Synopses & Reviews
The year is 1811. With the British army penned into a small part of Portugal, and all of Spain except for the coastal city of Cádiz fallen to the invader, the French appear to have won their war. Raised in the gutters of London and taught to fight, Captain Richard Sharpe is in the Spanish capital on a mission for the British ambassador. But when a British attack on an enemy-held bridge goes disastrously wrong, he finds himself trapped in a city under siege, a hotbed of treachery, false allies, and pernicious plots. And as dawn breaks on a March morning, Sharpe must be prepared to come to the aid of the charismatic Scotsman Sir Thomas Graham, the city's would-be liberator, whose small, outnumbered army has been abandoned by the Spanish and is now is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Yet for Richard Sharpe, the impending battle against overwhelming odds is about more than destiny and duty; it is about revenge.
"Capt. Richard Sharpe, upstart rifleman, performs a sensitive mission for Henry Wellesley, the duke of Wellington's younger brother and special envoy to Spain in Cadiz, in bestseller Cornwell's rousing 21st military historical (after 2005's Sharpe's Escape). A secret cabal of Spaniards who favor a rapprochement with France threatens the alliance between England and Spain in the fight against Bonaparte. The conspirators, who include a murderous priest, Fr. Salvador Montseny, have stolen some unfortunate love letters Wellesley wrote to his prostitute amour, Caterina Blazquez, and plan to use them to embarrass the British. It's up to Sharpe to recover the letters and save the alliance. Meanwhile, British troops, with little help from the Spanish army, maneuver to lift the French siege of Cadiz. As usual, Sharpe must contend with a snobbish superior officer, Brigadier Moon, who gets his just reward in a delicious surprise twist at battle's end. One hopes the nasty Father Montseny, who disappears from the action too soon, will return to bedevil Sharpe in future installments." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"As in the other Sharp novels, there is a lot of action here, played out in sturdy prose." Library Journal
"Cornwell has this stuff down cold, so it's great fun even with all the smoke and noise." Kirkus Reviews
The next installment in the New York Times bestselling Richard Sharpe series will be published to coincide with a new movie that will debut on BBC America in the fall of 2006.
Be prepared for scenes of great action & heroics
"I had a word with Sergeant Nolan, so I did, and said you weren't entirely bad unless you were crossed, and then you
were a proper devil. And I told him you had an Irish father, which might be true, might it not?"
"So I'm one of you now, am I?" Sharpe asked, amused.
"Oh no, sir, you're not handsome enough."
Soldier, hero, rogue—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.
About the Author
Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers 1356 and Agincourt; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord, and, most recently, The Empty Throne; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others.