International best-selling author Bernard Cornwell, an undisputed master of historical fiction, is in top form for the 20th novel in his wildly popular Richard Sharpe series. In the year 1810 Napoleon is determined to conquer Portugal. But Captain Richard Sharpe leads the French directly into the Duke of Wellington’s devastating defenses at Torres Vedras, where one of the great battles of the Napoleonic wars erupts.
©2004 Bernard Cornwell (P)2004 Recorded Books
Before James Bond, there was Richard Sharpe. Fighting the King's enemies. Dashing about getting himself into trouble, then pulling out the miraculous escape. And always getting the beautiful girl into his bed. That is our Richard Sharpe.
Bernard Cornwell knows how to write great stories. Yes, they tend to be formulaic, but I love these stories for their sheer bloody enjoyment. The author does an excellent job of building in the actions, patterns, and personalities of the time (as I understand them to be). He also educates you into the military thoughts and concepts of the British army during the Napoleonic Wars in Spain, Portugal, and France. And if the French leaders were are narcissistic as Cornwell suggests, I wonder how they won any battles at all.
The only complaint I have is Patrick Tull as the narrator. I much prefer these stories read by William Gaminara or Frederick Davidson, Tull is not bad and I got used to his accent as the book progressed, but Gaminara and Davidson are better. Personal preference there.
If you like British military history in general, and the Napoleonic Wars in particular, then you will enjoy the Sharpe novels.
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