Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars One of the lesser entries in the series, June 14, 2009
This review is from: Sharpe's Revenge (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #10) (Paperback)
It's the early spring of 1814, Wellington has taken his Peninsular army across Spain and into southwest France, and seems like Napoleon's days are numbered. Richard Sharpe, now a major but without a command, is feeling his age, too; he's been a soldier fighting the French for more than twenty of his thirty-eight years, and he's beginning to wonder if he's finally used up. He knows he's more afraid before battle than he used to be, and he worries more -- but perhaps that's because he has a lovely young wife now, so he has a lot more to lose. Cornwell's real talent is in depicting the minutiae of the course of battle, and the book opens with the British assault on Toulouse, which actually took place after the Emperor's abdication. Then the plot goes off on a tangent (as it often does in this series) as Sharpe's nemesis, the French spymaster, Pierre Ducos, decides to rip off part of Napoleon's treasure and go off on his own. He arranges to blame the loss on the always convenient Sharpe, who is called on the carpet and seems to be facing arrest and court martial. Sharpe is dealing now not with the military but with the bean-counters from London, so, of course, he takes matters into his own hands and with Sgt. Harper and another officer and goes off to find the French officers who can testify to his innocence. He ends up in Normandy and becomes involved with a young, impoverished farm widow who also happens to be a vicontesse -- which is also convenient, since his own wife, back in London, has taken a lover and stolen the fortune Sharpe managed to steal after Vitoria a few months before. The three companions track Ducos to Naples and there's a rousing finish in which they combine their small force with a imperial-loyalist general in retrieving both the treasure and Ducos. It's all a bit far-fetched, actually. Toulouse is the only set-piece battle this time, but we all know what's coming in a year and a half.
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4.2 out of 5 stars (46 customer reviews)
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