Read the sunbird by Wilbur Smith Online


Dr. Ben Kazin is a brilliant archeologist. Louren Sturvesant is rich, impulsive, and physically imposing, everything Ben is not. Now, the two men--friends, competitors and partner--are searching for the legendary lost city of Opet, built by an Egyptian culture that reached Africa two thousand years ago, then vanished completely.For Ben, the expedition is a chance to proveDr. Ben Kazin is a brilliant archeologist. Louren Sturvesant is rich, impulsive, and physically imposing, everything Ben is not. Now, the two men--friends, competitors and partner--are searching for the legendary lost city of Opet, built by an Egyptian culture that reached Africa two thousand years ago, then vanished completely.For Ben, the expedition is a chance to prove a controversial thesis. For Louren, it is a chance to spend milions--and make it all back in gold and glory. But what awaits them is an astounding discovery, a seige of terror, and an act of betrayal that will tear the two men apart and bind them together forever...Hidden beneath water, jungle, and blood-red cliffs is a lost world where two men and a beautiful woman were caught in a furious battle of passions two thousands years ago, but which has begun once again.... ...

Title : the sunbird
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 6607602
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 628 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the sunbird Reviews

  • Carl Timms
    2019-03-12 07:48

    The first half is an interesting archeological boy's own romp and on its own would have been a 3/5. However it's the second half that raises this book to greatness. Ben Huy-Amon is a fantastic creation and the secret history of an empire that unfolds is do vivid detailed and ultimately heart-breaking that it made this book a classic in my eyes. It's themes mirror real life: the invasion of the White man and enslavement of the African indigenous tribes, but the twist in the tail and revenge that follows is devastating, exciting and brutal, culminating in one of the greatest and ultimately doomed final stands I've ever read. More than anything this is a story about the fragility of history; of heroes and villains, love jealousy and fear, of empires rising and falling and battles fought and how easily they can all be swept away by the sands of time to be remembered by no-one. Makes me wonder what other secrets our Earth holds and sad that we may never know.

  • Mark Steven Thompson
    2019-03-15 07:55

    Easily one of the best books I have ever read. Smith weaves a masterful tale of love, betrayal and adventure in this stand alone novel. This was the second of his books I tried after River God. I admit I was apprehensive, believing that nothing could surpass that amazing book but, while I wouldn't say this is better, I would say its on par. Oh, I'll also add that I have read this book three times. I don't normally go back and re-read so let that tell you something if nothing else does.One of the elements of writing I feel Smith excels in and gets so right is in characterisation, particularly in terms of his characters motivations and feelings. He really grasps that 'human' element so that you as a reader can think 'yeah, I get how that feels. I've been there.' This is very hard to do and he does it so well in the simplest of language to make it look effortless. The whole book is a masterclass in adventure writing and historical fiction that anyone interested in these genres should be aware of.

  • Kerry
    2019-03-15 06:51

    Had I stopped at Part 1 I probably would have rated this one star. The story in Part 2 was much more compelling to me, and the characters and their motivations were much more interesting...I enjoyed understanding how what was found by the archaeologists in Part 1 came to be. I did not enjoy the prolonged hunting scenes and love scenes. Just a lot of overwrought bad writing there (and I don't enjoy hunting...:) ). Everything in Part 1 made sense in light of Part 2 except the actions of the Sally (Tanith) character. Sally's behavior did not seem consistent to me as the behavior of the other characters were consistent with their Part 2 counterparts. This book also clearly shows its age (written in the 70's) and the sexism and racism, which were probably accepted at that time, stood out like a sore thumb to me. Overall, I enjoyed the end and resolution, it just took too long to build it up and arrive.

  • Penny
    2019-03-16 08:45

    A hazy aerial photograph and a sinister curse – known only to the Africans – and Dr Benjamin Kazin stumbles on the archaeological discovery of a lifetime...For nearly two thousand years, a brilliant and unknown ancient civilisation has remained buried in southern Africa. Now at last the red cliffs ofBotswana seem about to yield their secret.Under the lavish patronage of his old friend and mentor Lauren Sturvesant, head of one of the richest companies in the world, Ben and his green-eyed assistant Sally grope towards the mystery of the lost people.Magnificent cave paintings and the Bushmen's legendary City of the Moon are the unexpected clues to the first discoveries that point to the existence of an ancient city, violently destroyed centuries ago.But the magic of uncovering a lost culture is interrupted by dramas of a different kind: hunting scenes, romance, and the violence of African terrorists. And all are skilfully echoed in the splendour of the ancient world, as in a breathtaking sweep through time, the reader is transported back to the last days of the magnificent city itself.Combining adventure, suspense and a wealth of historical detail, The Sunbird is a brilliant imaginative feat.I loved this book I love the atmosphere that wilbur smith creates in his books and this was no exseption would read again does have a few swear words and sex scenes

