What people are are saying
Selected by Julia Eccleshare as one of the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up
"This tale captivates the reader and sweeps him/her back in time on a whirlwind ride through storm-swept seas and lush tropical jungles inhabited by dangerous beasts." ~ Cindy Vallar, Pirates and Privateers
Salgari's pirate tale is chock full of action, [like] the better dime-novel adventures of the late 19th-early 20th century, Douglas Fairbanks' Sr. swashbuckling movies, or the Indiana Jones films -- this is the sort of thing Salgari has put to paper. ~ George Dodds, Sfsite.com
"Great adventure story about pirates in Maylaysia. There is a love story at the heart of this swashbuckling tale but mainly it is about a cunning group of outlaws outsmarting the powers that be with clever tricks and a bllatent disregard for their own safety. Easy reading. I am surprised it hasn't become a movie series." ~ Philip Lane, Goodreads.com
In my search for the best in historical, swashbuckler-type adventure fiction, I have more than once stumbled across the name of Emilio Salgari. Having now read the first book, Sandokan: The Tigers of Mompracem, I must say that I can see what all the fuss is about, but I would have seen it all even better had I been able to read the book when I was about thirteen. The story of a vicious, revenge-obsessed pirate who suddenly falls in love, causing everything to change for him, is full of the kind of melodrama, and spurts of blood, that I would have loved at that age. ~Elijah Kinch Spector
The book really flies from adventure to adventure. Most of the short chapters end on an insane cliff-hanger. I would imagine if you were reading this as a chapter book with a kid, the story layout would be fun. Anyhow, the book is a blast. I can see why it's an old, beloved children's book. ~ Cindy, Goodreads.com
"Swashbuckling romance crazysauce! Personally I think it’s a great summer read, it was originally serialized so the chapters are fairly short and most end in some sort of cliffhanger. There are betrayals, duels, naval battles, descriptions of forests and jungles, and beaches that gave me a serious case of wanderlust." ~ Ren, smartbitchestrashybooks.com
Salgari's Greatest Hero
Sandokan "The Tiger of Malaysia" is Emilio Salgari's most enduring creation. Orphaned when the British murdered his family and stole his throne, Sandokan gathered a legion of pirates and took to the sea to attain his vengeance. Under the command of Sandokan and his loyal friend Yanez de Gomera, the Tigers of Mompracem fight for the defense of tiny native kingdoms against the colonial powers of the Dutch and British empires. There are 11 books in the series.
Sandokan: The Tigers of Mompracem
The Tigers of Mompracem are a band of rebel pirates fighting for the defense of tiny native kingdoms against the colonial powers of the Dutch and British empires. They are led by Sandokan, the indomitable “Tiger of Malaysia”, and his faithful friend Yanez de Gomera, a Portuguese wanderer and adventurer. Orphaned when the British murdered his family and stole his throne, Sandokan has been mercilessly leading his men in vengeance. But when the pirate learns of the extraordinary “Pearl of Labuan” his fortunes begin to change…
The Mystery of the Black Jungle
Few can live in the Black Jungle, a desolate place teeming with wild dangerous beasts. Yet it is among its dark forests and bamboo groves that the renowned hunter Tremal-Naik makes his home. For years he has lived there in peace, quietly going about his trade until, one night, a strange apparition appears before him - a beautiful young woman that vanishes in an instant. Within days, strange music is heard in the jungle then one of his men is found dead without a mark upon his body. Determined to get some answers, the hunter sets off with his faithful servant Kammamuri, but as they head deeper into the jungles of the Sundarbans, they soon find their own lives at risk; a deadly new foe has been watching their every move, a foe that threatens all of British India.
Sandokan: The Pirates of Malaysia
The Tiger Roars again! Sandokan and Yanez are back, righting injustices and fighting old foes. Tremal-Naik's misfortunes have continued. Wrongfully imprisoned, the great hunter has been banished from India and sentenced to life in a penal colony. Knowing his master is innocent, Kammamuri dashes off to the rescue, planning to free the good hunter at the first opportunity. When the ever-loyal servant is captured by the Tigers of Mompracem, he manages to enlist their services. But in order to succeed, Sandokan and Yanez must lead their men against the forces of James Brooke, 'The Exterminator', the dreaded White Rajah of Sarawak.
Sandokan: The Two Tigers
India, 1857. Just when Tremal-Naik’s life was getting back to normal, the Thugs of the Kali cult return to exact their revenge by kidnapping his daughter Darma. Summoned by Kammamuri, Sandokan and Yanez immediately set sail for India to help their loyal friend. But the evil sect knows of their arrival and thwarts them at every turn. Have our heroes finally met their match? It’s the Tiger of Malaysia versus the Tiger of India in a fight to the death!
Sandokan: The King of the Sea
The Tiger faces the Empire! Malaysia, 1868. A mysterious figure has armed the Dyaks and led them into battle against Tremal-Naik. Yanez races to the rescue but soon learns that Sandokan and his Tigers are also under threat. Despite eleven years of peace, the new Rajah of Sarawak, Brooke’s nephew, has ordered the pirates to evacuate their island home or face all-out war. Is this the end for the Tigers of Mompracem?
Sandokan: Quest for a Throne
Sandokan and Yanez travel to Assam to restore Surama to the throne of her ancestors. Aided by Tremal-Naik, Kammamuri and the Tigers of Mompracem, the Portuguese devises an ingenious plan to take the capital. However, all does not go as easily as planned for an expected adversary thwarts their every move: Teotokris, the rajah’s favourite courtier, and a deadlier foe than any they have faced before.
About the Series
The first Sandokan adventure appeared in serial form in the La Nuova Arena in 1883, and was published as Le tigri di Mompracem in 1900. The tale proved so popular, the characters so intriguing, that it spawned a legion of sequels, pitting Sandokan and Yanez against a variety of enemies: Rajah James Brooke, Governor of Sarawak, better known as The Exterminator for the merciless way he hunted down pirates; the Thugs of the Kali cult in the Indian Sunderbands, and a variety of petty dictators and colonial powers. Salgari's pen transformed the bloodthirsty pirate into a noble warrior, a kind of Malay Robin Hood, imbuing his characters with a strong sense of idealism, passion, and loyalty.
It wasn't long before Sandokan spread to other forms of media, from theater and music to television and film. Legendary Hollywood body builder, Steve Reeves gave North America its first glimpse of the Malay pirate in the 1963 MGM film Sandokan the Great, doing well enough at the box office to spawn a sequel the following year. Two more movies were made in the mid 1960s starring Ray Danton.
However, it wasn't until 1976, when three European production houses united to create a TV miniseries based on Mr. Salgari's novels, that the quintessential Sandokan was found. Kabir Bedi rocked Europe with his portrayal of the Malayan pirate, bringing in 27 million weekly viewers in Italy alone. A sequel was made La tigre e ancora viva: Sandokan alla Riscossa! the following year which also proved popular. Bedi's Sandokan was the most marketed miniseries of its time and to this day his is the face of the Malay pirate.
The 1990s saw Sandokan's adventures return to the small screen. BBI in Spain had Sandokan drawn as a tiger. The series was quite popular throughout Europe and is now available on DVD. RAI also produced three animated series with Italian production house Mondo TV. Visit our page to watch the all three in full.
Available in paperback and for Kindle. Click on the cover to read the first chapter.
Watch the iconic scene from Sergio Solima's classic Sandokan miniseries. Kabir Bedi, the ultimate Sandokan, battles a tiger to save his beloved Marianna.
Introduction to Sandokan
Watch an interview with Kabir Bedi, about Sandokan and the filming of the legendary miniseries.