Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Review – Bernard CORNWELL – “Sharpe’s Company”

Publ: 1982 Collins
Pensby Library
ISBN: 0 00 616573 7
Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 343p
Continuing the series
Rating: ***** ***

What led you to pick up this book?
I am working my way through the Sharpe series.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
Subtitled Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Badajoz, January to April 1812.
This is Bernard Cornwell's third novel and one of the author’s personal favourites. The story is where he had intended to start his "series of tales about the adventures of a British rifleman in the Napoleonic Wars" before realising he would need to write a couple of novels to warm-up for it first. Chronologically it is now the eleventh in the series of 21.
Sharpe, whose captaincy has not come through, is demoted back to a Lieutenant immediately prior to the siege of Badajoz in 1812. The book re-introduces the villainous Sgt. Obidiah Hakeswill as Wellington attempts to capture one of the immense fortresses on the Spanish Portuguese border.

What did you think of the characters?
Good as ever. The emotions of the various main characters are explored as well as ever.

What did you think about the style?
Good as ever.

What did you like most about the book?
Its realism.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
After ten previous Sharpe novels this was a bit predictable but then predictability is one of the assets of a comfortable read so it is only a ‘dislike’ if it makes the stories stale. The excitement of Sharpe’s adventures never get stale for me.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
The copy I had was from a different jacket series (above) and therefore not as good as usual. The one shown on the web (shown at top) seems more in keeping with the excellent ones I have seen to date.

Would I recommend it?
Yes, a must for Sharpe fans.


The meek, he had been told, would inherit the earth, but only when the last soldier left it to them in his will.

“I’m an American, with a French name, from a Royalist family, fighting for the English, for a German king, who’s mad.”
(Leroy might well have added ‘against the Spanish who are our allies’!)

BERNARD CORNWELL see Sharpe’s Havoc

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