Richard Sharpe, travelling home aboard the 'Revenant', meets Admiral Nelson and his fleet, on what was a calm October day off Cape Trafalgar.
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.
©2009 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishing 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)
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"Sharpe Sails for Glory!"
With a very long road trip to come I needed something as near to guaranteed to be a good listen as I could find. This of course leaves a very short list of authors and characters and George Cornwell’s Sharpe is one of very few that fit the bill. In fact I have quite deliberately taken my time to go back to this series because it is simply that good and I want to savour it.
This one is a bit different from the previous three of course as Sharpe leaves India to begin his journey home and start his new career with the Rifles. It does take a little time to get to the real action but the story is entertaining and throughout Cornwell demonstrates that he is just as capable at naval fiction as he is at everything else!
The triumph of this book though is that when the action starts it is heart stopping stuff. Trafalgar will always be one of the most iconic of naval battles and Nelson one of this Island’s most feted heroes. These are not subjects to be trifled with but with Cornwell in charge you can feel the spray on your face, taste the blood in your mouth and smell the powder smoke in the air. The tactics deployed in the battle required every man to do more than his duty, it was a terrifyingly novel approach to fleet warfare and all of it gets its full due. This has to be one of the finest battles in modern literature and Sharpe is inserted into the overall picture deftly.
Of course this is Sharpe so he’s never content with having just say the French and Spanish to fight, he makes other enemies closer to home and yes of course there is a lady for him to pursue.
Rupert Farley brings it all to life for us with his usual excellence and by the end of the book I was happy to have experienced another masterpiece from George Cornwell. My biggest issue with this series is to resist buying all of it and running away to a dark room somewhere until it is finished!
"Another memorable story"
This story see's Sharpe returning home and of course nothing is straight forward for our Mr Sharpe. I will not spoil the story but to say it involves a woman and a lot of skullduggery, and we end up at the battle of Trafalgar.
"One of the Better new Sharpe Stories"
Always a difficult question however the narattor was very good for this book and conveys the different characters well. His Richard Sharpe may not sound as everyone has imaged but it can be easy to get a preconceived idea of how the character should sound, especially if you were a fan of the TV show.
The book draws obvious comparison to the Hornblotton series of novels although the basic structure of the novel is similar to that of the other sharpe books.
The Nelson Character, although only a small character in book, was not how I imaged and was more complex and perhaps 'real' than some of the others. Perhaps this is down to some of my own preconceptions of someone who has entered almost mythical status in the UK but it is a testiment to both the writing and the narration of how the character comes across.
The climax of the book is excellent and without giving away any spoilers you can probably guess what this is. The event is described in such detail that it's scale is really well conveyed.
I quickly downloaded the next book in the series after reading this one.
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