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Sharpe's Devil: Richard Sharpe and the Emperor, 1820-1821 [Library Binding]

Bernard Cornwell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 26 2008 1439500711 978-1439500712 Reprint
Hired by former lover Dona Louisa Blas Vivar to locate Vivar's missing husband, Richard Sharpe sets sail for South America, where they find the government of Chile in the corrupt hands of Bautista. 12,500 first printing. National ad/promo.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

Fans of the 10 previous Sharpe novels will be delighted to have the up-from-the-ranks ex-colonel back. Five years after Waterloo ( Sharpe's Revenge ), Sharpe, living quietly en famille in Normandy, is asked by Dona Louisa Vivar to find her husband, last seen as a Spanish captain-general in rebellious Chile. En route to South America, Sharpe can't resist stopping at St. Helena to meet Napoleon, who charms Sharpe and his ex-sergeant, Patrick Harper, then asks them to carry a gift to an English settler in Chile. When they arrive, they are told Vivar is dead, and the corrupt man serving in his place accuses them of trying to pass a message from Napoleon to Chilean insurgents. Sharpe and Harper are shipped out on a Spanish frigate, which is captured by rebels led by the eponymous devil, Scottish Lord Cochrane, formerly of the Royal Navy, still the legendary scourge of the Spanish fleet. The ebullient, daring Cochrane sweeps Sharpe along in a series of breathtaking adventures on land and sea that ends with a smashing, against-the-odds rebel victory and the solution to Vivar's disappearance. Readers will be dazzled by the rollicking plot, period color and the atavistic thrill of terrific battle scenes right out of a Turner painting.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In the 11th Richard Sharpe novel, our intrepid hero finds himself in the Spanish colony of Chile during its fight for independence in 1820-21. Hired by the wife of a Spanish nobleman to locate her kidnapped husband, the captain-general of Chile, Sharpe and friend Patrick Harper sail halfway around the world on a mission complicated by political intrigue and corruption. Series fans will find the usual strong characterization and action sequences, but some scenes, particularly the storming of the forts protecting the harbor of Valdivia, seem undeveloped and lacking in Cornwell's customary detail. Public libraries should purchase according to demand.
- Harold N. Boyer, Marple P.L., Broomall, Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Capitan-General Blas Vivar's wife, the Countes of Mouromorto, had been born and raised in England,but Sharpe had first met Miss Louisa Parker when, in 1809 and with thousands of other refugees, she was fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of northern Spain. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting historical account April 17 2002
The plot assumes that ships could land passengers at St. Helena in 1820 to interview Napoleon. Such was not the case. The British fired on any unauthorized ship attempting to approach the island including, in one case, a ship in distress. Other than that, it is an interesting tale.
This is the last novel, chronologically, in the Richard Sharpe series. Sharpe is separated from his wife and living in France with his latest mistress and their two children. His shortage of money indicates his wife in England has everything he stole in Spain. When the Countess of Mouromorto shows up to hire Sharpe to find her missing husband in Chile, his mistress is very receptive to the sight of the money (needed to improve her farm). Sharpe finds himself on his way to Chile with his old friend Patrick Harper, and makes the aforementioned stop at St. Helena to see Napoleon.
Sharpe and Harper become involved, unwillingly, in the civil war raging in Chile between the Spanish royalists and the rebels under O'Higgins (supported by Lord Cochrane). Sharpe's fortunes take some twists and turns, as does the plot. The involvement of Lord Cochrane in Chile is described fairly accurately, including the action at Valdivia. Sharpe, of course, gets his share of the spoils. One can hope that Sharpe will fare better with his latest mistress than he has with earlier women in his life. Having Sharpe acquire bags full of loot always creates the possibility of further action (after all, Lord Cochrane did invite him to go along, and we know from history that Lord Cochrane later served in Brazil and Greece).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for Fans of the TV/Video Series Aug. 2 2001
By Tiggah
Although I enjoy history and historical novels, I've never particularly cared for military history. But as anyone who has enjoyed the "Sharpe" television (& video) series will attest, there's so much more to these stories than mere military history. This is the first Bernard Cornwell novel I've read, and it certainly won't be the last. Without a doubt, fans of the show will not be disappointed with this novel; in fact, it is a must-read as it is the very last Sharpe novel, and it has not been dramatized (so far).
As for the story (without giving anything away--this is all in the prologue), it is 1820 and Sharpe & Harper are reunited for an expedition to Chile in search of an old friend. En route, they visit St. Helena and have the honour of meeting the imprisoned Napoleon, who entreats Sharpe to convey a gift to an admirer in Chile.
This novel is an absolute page-turner, and Cornwell is truly a master storyteller. Suffice it to say that no knowledge of military tactics or manoeuvres is necessary in order to fully enjoy this gem of a novel. Any action or suspense is seasoned with liberal doses of humour, and there is a most delightful array of entertaining characters. Lastly, the story is made all the more memorable by the historical afterword.
This novel is sure to please. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a thrilling, action-packed read, and particularly to aficionados of historical fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Out of retirement for Mister Sharpe! Feb. 12 2000
It is 1821, six years after the Battle of Waterloo. Richard Sharpe, veteran of the French Wars, has made his home and family in Normandy. However, the sudden arrival of Blas Vivar's wife alerts this instinctive hero to trouble. It is up to Sharpe in locating General Blas Vivar and bring him back from revolutionary Chile. Seeking out a fattened Patrick Harper - formerly his Irish sergeant-major - the two friends make their way by ship to the distant shores of the New World. They stop off at St. Helena to pay their respects to an exiled emperor: once the Scourge of Europe, now a saddened, sickened old man, plagued by what his own greatness could have brought France. Despite his restrictions, and being a former enemy, Napoleon proves a charming, almost sympathetic host. Yet, from almost beginning to end, Sharpe is tricked into aiding a conspiracy that could drench all the Americas in blood and turmoil. I won't spoil it for you by elaborating. But I will mention that the last (chonologically!) Sharpe adventure proves most entertaining: with varied, believable characters, a strange land fully described, peopled by treacherous, corrupt, and deceitful officials who delight in toying with two foreigners on an honourable mission. The interesting aspect of this great plot is that Spain gradually becomes Sharpe's enemy. In particular, I loved the delicate interview with Napoleon; Bautista proved a most cowardly, cunning arch-villain, and the wild, courageous rebel Cochrane added extra spice to a gripping read. Sharpe is set on course for an insane pursuit to find the truth about Vivar - and escape the jaws of certain death!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe as Ever! June 11 2000
The final novel in the Richard Sharpe series, (thus far,) has retired Lt. Col. Richard Sharpe undertaking a mission to find an old friend in revolutionary Chile. With Patrick Harper at his side Sharpe first visits the isle of St. Helena with it's one tourist attraction: the Emperor Napoleon. After a brief audience with Bonoparte Sharpe heads to Chile where he faces the local Spanish Captain-General Bautista. Eventually Sharpe and Harper throw their lot in with the rebels and their rogue of an Admiral, Lord Cochrane. This novel is yet more proof of Cornwell's ability to tell an exciting story while at the same time evoke with absolute vision the early nineteenth century into the reader's mind. I hope this isn't the last book in the Richard Sharpe novels but if it is it is a fitting ending to a series that rank among the great adventure stories of modern fiction.
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