• A Falcon Flies

  • The Ballantyne Series, Book 1
  • By: Wilbur Smith
  • Narrated by: Elliot Chapman
  • Length: 21 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (229 ratings)

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A Falcon Flies

By: Wilbur Smith
Narrated by: Elliot Chapman
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Publisher's Summary

A Falcon Flies is the first best-selling novel in Wilbur Smith's epic tale of Africa, The Ballantyne Novels.  

In search of a father they barely remember, Zouga and Dr Robyn Ballantyne board Mungo St John's magnificent clipper to speed them to Africa. But long before they sight that mighty continent, Robyn knows that she and Mungo will battle with all the fury of natural enemies - and love with all the desperation of those unable to evade the commands of fate. For if she can bring hope and healing to Africa's fever-ridden shores, he, a lawless trader in human cargo, will possess any man - or woman - he chooses....

Set in 1860, this gripping tale is followed by Men of Men, The Angels Weep and The Leopard Hunts in Darkness.

©1980 Wilbur Smith (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about A Falcon Flies

Average Customer Ratings
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What A Writer

If you haven’t read Wilbur Smith YOU NEED TO! I am so sad because I have now finished all of his series along with all but one of his novels. I’m saving that for an up coming road trip with my husband.
Mr. Smiths writing style is so very extraordinary, vivid, alive, I feel like I am a character in one of his stories his novels are so easy to melt into. I feel as though I can, smell the air, taste the salt of the sea, feel the stinging heat of the desert, touch the minerals and rocks, hike through the jungles, go on Safari, feel the splashing rain, smell the mineral iron smell of blood, ride a horse....I JUST DO NOT KNOW HOW TO EXPRESS HOW FABULOUS THESE NOVELS & SERIES ARE!
***THANK YOU Wilber Smith for sharing your stories with the world, I for one am richer for it.

5 people found this helpful

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very good start to the series

As with the Courtney series, the era is of tall master ship, real men and adventure. I can not wait for the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Storytelling that makes you want to read more

Get ready for a good old African Safari in high gear. "A Falcon flies" is a gripping story with a number of interesting sub-stories that keeps the tale interesting and entices the reader to keep on listening chapter after chapter. The novel gives one wonderful insight into the challenges and daily life of African explorers in the 19th century with great detail and delightful adventure. The Narrator also makes for an easy and enjoyable listen.
Great Book!

2 people found this helpful

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Another Wilbur Smith masterpiece.

Always interesting. Always educating. Hard to put down. Smith draws the listener into the story.

1 person found this helpful

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outstanding

my favorite author
never disappointed. reread this many times
the series is great 👍

1 person found this helpful

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Twists and turns

Wilbur Smith has again created one of his African adventures. Filled with excitement,variety and well you just never know what’s going to be around the next corner. One of his best.

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The beginnings of Rhodesia

An excellent story covering the slave trade and the exploration of the country that was Rhodesia and now Zimbabwe. Learn about the Matabele people and King Mzilikazi and his Nguni warriors.

1 person found this helpful

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Cant stand narrator

I could not listen to this book. The narrator is too negative and whinny. The author seems as usual to be fascinated with sex. But I only was able to listen to an hour or so.

1 person found this helpful

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Again!

An amazing story that just pulls you in, the details and the way things are explained is like you've been there before....on to the next book !

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Interesting, educational and exciting.

It's a "meaty" yarn. It has plenty of adventure with strong characters who possess the courage and strength to explore the little known and very different country of Africa. It felt real. It was as if the writer had included me along as a member of the expedition.

Unlike some others who have commented, I found the narration to be quite good.

Some books cause you to "spend" your time listening or reading. This one felt more as if I were "investing" my time. I'm happy with my ROI i.e. return on investment. Likely you will be too. Enjoy your journey.

I've added Book 2 in this series to my library as well as Book 1 of another series written by Wilbur.

