A Courtney series adventure - Book 3 in The Burning Shore sequence
"Shasa closed his mouth slowly. The very foundations os his political beliefs and principles were shaken, and the walls cracked through. They had led him up into a high place and shown him the prize that was his for the taking." The future of a country. The end of a family. Shasa Courtney, heir to the Courtney fortunes, dreams only of uniting his divided, beloved country. Against all his principles, he allows his half-brother Manfred to persuade him to join South Africa's right-wing National Party, hoping to moderate from within their dangerous policies of apartheid. But Shasa's wife is working against everything he's working for, while Manfred has deadly secrets he cannot afford to be revealed, either to his family or the public who are on the brink of war. In the terrible struggle for the future of South Africa, the Courtney family will be torn apart -- and many will have to pay a terrible price...
In this latest epic, popular novelist Smith (The Leopard Hunts in Darkness) takes on a difficult challenge, telling of post-World War II South Africa. What he has created is a hybrid. His narrative seriously addresses the conflicts of whites and blacks, the differences between British and Afrikaners, and the tribes and personalities vying for control of the African National Congress. But it's also a soap opera, one of those conventional generational sagas with a contrived forbidden love affair between a white and a black, adultery and the rivalry between two men who do not realize they are half-brothers. The combination is simultaneously thrilling and embarrassing. Shasa Courtney is a wealthy United Party minister to the South African Parliament. A moderate of English heritage, he is often opposed to the Nationalist Party's Manfred De La Rey, an Afrikaner. Their mother, the matriarchal Centaine Courtney-Malcomess, is able to mediate their conflicts but not to control Shasa's wife, Tara, who sympathizes with the black cause. It is Tara who falls in love with the black Moses Gama, an advocate of violent opposition to apartheid. All their stories intermingle with the history of South Africa in the '50s and '60s. Smith's account of some of the worst racial riots is terrifying and his storytelling powers are strong, but readers of Rage will likely come away wondering whether turgid sub-plots really enhance a novel about one of the world's most troubled countries.