hat time is upon us. I can feel it coming. That evil barbarian will not be satisfied until he has engulfed the whole world in war and death. I fear for us all.’ In a triumphant return to his much-loved Courtney series, Wilbur Smith introduces us to the bravest new member of the famed family, Saffron Courtney. Saffron grows up on a sprawling Kenyan country estate, under the watchful eye of her father, prominent businessman and distinguished war veteran Leon Courtney. Her life is idyllic and sheltered until a family tragedy forces her to grow up much faster than necessary – as she becomes a young woman her ambitions lead her to England for an education while her stubbornness and resilience draw her inevitably towards the complicated political machinations developing in the lead-up to WWII.Gerhard von Meerbach is the privileged and idealistic younger brother of Konrad von Meerbach, heir to the Meerbach Motor Works and vocal supporter of Germany’s National Socialist Party and Hitler’s racial ideology. Gerhard struggles to stay true to his principles in an increasingly cruel world headed towards war. His friendship with a Jewish man puts him in a dangerous position, living as he does under the scrutinizing gaze of the Gestapo.As the Second World War looms over them all, Saffron and Gerhard’s worlds collide – but will there be more to unite them than tear them apart?