  • Crowei
    2019-02-21 14:42

    Although it starts off rather slow, there are enough hints along the way that tease you to follow along and if you do you're in for a great read. First off, the character death in part one was most unexpected. At that point I thought of giving up on the book entirely. Wilbur Smith weaves a tale of life and love and betrayal that takes you along on a journey back in time. The part II was such a gripping tale too every bit as entertaining as the first. Some elements of the books i could not come to terms with but that's a personal thing and actually the detailed description is a credit to the writer, but some of the scenes of war and animal hunting just tug on my heartstrings too much.

  • Tara
    2019-02-21 06:48

    Not my favorite Wilbur (Monsoon) but still plenty of action, adventure, and faraway places. I'd very likely have given it a full five if Wretched Sally had died some sort of spectacular African death.

  • Graham
    2019-03-11 08:58

    I've been reading Wilbur Smith's novels in chronological order, and I've now reached the mid 1970s. THE SUNBIRD marks the author's first attempt to do something different: this is actually two novels in one, linked via parallel themes and characters.The first part of the book sees the author in familiar territory: his hero is a hunchbacked archaeologist and the story is his search for a lost Phoenician kingdom in the deserts of southern Africa. This part of the book is superb: it makes archaeology sexy in the years before the debut of Indiana Jones, and it features all the love, death, murder, astonishing twists and evocative landscapes that Smith's books are noted for.The second part of the book is something new for the author: an account of an ancient kingdom, headed by two heroes, and what eventually happened to their people. It starts off VERY slow indeed, with lots of time devoted to unnecessary animal slaughter. Then it introduces a slave character, Timon, and it suddenly gets AMAZING. Smith depicts the downfall of an entire civilisation and it doesn't get more epic, or exciting, than this. Come the end, I was completely hooked by the unfolding events.Aside from a few minor flaws here and there, THE SUNBIRD marks another high for the author. My only real complaint is that there's actually enough material for two separate novels rather than attempting two-in-one as Smith's done here. As a result, some aspects of the plot - such as the terrorists - feel hastily written and unfinished. As is always the case with this author, I'm left wanting more.

  • Antonio Rosato
    2019-03-14 06:51

    Eccezion fatta per la saga egiziana di Taita, è la prima volta che leggo un qualche libro di Wilbur Smith e devo ammettere che questo è davvero fantastico e letteralmente diviso in due parti… e il bello e che ciascuna di esse, pur essendo metà lavoro, è intrecciata con l’altra ma può essere letta indipendentemente. Tanto per farvi capire un po’, nella prima parte (faccio un riepilogo veloce in modo da non rovinarvi la lettura ed il finale) un famoso archeologo nano e storpio parte, nonostante il parere contrario del mondo accademico, alla ricerca di una misteriosa civiltà fondata nel cuore dell’Africa dai fenici. Ma, soprattutto, dovrà rispondere ad un mistero: perché questa civiltà, sempre se esiste, è caduta nell’oblio della storia? Nella seconda parte del romanzo, invece, rivivremo (duemila anni prima dei fatti narrati nella prima parte) le vicissitudini del sacerdote Huy ben-Amon. Con la trama mi fermo qui per non anticiparvi niente del legame che intercorre tra i due protagonisti… anche se è facilmente intuibile! Quello che è mi ha affascinato di questa lettura è, oltre all’innovativa idea di dividerlo in due, la bellissima (e a tratti davvero cinematografica) descrizione dell’Africa e dei suoi popoli, boscimani in primis. Esistono pochi autori che, partendo da uno spunto o da un semplice concetto, riescono a fare miracoli… Wilbur Smith è uno di loro e non a caso è il mio autore preferito. []

  • David Campton
    2019-02-18 08:40

    This seems like a dry run for what Smith later did with the Egyptian historical novel "River God" and the contemporary African archaeological thriller "The Seventh Scroll", but the unexplored conceit of two stories in the same place (with a similar dramatis personnae) separated by 1800 years is clumsy to say the least. It's not helped by the fact that I found all the key characters to be highly unappealing, casual sexism and racism pervades the book (which may have fitted the historical context of the first part... but that is one of the reasons I rarely read Smith's African novels), and the description of Punic military tactics is inaccurate (sorry but I am an ancient military history geek). I know that others have rated this highly, but it just goes to prove that we are all different.

