Wilbur Addison Smith was born on 9th January 1933 in Ndola, Northern Rhodesia, and died on 13th November 2021 at 88 years of age in Cape Town, South Africa. During his lifetime he was considered a great Novelist and published over 49 books and sold millions of copies worldwide.
Readers adored his writing style and took great interest in his series due to its beautiful and historically correct resemblance to the African lands and Ancient Egypt.
There are very few books that portray such authentic details about wild hunting and mining in mere words, but Wilbur Smith did have a knack for it. In this article, you will find every Novel by Wilbur Smith in reading order. So sit back and find the best series or stand-alone novels that pique your curiosity.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the list of novels;
This series is about the origin of the Courtney family in the 1660s, with a rich history between the gripping and intense drama between the characters of this family.
This series brings out the vastness of characters, stories, and themes along with exploring exotic lands in South Africa and its richness.
The Courtney series is split into three parts, including, the original trilogy which follows the twins, namely, Sean and Garrick Courtney from the 1860s-1925, whereas the second part consists of 5 books that follow Centaine de Thiry Courtney, her sons, and her grandchildren from 1917-1987.
Finally, the third part focuses on the successive generations of the family and follows it from 1660s-1939, along with 2 books of the third series and 3 additional Courtney books.
Here are the books in chronological/reading order from the Courtney series:
- Birds of Prey
- Golden Lion
- The Tiger’s Prey
- Blue Horizon
- Ghost Fire
- Storm Tide
- When the Lion Feeds
- The Triumph of the Sun
- The Road of Thunder/The Sound of Thunder
- The Burning Shore
- War Cry
- The Sparrow Falls
- Power of the Sword
- Courtney’s War
- Legacy of War
- Golden Fox
- A Time to Die
Jack Courtney Series
This series has intriguing characters and exotic locations and is a treat for people who relish the thrill, adventure, and adrenaline rush that comes with words.
Wilbur Smith intended this series to educate young readers about humanity’s dangers, including climate change. In this series, Jack, the protagonist, is a descendant of the Courtney family and is portrayed with adventure and wildlife in Africa.
It tracks the adventures of a fourteen-year-old boy, Jack Courtney, through the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the beaches of Zanzibar, protecting his friends, family, and the entire planet from the dangers of humanity, with an abundance of robbers, poachers, and dangerous animaHaving in his path.
Here are the books in chronological/reading order from the Jack Courtney series:
The Ballantyne series follows the lives of the Ballantyne family from the 1860s to the 1980s and the history of Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe. Unlike the Courtney series which dealt with the theme of position, money, and struggle, the Ballantyne series revolves around the themes of Patriotism, fame, and greatness. This series also has intense characters, a good plot, and beautiful locations.
Here are the books in chronological/reading order from the Ballantyne series:
- Call of the Raven
- A Falcon of Flies
- Men of Men
- The Triumph of the Sun
- King of Kings
- The Angels Weep
- The Leopard Hunts in Darkness
The Courtney Meets the Ballantynes – An Epic Crossover
Similar to the Courtney series, the Ballantyne series also caught several readers’ eye, however, the Ballantyne series depicts the themes of patriotism, glory, and popularity, whereas, the Courtney series depicts the themes of power, money, and struggle.
Both having a similar storyline and location and also being written by the same author, it was only fitting to have an epic crossover where both families meet during the Anglo-Sudan war. This series consists of 2 books and gives insight into the Anglo-Sudan War and the exciting events during the famous Siege of Khartoum in detail.
Here are the books in chronological/reading order from The Courtney Meets the Ballantynes – An Epic Crossover:
- The Triumph of the Sun
- King of Kings
Ancient Egypt Series
The Ancient Egypt series sheds light on the life of ancient Egyptians, their qualms, their life along the river Nile and more. It skillfully combines fiction and reality, with stories of history as accurate as time, and highlights the extraordinary level of imagination and the mastery of words of Wilbur Smith.
This series includes 8 books that will take you back to Ancient Egyptian times, dwelling on their way of life, society, innovations, and much more. This series is said to have been quite addicting to readers due to its plot and the writing style of Wilbur Smith.
Here are the books in chronological/reading order from the Ancient Egypt Series:
- River God
- The Seventh Scroll
- The Quest
- Desert God
- The New Kingdom
- Titans of War
Hector Cross Series
The Hector Cross series brings out a different style of writing by Wilbur Smith, compared to his other series which were about complex characters, beautiful lands, and locations in Africa, this one brings us the story of Hector Cross, a strong and determined protagonist in a fast-paced action thriller story.
Although there were mixed reviews on this book because this genre may not seem to come naturally to Wilbur Smith, and may feel different to read compared to his other novels, however, in my opinion, it remains a great piece of work.
Here are the books in chronological/reading order from the Hector Cross Series:
- Those in Peril
- Vicious Circle
Standalone Books by Wilbur Smith
Last but not least, here are some of the standalone books by Wilbur Smith:
- The Dark of the Sun/ The Train from
- Shout at the Devil
- Gold Mine
- The Diamond Hunters
- The Sunbird
- The Eye of the Tiger
- Cry Wolf
- Hungry as the Sea
- Wild Justice
- Eagle in the Sky
- Elephant Song
- New Kingdom
So that was all the books by Wilbur Smith, some deemed to be better than others. Regardless, Mr. Smith was considered a great novelist because of his imagination, innovation, true to detail, historical significance, and a special touch of mixing fiction and non-fiction plot in his writings.
By the end of this article, you must have an idea about which of the series or standalone books you’d like to start reading, and everything in the list is put into the reading order, so you don’t get mixed up on the stories. Happy reading!
Written by Sagar