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Publisher's Summary

Captain Sharpe has to protect a philandering diplomat and, deserted by his ally, faces the enemy.

In the winter of 1811, the war seems lost. Spain has fallen to the French, except for Cadiz, now the Spanish capital and itself under siege. Inside the city walls an intricate diplomatic dance is taking place and Richard Sharpe faces more than one enemy. The small British force is trapped by a French army, and their only hope lies with the outnumbered redcoats outside refusing to admit defeat. There, in the sweltering horror of Barrosa, Sharpe will meet his old enemy Colonel Vandal once again.

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.

©2006 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kuleshov
  • 07-04-15

Not the best, but bloody good.

The story is a bit bitty compared to the best in the series, but this is partly because the historical events around which it is based make it hard to make the most satisfying structure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Alexander J. Day
  • 01-18-15

Good but not the best of the series

Good book, definitely don't skip it, but the story is rather weak compared to the rest of the series unfortunately. same story of sharpe being cut off from the rest of the army, same story of a beautiful woman, same battles, but just haphazardly jammed together with very little characterisation. continues the general sharpe theme of ending without giving you any (sorely sought after) post - story roundup or conclusion- I often sorely wish that the story would continue for a few months after to see how everything developed or impacted the wider campaign.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 11-12-18

Like an Old Friend . . .

You know what you are getting with these books if you have got this far through the series. Backed by Rupert Farley's excellent narration Sharpe is a class act. Tough, belligerent but with his own strong sense of right and wrong Sharpe is the Jack Reacher of the Georgian era battlefield. This one has all the classic hallmarks of the series including his sidekick Harper, lots of excellently recounted action and of course intrigue and senior officers who are very mixed in their levels of approval for Sharpe's unique approach to soldiering.

If you've enjoyed the previous books in the series and want some more then Cornwell delivers it in generous measure.

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  • iLard
  • 04-21-17

Muddled

Not a good one. It's a muddled story with weak antagonists. Having listened so many of these I am now getting an allergic accent to the narrator's Portuguese and Spanish accents. Don't get me wrong, the narration is splendid, but some accents are somewhat laboured. I long for India, I guess!

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  • A
  • 12-14-16

Yet again

Yet another great performance, and Mr Cornwell's writing is never anything less than amazing. Exciting, gripping, funny, and enjoyable.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-31-16

Faugh a Ballagh

Clear the way, another excellent sharp classic very close to the actual battle. Fab RIRISH