Felt a Bit Lost

filled star filled star star unfilled star unfilled star unfilled
seacountry Avatar


I didn't know about Wilbur Smith's centuries-spanning Courtney family series until I encountered this novel. Ghost Fire is a prequel of sorts. Its sweep is epic, taking characters from India to Europe to North America. In mid-1700s India, Constance and Theo Courtney live a comfortable life as the teenage children of an expatriate merchant family. Their parents want nothing more than for them to have a secure future. However, nothing is secure in that time and place, and the parents die very early in the book, leaving Constance and Theo to fend for themselves. Constance and Theo separate, then fall together again.

I think if I had been more familiar with the Courtney series, I might have understood the novel better. I felt as if there were things I was missing. I also was not fond of the sexism in the novel. Of course, the 1700s was not a feminist era, but Smith and his co-writer Tom Harper could have portrayed women with more respect, especially Constance. Constance is portrayed as using her beauty and sexuality, but hints of courage and curiosity are downplayed. Those are reserved for men in their world.

If you like historical battle scenes and a swashbuckling, good ol' boy's adventure, you'll enjoy Ghost Fire. I'll leave you to it.

Thanks to BookishFirst for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.