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I loved every minute of this great historical military adventure. This was my first experience of Bernard Cornwell's prolific series about the adventures of Richard Sharpe, an English soldier and military adventurer in the European wars of the early years of the 19th Century - and I am already an addict.
Major Richard Sharpe finds himself in a world of political intrigue far outside his military expertise when he gets caught up with a plot by a French spy to destroy the fragile alliance between Britain and Spain that is diverting French military efforts away from their conquest of the rest of Europe. When Sharpe is hunted by both sides, a lovely spy, La Marquesa (with whom he has had a passionate relationship in the past) takes a hand in the game.
In the end Sharpe overcomes this intrigue in the only way he knows well - taking the battle to the enemy and chasing the French out of Spain.
Sharpe is not your standard military hero - he joined the army to escape jail and became an officer through sheer military brilliance and leadership. Sharpe isn't rich and mostly sleeps in the open with his men and leads by example not authority. He is intolerant of the competence of most other officers who come from rich aristocratic backgrounds. He is also a consummate ladies man.
While Cornwell must have taken some historical licence, his descriptions of military life give a fascinating insight into how military campaigns were fought at that time, and the hardships of battle, especially hand-to-hand combat
This review will not show up as an Amazon verified purchase because I read this particular story as part of a 3 book economy Kindle bundle, which is available in Australia and the UK but not in the US. This is Book 16 in the Sharpe series so I plan to slowly read through the series in order, bundle by bundle.