriller writers. The story does take its time in places but it gives lots of good depth and historical background making it very satisfying listening.

29 of 29 people found this review helpful

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My review .

Wanted to listen to second part of story but found it quite harrowing for me.Compelling but can't say I enjoyed it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great Book with caveats

A really good ripping yarn. Well narrated. The story has many twists and turns and I am sure there will be a follow on - too many loose ends.

It moves through many scenarios and there are 3 Main threads to the story which comes to a predictable but satisfying end.

This book is a follow on from War Cry.

War Cry was slow plodding and a lead on to the main dish on the menu - Courtney’s war! You HAVE to read War cry to really get this book and its context.

No doubt in my mind that both books could have been in the one novel. you have to question why Wilbur would make his loyal listeners pay for 2 books.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Brill

Great new book the best keep it up.

Many more to follow I hope.

Look forward to the next one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

I have read many books regarding the first and second world wars. This one takes the biiscuit. .more than excellent from the beginning to the very acceptable end. Thank you for a lifetime of books

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Gripping

Was looking forward to this after the last book. Strong characters, in-depth story, as always intertwined with real history as it’s setting. No spoilers but the descriptions of real events in which the story is set are vivid, unsettling etc. The adventure is, as always, non-stop and keeps moving in the un-put-downable style that I’ve always enjoyed in most of Wilbur Smith’s books - just one more chapter every time you listen. This is an excellent addition to the Courtney saga. Look forward to the next.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Story Line unlike most other Wilbur Smith books

If you are expecting a typical Wilbur Smith book - this isn't one. As with the previous collaborations you can feel the change in style and content.

Of course being set during the 2nd World War, from all sides within the German/Russian/Allied experiences, is always going to be an intense read. The experiences of one of the characters within the concentration camps is very well written from the political prisoner perspective. The main character, Saffron Courtney, is portrayed very well and isn't a "wonder woman" type superhero despite the harsh training described.

A good read. Extremely well narrated by Sean Barrett.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Another masterpiece from the master!

Great story spanning war torn Europe with a new Courtney heroine. Narration is first class.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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WW2 drama


My first Wilbur Smith, apologies to his fans but I thought his target audience was older men.
That said I read the summary and thought I would give it ago and was greatly surprised, I will return to this author.

I understand that this is part of a series involving the Courtney family over many years. However this book could be read/listened to as a stand alone.

Set in WW2 Europe, it covered the latter years of the war and the female heroine Saffron Courtney and her beau Gerhard von Meerbach The characters were rounded and believable and it seemed well researched. So it delivered an accurate take of love, espionage, courage and hope.

As always well narrated by Sean Barrett.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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stunning

Wilbur Smith at his awesome best. .Stunning novel which had me gripped from the 1st page till the last

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JDD
  • 09-03-19

great series and absolutely great volume

Perhaps my favorite war story of all time. Those with anti-sematic thoughts should read this story. Heart breaking and passionate with beautiful visions of Africa and Europe. Truly a masterpiece in my eyes.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Iain Stevenson
  • 03-01-19

One of Wilbur’s best

A masterpiece..... a gripping storyline interwoven into historical fact. Once started I couldn’t stop listening

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  • Richard
  • 25-10-18

Rollicking good fun, not the most original, but you won’t mind

Rollicking good fun, not the most original story line, but you won’t mind. A decent espionage story, set in WWII.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda Forrestel
  • 19-10-18

Great story

Couldn't wait to get in the car so I could listen to this book. Great story with lits of history.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel Manget
  • 24-09-18

I've never been so sad to end a book

Wilbur Smith is a god among men. His books only get better and better. The way he weaves his riveting stories in with historical events is unrivaled.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • PrimeSuspect
  • 22-09-18

A good history lesson, but...

This was more of a history lesson of the rigorous hardships of WWII. Very little of Smith's normal adventure or Courtney flair. Not a bad read, but it left me feeling like I had attended a lecture. None of the cruelty of the fictional characters was avenged, which is a large part of what makes Smith's novels so satisfying to me. It ended abruptly, unabashedly aimed at selling the next book, which is a shame.

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  • Chief Enthusiast
  • 18-09-18

Such a great book

Love Wilber Smith Books and this rose to the occasion.
The narrator was very diverse w/ character voices, it was easy and exiting to listen to.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 16-09-18

A great story ruined by a poor performance

Really enjoyed the book, could not bear the performance. Would not buy another book featuring this narrator.

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  • gregory dail
  • 09-09-18

Wilbur Smith's best in twenty years!!!

A fine tale of the Courtney's, exciting, touching, heart wrenching with a tinge of romance. Can't wait for the next installment.