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29 December 2015

Bernard Cornwell: Sharpe's Company

Once more into the breach - to save his family
Once again Bernard Corwell puts us in the frontline of battle when Richard Sharpe joins the Siege of Badajoz, January to April 1812. Sharpe has to go into the one of the bloodiest battles of his life to rescue the woman he loves and his young baby.

It has been a very hard winter for Sharpe. His promotion to Captain has been turned down by the bureaucrats in Whitehall and he has lost his command to someone who could afford to purchase his old command. Now as Lieutenant Sharpe he also has to contend with his oldest enemy from days in India, the malevolent, crazy and dangerous Sergeant Hakeswill who was his arch-enemy in India.

Wellesley, now Lord Wellington, has to capture Badajoz to secure the Portuguese - Spanish frontier and allow him to advance into Spain. Badajoz was a formidable fort and the French had added some formidable barriers and trenches to make a siege almost impossible. Sharpe is so demoralised by his situation that he asks Wellington to let him be in the first wave of the attack on the breaches.

Again this is historical fiction at its best, with a back story about Richard Sharpe to make it more interesting. Again you are in the centre of a bloody battle - one of the bloodiest of the Napoleonic Wars. On viewing the aftermath of the Battle, Wellington lost his composure and cried at the sight of the bloody carnage in the breaches.

This #13 in a #21 book series. They are all magnificent reading and highly recommended.

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