SHARPE'S BATTLE by Bernard Cornwell

SHARPE'S BATTLE

Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Fuentes de O§oro, May 1811
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Despite clashes with his own superiors as well as with French foes, the durable British hero of Cornwell's splendid series (Sharpe's Devil, 1992, etc.) soldiers on during a bloody turning-point campaign in the Peninsular War. In the spring of 1811, Captain Richard Sharpe and his riflemen are reconnoitering the craggy borderland through which Napoleon's troops may launch another invasion of Portugal from their bases in Spain. The patrol surprises a band of dragoons who've been pillaging a mountain village, and Sharpe (an officer but not a gentleman, commissioned from the ranks) orders the execution of two rapists. The summary shootings earn him the personal hatred of the dead men's preternaturally vicious commanding officer, General Guy Loup of the feared Wolf Brigade. Back in camp, an unrepentant Sharpe is detailed to train an Irish guards company dispatched for geopolitical reasons from Spain's royal court to Viscount Wellington's coalition forces. Meanwhile, Loup, with inside help from his mistress, Juanita de Elia (a well-born Spanish courtesan who loves an expatriate Irish lord serving under Wellington), stages a night raid on the fort held by Sharpe and his outmanned crew. The defenders repulse this assault with sizable losses on both sides, but Sharpe learns he's being groomed as a scapegoat, again for reasons that have more to do with diplomatic exigencies than miliary competence. In a savage three-day engagement fought around the Fuentes de Onore, he redeems himself by beating back a climactic French charge and dispatching his sworn enemy in hand-to-hand combat described with as vivid a brutality as readers are likely to find this side of a forensic reference book. More great adventure from one of the most accomplished and stylish storytellers now writing. This time, Sharpe's new print appearance coincides with Masterpiece Theatre's adaptation of three previous books in the series.
Pub Date: May 24th, 1995
ISBN: 0060932287
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1995




MORE BY BERNARD CORNWELL

FictionFOOLS AND MORTALS by Bernard Cornwell
by Bernard Cornwell
FictionTHE FLAME BEARER by Bernard Cornwell
by Bernard Cornwell
FictionWARRIORS OF THE STORM by Bernard Cornwell
by Bernard Cornwell

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionUNTIL THE SEA SHALL GIVE UP HER DEAD by S. Thomas Russell
by S. Thomas Russell