  • Heather T
    2019-02-17 12:50

    For book number 400 I had to make it a Wilbur. It's told from two different perspectives - from the point of view of those who once lived at the ancient site and those who discovered the site centuries later. I think I was more interested in Part II of the book than in the beginning. Although, there were moments in the beginning I loved. It's a typical Wilbur book, but it's set up more like The Angels Weep with the time difference between the two sections. BTW...the end and Sally! Grrrr.... That's all I'm going to say.

  • Clive Ousley
    2019-03-13 11:52

    This was the second Wilbur Smith novel I read and still in my view his best. The two parallel stories thousands of year’s apart work perfectly. The characters are so well drawn you live with them well after finishing the novel. Dr. Ben Kazin was for the time this book was written such an unusual and striking character you willed him on for success in love and as an archaeologist, the same goes for his parallel character Huy in the second half of the novel.With rereading I’ve worn out my hardcopy over the years and will just have to get the Kindle edition to stop wear and tear.

  • Kelly
    2019-03-11 07:35

    You're right, Emily, the cover on the version of this book you lent me is totally has nothing to do with the book...but, it was a great book. I was totally stumped halfway through when Ben and Louren got to the vault and the twist the book took was totally unexpected - so interesting! Thanks!

  • Giampaolo Frello
    2019-03-18 07:55

    My favorite novel by Wilbur Smith, quite different than the usual ones, maybe that's why.

  • Adam Mueller
    2019-03-07 12:59

    Read almost every Wilbur Smith book and this one is my favorite, after monsoon and birds of prey and the Egypt series and ......

  • Karen
    2019-02-26 13:49

    The first half was 5 stars the second half failed IMHO miserably!! 1 star

  • Harsh Gopal
    2019-03-13 09:40

    There are very few books that leave me wanting to quit midway, to scream and amazed and also push me into the depth of depression because its over. The Sunbird, suggested by my best friend years ago, is one of those very few books! I have no idea why it remained lost on my shelf for so long.The first half is an interesting story of the archaeological discovery made in Africa. An ancient city. All the drama and the adventure involved till the ancient, once prosperous city is unearthed. We are left to wonder about the city amidst all the commotion happening between the characters. If this were standalone, I would rate it 3.5/5. Interesting read and kept me going through, though there were times when I just wanted to get done with it. I had also thought of getting onto another book. Yeah!Then the Part-2 begins. I still am convinced to quit reading the book. I did take a break from the book for over 3 days. It seemed to move at a pace that was beyond me. I took the book today and slowly then all of a sudden the whole story blew me away. I finally ended up completing the remaining 350 pages in a day. The second part of the book narrates the lives and times of the now destroyed kingdom of Opet. The whole historical depictions and characters are beautifully brought into life by Wilbur Smith. The detailings are perfect. I would be lying if I were to say I didn't feel all the emotions the author had intended to. There's nothing much one can say about this book. It has to be read and experienced. In the end, it left me wanting for more.I'm glad I stuck and didn't quit(life lesson). I would've missed a gem otherwise. This was my first Wilbur Smith and definitely not the last. Also not my last reading of this book.

  • Mina
    2019-02-22 09:57

    I absolutely loved this book first of all because it dealt with the idea of reincarnation which is a concept I find very thought provoking and history/archaeology always interesting themes for a story. The novel I think, deviates tremendously in some ways from other themes of this author in his other books, however an engaging writing style that kept me captivated from beginning to end. I think readers familiar with other books by this writer will be pleasantly surprised with this one.

  • Matt Kelland
    2019-03-05 06:48

    Loved it. I used to read a lot of Wilbur Smith in my teens, and I thought I knew all his early work, so finding this - which was apparently one of his favorites - was a complete surprise. The influence of Rider Haggard is clear, and it showcases his ability to write modern adventures as well as historical ones.

  • Gerard Gallagher
    2019-02-28 13:59

    Careful with that Axe ,Eugene....An Archaeological mystery adventure plays out in two very different time periods, in "present day" 1960's and in the ancient past of Africa ..Parallels exist between past and present..

  • Chris Page
    2019-03-12 07:55

    Set in Wilbur Smith's usual haunts of southern Africa and full of great detail this has characters mapping across two time periods but I felt it just didn't have me hooked as pretty much every other Wilbur Smith book I have read has done.

  • Meredith Morgan
    2019-03-13 11:33

    I think I have read this book 5 or more times now, and every time I fully enjoy it.

  • Reid Wayman
    2019-03-08 14:55

    The best of Wilbur Smith, I've read this 3 times over 40 years and will read it again.

  • Mark Slocum
    2019-02-23 14:54

    Interesting parallel tales of similar storylines eons apart.

  • Peter
    2019-02-22 09:58

    good read, highly recommend.

