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Publisher's Summary

’François, how many men up at the face?' 'Cave-in.' François's voice was now hysterically shrill. 'Cave-in.' He broke Sean's grip and raced away towards the lift station, the mud flying from his gumboots. His terror infected Sean and he ran a dozen paces after François before he stopped himself. For precious seconds he wavered with fear slithering round like a reptile in his stomach; go back to call the others and perhaps die with them or follow François and live.
Into the wilds of Natal in the 1870s are born Sean and Garrick Courtney, the twin brothers who could not be more different. Fate, war and the jealous schemes of a woman are to drive them even further apart. But as history unfolds a continent is awakening. And on its horizon is the promise of fortune, adventure, destiny and love.
©1964 Wilbur Smith (P)2013 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd
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Critic Reviews

“Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared” (The Times)
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Customer Reviews

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By James on 09-11-14

A definite classic

When the Lion Feeds is a definite classic. Wilbur Smith's first published novel and still one of his best. It tells the story of Sean Courtenay from late childhood with his twin brother Garry, to his making it rich on the Witwatersrand and then losing it all, to his hunting elephants for ivory and getting rich again, to his marriage and birth of his son Dirk and his return to Witwatersrand and the tragic conclusion to a great novel. John Lee delivers a brilliant performance which enhances the already brilliant story. A great read and listen for Wilbur Smith fans. I hope more of Wilbur Smith's novels become available on Audible in the near future.

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Customer Reviews

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By N. Harrison on 03-10-15

Absolutely brilliant

If you could sum up When the Lion Feeds in three words, what would they be?

Amazing, Gripping, emotional

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sean: You see him develop from a mischievious boy into a noble man. You get pulled into his hardship and really drawn into his character.

What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

I thought his accents were great. He really portraid the characters Sean and Duff

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I had a very emotional attachment to the book an characters. Growing up in South Africa and visiting my Grandad's farm, this book really hit home.

Sean and Duff make a great pair and was good to listen about their solid friendship. The banter between them made me laugh on a few occasions. However, Sean's life is not an easy one and the book gets extremely sad at times.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By K. Donaldson on 11-07-13

Brilliant!

Where does When the Lion Feeds rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top third

Any additional comments?

I started with 'Those in Peril' by Wilbur Smith and enjoyed it so much I searched for other Wilbur Smith unabridged titles to try. When Lions Feed and Sound of Thunder are a joined story about Sean Courtney. These were every bit as good - akin to the detailed and eventful stories of Ken Follet. It does help if you have visited or lived in South Africa, but I was very impressed!

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By David on 03-30-17

amazing book.

One of the best I have ever read.
Gives a grest feel fr the land and its people.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Hugh on 05-08-16

Still as good as it was in the beginning

I was first introduced to Wilbur Smith as an author in the early 1970's. I read When the Lion Feeds almost 50 years ago. I loved it then and nothing has changed. The narrator John Lee has added character to the story by using his ability with the South African accent. It was fantastic to re-acquainted with this first wonderful effort by my favourite author. Highly recommended!

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