"The greatest writer of historical adventures today."
Critically acclaimed, perennial New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell (Agincourt, The Fort, the Saxon Tales) makes real history come alive in his breathtaking historical fiction. Praised as "the direct heir to Patrick O'Brian" (Agincourt, The Fort), Cornwell has brilliantly captured the fury, chaos, and excitement of battle as few writers have ever done—perhaps most vividly in his phenomenally popular novels following the illustrious military career of British Army officer Richard Sharpe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Chronicling Sharpe's involvement in the famous Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Sharpe's Trafalgar finds the young ensign captive on a French warship and in gravest peril on the eve of the one of the most spectacular naval confrontations in history. Perhaps the San Francisco Chronicle said it best: "If only all history lessons could be as vibrant."
Nobody describes bloody battle scenes better than Cornwell, and even he outdoes himself with this riveting novel about the epic naval battle off Spain's Cape Trafalgar in 1805. This is the 17th volume in his popular Napoleonic War series about Richard Sharpe, a brutish yet admirable soldier in the British army. Here Cornwell jumps back chronologically in Sharpe's glorious career to 1805, when Sharpe is promoted from the ranks for saving Lord Arthur Wellesley's life in India. Loaded down with looted jewels, the bastard son of a London whore heads back to England to a posting with the famous 95th Rifle Regiment. His battlefield promotion to junior officer rank makes common soldiers wary, and gentlemen officers scornful, and Sharpe decidedly uncomfortable in a role he does not yet know how to play. But he certainly knows how to fight. As usual, there is not only plenty of action but romance and intrigue as well. Sailing aboard a large East India Company merchant ship, Sharpe encounters a wealthy married woman whose charms he cannot resist, a pompous English lord he cannot stand and a host of treacherous fellow passengers. Unusual circumstances, betrayal and some bad luck next find him aboard a British ship-of-the-line in pursuit of a French warship in the Atlantic. Beyond the murky horizon lies an unexpected rendezvous at Trafalgar, where Lord Nelson and the British fleet wait to meet the combined French and Spanish fleets. The naval battle occupies the last hundred pages and is stunning for its ferocity, detail, historical accuracy and suspense. Cornwell's fans will love Sharpe at sea in this latest installment in a first-rate series.
The Richard Sharpe novels are always on the top of my list of “best reads”, but this one is one the best in the entire series. Non-stop action with twists and turns until the bloody, and I mean very bloody, end.
Such an fun & entertaining way to learn history...amazing that men lived and fought on these ships... the hardships and suffering they endured are fascinating and hard to imagine
Another great Sharp’s adventure by Cornwell.