Detailing several centuries of the sprawling Courtney family's exploits, Wilbur Smith's series primarily takes place in Africa. The plot occasionally travels to different points in Europe, but the majority of the series' action is set in what is now modern-day South Africa.
Published in 1964, the first book in the series, "When the Lion Feeds," is set in 1870s colonial South Africa. The subsequent sequel shares almost the exact same locations. In the third installment, the protagonist is drawn to Europe by the conflict of World War I, but returns to Africa to resolve an intrigue revolving around the titular Courtney family. Rhodesian by birth, Smith drew on his family's history and personal experience to flesh out the exotic series.