Captain Sharpe has to protect a philandering diplomat and, deserted by his ally, faces the enemy.
In the winter of 1811, the war seems lost. Spain has fallen to the French, except for Cadiz, now the Spanish capital and itself under siege. Inside the city walls an intricate diplomatic dance is taking place and Richard Sharpe faces more than one enemy. The small British force is trapped by a French army, and their only hope lies with the outnumbered redcoats outside refusing to admit defeat. There, in the sweltering horror of Barrosa, Sharpe will meet his old enemy Colonel Vandal once again.
Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.
©2006 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"Sharpe and his creator are national treasures." (Sunday Telegraph)
"Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation." (Daily Mail)
"Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched." (Observer)
"The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive." George R.R. Martin
The story is a bit bitty compared to the best in the series, but this is partly because the historical events around which it is based make it hard to make the most satisfying structure.
Good book, definitely don't skip it, but the story is rather weak compared to the rest of the series unfortunately. same story of sharpe being cut off from the rest of the army, same story of a beautiful woman, same battles, but just haphazardly jammed together with very little characterisation. continues the general sharpe theme of ending without giving you any (sorely sought after) post - story roundup or conclusion- I often sorely wish that the story would continue for a few months after to see how everything developed or impacted the wider campaign.
Yet another great performance, and Mr Cornwell's writing is never anything less than amazing. Exciting, gripping, funny, and enjoyable.
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