From New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, the eleventh installment in the world-renowned Sharpe series, chronicling the rise of Richard Sharpe, a Private in His Majesty’s Army at the siege of Seringapatam.
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.
Capt. Richard Sharpe, upstart rifleman, performs a sensitive mission for Henry Wellesley, the duke of Wellington's younger brother and special envoy to Spain in Cadiz, in bestseller Cornwell's rousing 21st military historical (after 2005's Sharpe's Escape). A secret cabal of Spaniards who favor a rapprochement with France threatens the alliance between England and Spain in the fight against Bonaparte. The conspirators, who include a murderous priest, Fr. Salvador Montseny, have stolen some unfortunate love letters Wellesley wrote to his prostitute amour, Caterina Blazquez, and plan to use them to embarrass the British. It's up to Sharpe to recover the letters and save the alliance. Meanwhile, British troops, with little help from the Spanish army, maneuver to lift the French siege of Cadiz. As usual, Sharpe must contend with a snobbish superior officer, Brigadier Moon, who gets his just reward in a delicious surprise twist at battle's end. One hopes the nasty Father Montseny, who disappears from the action too soon, will return to bedevil Sharpe in future installments.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Another great story from the Nepolean era. Lots more political intreague than most Sharps stories, but very entertaining nevertheless.
Brilliant. Again. How does he do it?
Mr Cornwell does it again - I've read almost everything he's written and this is another fantastic book. The combination of believable characters, historical details and the horror/drama of war makes for compelling reading. I'm always sad when I get to the end of his books - and can't wait to read the next!
You don't have to read the Sharpe series in order but it'll make a lot more sense if you do. Sharpe's story contains references to past events, and sometimes stories echo earlier incidents. To me this enriches the character, and gives an insight into his personality.
Particularly fascinating are the author's notes at the end of his books. Learning that some of the people and events are real is humbling. For example, Graham and Browne in this book.
Buy this series - you won't be disappointed,