Saturday, 13 December 2008

Review - Bernard Cornwell – Sharpe’s Eagle

Publ: 1981
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978-0-00-617313-7
Genre: Historical Fiction; Military Fiction;
Pages: 328p
Continuation of reading series
Rating: ***** **

Bernard Cornwell – Sharpe’s Eagle – Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Talavera July 1809

What led you to pick up this book?
I am working my way through the Sharpe series and this book – the first to be written but the 8th in the chronology of Sharpe’s life – was next on the list.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
Typical Sharpe – not only busy fighting the French but also his allies and in particular his commanding officer. Wellesley’s army – with Sharpe’s rifleman at the forefront – push the French back from Portugal into Spain and Sharpe faces his biggest battle yet.

What did you think of the characters?
Slightly predictable but isn’t that what makes reading your way through a series attractive. You don’t have to ‘get into’ the characters because you already know them.

What did you think about the style?
Cornwell alleges he has never had the courage to re-read this book because he thinks it must be primitive and crudely written. He could safely do so – it lacks nothing that the others have got.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
Predictably there were a couple of ‘errors’ caused by failing to write th series chronologically – such as Sharpe supposedly not having met “Daddy Hill” before whereas in fact he had met him previously in Portugal.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
In the same general style as the others in the series. Together they make a fine display of military uniforms and action. This one is from “the Battle of Alberhera” by William Barnes Wollen.

Would I recommend it?
Yes – to anyone interested in the military history of England and, in particular the Napoleonic Wars.

BERNARD CORNWELL – See Sharpe’s Havoc

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