Dreams of empire and desire for land and its hidden mineral wealth were the forces that drove Englishmen in Queen Victoria's last years to thrust deep into the untamed African continent and found a new dominion.
With those pioneers rode Ralph Ballantyne, a man whose ambition and sense of destiny made him at once his leader's greatest servant and betrayer.
From the last years of the 19th century this broad novel sweeps though to the modern day when the confrontation of two families, mirroring the conflict of two nations, comes full circle.
"Wilbur Smith writes as forcefully as his tough characters act." (Evening Standard, London)