Wilbur Smith's writing captivates his listeners with tale full of passions, rage, and glory. In Birds of Prey, he sets the scene for 1667 when Sir Francis Courteney and his son Hal are on patrol in their fighting caravel off the Agulhas Cape of South Africa. They are lying in wait there for one of the treasure-laden galleons of the Dutch East India Company returning from the Orient. So begins a quest for adventure and the spoils of war. They are swept from the settlement of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa to the Great Horn of Ethiopia far to the north - at a time when international maritime law permitted acts of piracy, rape, and murder otherwise punishable by death. Smith presents a generation of the indomitable Courteney's and thrillingly recreates their part in the struggle for supremacy and riches on the high seas.