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Sharpe's Company: Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Badajoz, January to April 1812 (#13) Mass Market Paperback – August 3, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews
Book 13 of 21 in the Sharpe Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The world may have a new literary hero.  His name is Richard Sharpe."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"A masterful blend of fiction and historical detail."—Newsday

From the Publisher

7 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (August 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451213424
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451213426
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
What are some of the reasons why you read books?
* Do you like adventure? * Do you like romance? * Do you like action? * Do you like history?
If you answered yes to the above then you will enjoy Sharpe's Company. I started reading these books and I find myself having a hard time putting them down.
Sharpe's Company by Bernard Cornwell is an exciting rip-roaring adventure addition to the Sharpe series. You can see Bernard Cornwell's extensive research come to life page after page. The setting is 1812 and the British forces are re-grouping in Spain to repulse the dreaded French juggernaut led by Napoleon. Sharpe's challenge is to defeat the French forces at Badajoz, retain his rank and marry the girl of his desires. All of Sharpe's soldiers are in attendance and ready for battle.
Sharpe lost his rank due to a clerical error in England and is now a mere lieutenant. He answers to a commanding officer that has never led a battle command. The captain who replaced him is a well meaning light-weight who lets his sergeant give the orders.
Additionally, the evil Sergeant Hakeswell is back in Sharpe's life again and up to his old tricks. I don't think I can imagine of a better villain than Hakeswell. He is ugly, twisted and thoroughly evil. There are no redeeming values to his character. He wants to kill Sharpe and ruin his career. Even Sharpe's friends are in danger from this psychopath.
Where Cornwell shines is the description of the battle. He paints a picture of the siege at Badajoz so realistic that you visualize the battle and all of its horrors. His details are fascinating. For example, the advantages and disadvantages of a rifle and a musket, the uses of cannon to reduce castle walls to rubble and the siege warfare techniques of 1800s.
I wholeheartedly endorse this book.
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Format: Paperback
This 1813-set entry in the Napoleonic War series finds Sharpe once again battling two of his most formidable foes: bureaucracy and the thoroughly evil Sgt. Hakeswill, the man responsible for his flogging in India a decade previously. The first of these battles is a foregone conclusion, as the Horse Guards finally reject Sharpe's battlefield commission to Captain, and he is reassigned away from his company as a Lieutenant. The depression this brings about is further exacerbated by the installation of Sgt. Hakeswill in Sharpe's old company. Early on, Sharpe has a chance to kill his legendarily unkillable enemy, but chooses not to and lets him go, saying that he prefers to do so in the sight of 1,000 men, so that everyone knows the deed is done. It's one of the unlikelier plot justifications of the series, made all the more annoying by the long-term implications of that decision. The story continues with Sharpe trying to figure out how to regain a Captaincy, while dealing with the schemes of Hakeswill. This is all set against the backdrop of the siege at the fortress of Badajoz. Cornwell excels at imparting the technical and murderous side of siege warfare at the time, while remaining entertaining. His descriptions of trench-digging, shelling, and futile charges against overwhelming firepower all eerily foreshadow the horrors of France and Belgium 100 years later. For Sharpe, the storming of the fortress is a test of his courage and pride, a point which Cornwell hammers home almost to the point of parody. To top it all off, Sharpe's lover, the guerilla leader Terressa, is holed up in Badajoz, and Sharpe must race to get to her before raping and looting soldiers do. The post-siege descriptions of wholesale rape are based on historical fact, and are not for the faint of heart (or young), so be warned. Another strong entry in the series.
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Format: Paperback
Overall, an excellent novel. I've read many of Sharpe's adventures, and have enjoyed them all. This particular story deals with the siege of Badajoz. It has everything we've come to expect from a Richard Sharpe novel: action, mind-boggling battle scenes, and the occasional romance. My only complaint sounds kinda dumb, even to myself-- the villian, Obadiah Hakeswill. Every so often an author comes up with a villian that he can't bring himself to kill. Even, as in this case, when it goes against all common sense. The character, Sharpe, simply would not allow an enemy to escape as many times as Hakeswill does. I know this is nit-picking, but having some experience in the military, I can safely say that an infantryman does NOT leave an enemy behind him. Not alive, anyway. Okay, enough whining from me. Again, this is an excellent read. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in historical fiction, action, or military history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a real fan of the Sharpe's novels - and the character - so I'm biased. So far, they've all turned out to be entertaining (and informative) historical fiction, well constructed and developed by the author. They do cover different historical events/periods - but I'm likely to make only this one general review since it's often difficult to differentiate which you're talking about just based on their titles. The series is well worth following - and I really have only 2 issues with it: 1. there are a lot of Sharpe's titles and it's a struggle to figure out which you want to get into next since they're not numbered, and 2. there's a character that's cast as essentially Sharpe's nemesis - and he's irritatingly persistent, impossible to extinguish, and has become a somewhat annoying and predictable element. That said, these are both very small issues when balanced against the enjoyment and interest that the series provides.
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