Cheers, Ken

1 person found this helpful

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  • stuart
  • 06-06-19

fantastic book well worth the money

fantastic book with a awesome story line. the only thing that let it down for me as was the narrator not been able to pronounce the South African words.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-21-19

Taste of time since past

Interesting and engaging with hints of excitement.,the passage of time has done little dilute the story

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-19-20

Not for me

The sexual tension between civil rights activist and slaver was a bit much for me.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Khonsu
  • 08-02-19

Simply the classic Wilbur Smith everyone loves

There are only positives about this book. It's the first of the Ballantyne novels and Wilbur gives it the ready with both barrels.

As he became famous for, his scene settings and ability to bring the reader into the period is unsurpassed.

Just listen to the audio book or read the paperback - classic.

Elliot Chapman is a master narrator.

5 people found this helpful

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  • CATHIRENE M PERKIN
  • 05-26-21

Riveting

The story is excellent and take me back to bygone days. It is such a Hugh pity that the narrator didn’t do his research and kept miss pronouncing African place names on the book. It’s a shame that effort is made for French words but not African words

4 people found this helpful

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  • Willy J
  • 10-30-19

a touch disappointing

not of the same calibre as the Courtney series. won't be listening to the next installment

4 people found this helpful

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  • Street
  • 01-27-20

Another winner!

Wilbur Smith does it again, wonderfully descriptive story, full of varied characters and well performed by Elliot Chapman. The first in a series and the second is on my pod as I write.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lee
  • 07-21-22

Nope not for me :(

Bought this in a BOGOF and I’m disappointed. My first Wilbur Smith which I thought would be action and adventure instead I’ve given up at chapter 3 as it’s just silly. A woman doctor who dresses as a man to get through medical school then sets/tries to set up - as I didn’t finish the chapter - a ships captain for rape…..

Not my idea of daring do in South Africa.

Maybe not the best book to start my journey with the author.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MISS V.
  • 09-01-22

terrible narrator

terrible narrator... dreary rambling story. not a patch on the Courtney series. won't be listening to anymore of this series

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  • S.A.M
  • 08-13-22

Very descriptive.

You can smell Africa and feel the heat. The trouble is it is all about slaughtering animals, the wonderful elephants. They were safe until the white man arrived with their powerful guns. We, as humans have so much to be ashamed of.
So it makes uncomfortable reading but it opens the door to understanding a beautiful rich country.

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  • Dave T
  • 07-29-20

A fantastic beginning to the Ballantyne saga!!

A full-blooded book that tracks the story in Africa of the Ballantynes ending with Craig Mellow in The Leopard Hunts in Darkness. A thrilling tale completely out of odds with 21st century 'woke' culture. Not for the faint-hearted.

1 person found this helpful

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  • HR
  • 07-07-19

Such a disappointment after reading the Courtney Series ☹️

What went wrong Wilbur? I had to return this book after a couple of chapters because it was unbearable! It read like some B Grade romance novel with the female protagonist depicted as a scatterbrain who doesn’t know her own mind when it comes to a handsome man YET was apparently smart enough to sneak her way through medical school while posing as a boy for years. Pleeease! And don’t get me started on the Narration. Elliot Chapman sounds like some sort of English dandy! His voice is totally unsuitable for this type of story... what happened to Sean who read the Courtney series? This is one series I definitely won’t be reading. 🤨

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrew Tully
  • 10-17-22

Another compelling African story

As always, this story gives great insight into the slave trade in Africa, the exploration of “Zambezia” (great Zimbabwe Ruins) and Matabeleland, the adventures of Slave traders and bold actions of heroic sailors fighting to end the trade of human misery.

It also offers historic insight into the tribes and culture of the greater Zulu and Matabele people.

A most enjoyable tale by Africa’s great writer weaved with the humour and delights of the Hottentot and early Cape settlers.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-23-19

It made me sad

The slaughter of the elephants was too much for me. It made me feel sick and I had to skip over it. Other than that it was a good story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-30-19

A Good Read!

Enjoyed the book very much though not as much as the previous Wilbur Smith books I have read.