Book 13 in the Courtney Series

In 1913 Leon Courtney, an ex-soldier turned professional hunter in British East Africa, guides rich and powerful men from America and Europe on big game safaris in the territories of the Masai tribe. Leon has developed a special relationship with the Masai.

Assegai Book Cover BUY NOW

From directly overhead he heard the loud flapping of heavy wings and another vulture rose from beyond the screen of banana plants. Leon felt the chill of dread. If the brutes are settling that means there's meat lying out there, dead meat.

King and Country. No matter the cost.

With the backing of his uncle, General Penrod Ballantyne, young Leon Courtney joins the King's Rifles of Nairobi. When he becomes discouraged by the dishonesty of army life, his uncle recruits him for a special mission – spying on the Germans in East Africa, whom the General suspects are preparing for the Kaiser's war. Posing as a professional game hunter Leon is tasked with gathering information on one of his clients, wealthy industrialist Otto Von Meerbach.

Leon finds himself falling for Von Meerbach's beautiful mistress, but never forgets that his real mission is to destroy the enemy. But how easy will he find his task when his true enemy is closer to home than Leon ever expected?

A Courtney Series adventure – Book 1 in the Assegai sequence


The unflagging career of Wilbur Smith is remarkable. Smith, 76, began publishing in the mid 1960’s. He is not only the only author from that era to endure: John le Carre, P D James, Ruth Rendell and Dick Francis are also stars still. But he, unlike them, remains popular in a genre – gung-ho adventure… Defying another trend, Smith’s hardback novel Assegai has, albeit at heavy discounting, outsold every novel in paperback.
The Times
Smith writes with passion and close observation about the sights and sounds of Africa…once you’ve started reading it you will certainly keep turning the pages,
The Daily Express
There is a reason Smith is a hugely popular writer of historical novels: his remarkable talent for re-creating historical periods and crafting characters we care about is virtually unmatched in the genre. Smith’s novels of the Courtney and Ballantyne families have been entertaining readers for nearly five decades, and if this novel is any indication, he is showing no signs of slowing down.
The American Library Association's Booklist magazine
Smith manages to serve up adventure, history and melodrama in one thrilling package that will be eagerly devoured by series fans.
Publishers Weekly
Wilbur Smith is an adept at thrilling and harrowing scenes, researches his facts, gets it all too horribly spot-on. Terribly competent...
The Sunday Times
A thundering good read is virtually the only way of describing Wilbur Smith`s books.
The Irish Times
Read a sample
Publication date ISBN Format RRP
05/01/2018 9781499861129 Paperback $16
See all books

Explore Books in This Series

The 'Courtney' novels trace the fortunes, and misfortunes, of this sprawling, ambitious family, from the dawn of the eighteenth century to the late twentieth century.