  • Mr. R.H.Peart
    2019-02-27 11:53

    Just finished.A fine read. Well plotted and written. I have this book in paperback, but like the kindle edition, will probably read again.

  • Izzy
    2019-03-07 13:42

    I really enjoyed how this was written, it was really cool! The past/presentness & the curse of repeating history...very interesting.

  • Rita Backe
    2019-03-17 09:54

    A little bit of this and that. Boring to begin with, the whole Benjamin / Sally / Louren / Hillary - tangle gets a bit longwinded. A bit more fun and up-beat when the time changes, and we're introduced to Huy, Tanit and Lannon instead. However, this is not as good as the Taita-books.

  • Sruthivijay
    2019-02-22 11:49

    This is the very first novel i read.It is a classic book which describes about love, friendship and much more.

  • Rick Brindle
    2019-02-16 08:37

    I've read this book many times, and surely will read it again. However, I have had to drop a star. It could be the world that's changed, or me, or both.So, the story starts in 1970's Southern Africa, present day at the time of writing, and covers the discovery of a lost civilisation of, you've guessed it, white settlers who whopped the natives for hundreds of years before disappearing. The second act takes the reader back in time to that civilisation, where the present day characters are super imposed on the ancient ones. Pretty clever, and pretty good.So why only four stars? Well, Wilbur Smith tends to write his characters the rough the Monaco prism. By that I mean they're all rich, beautiful, talented, super intelligent etc etc. Not exactly real world, but if that's what you want, OK. And I have to say, some of the character flaws, after this reading, made me like them a whole lot less.Louren Sturvesant, alpha male, rich, arrogant, goes round slapping the staff and slutting around on his wife with his best friend's girlfriend. But, that narrative says that's OK, because you can't judge him by the 'normal' rules, hmmm.Sally Benator, does the dirty on her boyfriend, with his best friend.Ben Kazin, puts up with all this cr*p, and still loves them both.OK, you can suspend your disbelief only so far.That aside, the are the usual political observations about southern Africa at that time are aired, and the reader is on common ground there. Throw into the mix Timothy Mageba, Ben's protege who turns traitor, and very overt themes of not trusting the natives, it might be OK to slap them around, but as long as the whites are in charge, it could be worse, right?The second part is simply amazing though, a meisterwerk of imaginative writing, creating a world of Carthaginan settlers in southern Africa, and Smith brings it to life amazingly. Again though, there is the less than subtle message if the whites outnumbered on all sides and having to fight for their existence in a hostile land. I would imagine this story was lapped up by the Rhodies at the time, a real rallying call and warning of what might happen if... And having said all that, they might say that Mr Smith (Wilbur, not Ian...but then again) might have had a point.Having said all of that, of course you might just want to forget the world outside and simply enjoy this book on a whole different level, that being it's a very well written, exciting, dramatic, tragic and uplifting story all in one.

  • Rav3n Owl
    2019-03-04 11:43

    This book took me 5 days to read. It's probably the longest a book has ever taken me and it was only 538 pages long. Although the book was imaginative, well-written and had me wanting for more, I just couldn't get into it. Around 100 pages in I managed to find things that hooked me, but then the descriptions of others left me wanting. This book has made me view society with a more cynical eye, however it also has reawakened the passion I have for archeology. It had a few typos and grammatical mistakes. Nothing so major as to draw you away from the plot, but you still noted them anyway.Most books are able to transport me into them so I view what is happening either from the narrators POV or as an outsider. This book however was like a half-hearted lover trying to coax me into his bed but not really caring if I went or not. It is a worthwhile read and the plot twists keep coming. Some you're able to spot from the beginning, others not so much. There were a few times when I was left exclaiming in awe as plots revealed themselves. There were also a few times when I was sucked into the story and my time reading was spent under the harsh African sun. My initial reaction to the book: not bad. Very intriguing - wondering what's going on. Already laughed a few times.Page 170-171: very interesting. Wonderful writing- gives insight into ancient and modern life in Africa. Definitely a good read. Educational. Plots I didn't see coming. Anxious to read more. End of the book: Thank gods it's finally finished! The 10 page description of hunts were really getting to me. I can't believe that happened. Wow. Just wow.Conclusion:The Sunbird is definitely not for the faint hearted, nor those for whom sitting for hours at a time to read would be tedious. The second half of the book does take quite a bit of effort to get through as there is already a sense of the book having ended and the author is dragging it out. It is a very educational read and it has made me want to go to Africa and explore the cities and country that were mentioned in this book. I am extremely grateful that my uncle lent me this book and I do look forwards to reading more of this author's work.On a scale of 1-10 I would give this book a 7/10.