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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.
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!
5 of 8 people found this review helpful
A plot full of non stop action and great characters brought to life brilliantly by the narrator.
I love Sharpe books and have read them all in hard copy. I was quite happy with this until there were a couple of glaring pronunciation errors. The ship which the characters return to England is called Calliope (a Greek muse and pronounced Ka-ly-o-pi) but read as Call-I-ope. Secondly, and possibly worse is Sir William Halls secretary whose first name is Malachi (Mal-a -ky). I say this is worse because for the first several chapters the reader called him Mal-Archie then suddenly for no apparent reason, several chapters further on, he starts pronouncing it correctly. Surely if the producers had realised their error they could have corrected it throughout the book!
This book is very well structured and the audible acted. This is one of my favourites of the Sharpe series mixing history with fiction (Faction as I call it).
The hell of battle at sea, descriptive brilliance, British sailors kings of the seas. Amazing.
This is not a typical Sharpe novel, but it gives Bernard Cornwell a great excuse to write a book about the Battle of Trafalgar in his own exceptional way.
The actual story line for Sharpe is insignificant in my opinion, and is a little boring. But the battle scenes are superb, with all of Cornwell's descriptive writing putting you right there.
The story is a little dull in the first half - not much happens until Sharpe's ship is captured and the story takes off from there. the second half more than makes up for it though, with the well-described battle scenes and adventures you'd expect in a historical adventure.
The narrator does let this production down unfortunately with incorrect and/or inconsistent pronunciation of names. It's a minor gripe, though.
another great episode of Sharp once again superbly narrated. Wil keep butomg this series as its a pleasure to listen to rupert bring the book to life.
Although I know quite a bit about Trafalgar, I enjoyed the Sharpe connection and story leading up to 21st October.
Makes you glad to be living nowadays when you hear about the food and the time it took to get anywhere.
Nelson's death dealt with in a way that the sailors would have heard about it, at the end.
Great narration of the battle of Trafalgar. I felt like I was there with Sharpe and Nelson! England expects every man should do his duty!!