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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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Library Binding, June 26 2008 --  
Paperback CDN $11.67  
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe Meets Napoleon in Exile Sept. 18 2009
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
"When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time." -- Luke 4:13

It takes a special imagination to find a way to write another Richard Sharpe novel after Napoleon was soundly defeated at Waterloo, but Bernard Cornwell's fertile mind has conjured up a tale to bring back that intrepid hero for one last hurrah (at least for now). Sharpe is a farmer now until he's pulled out of retirement to look for one of his old compatriots from the Napoleonic wars in Spain, Don Blas Vivar, who has been leading Spain's efforts in Chile to fight off rebels.

Sharpe and Harper join a group of Spanish officers headed for Spain. On the way, they take a detour to visit Napoleon in exile on the island of St. Helena. If you've wondered what would happen if Napoleon and Sharpe ever met, this book will satisfy your curiosity.

Once in Spain, Sharpe finds himself in over his head and is soon sent packing as a pressed seaman on the very ship that just brought him from Europe. But at this point, the adventure takes a positive turn as Sharpe develops a new and unexpected ally among the rebels. The second half of the book recounts the kind of daring fights that made this series so appealing . . . combining land and sea forces in this case.

You'll probably guess the story's outcome before the end, but that won't spoil the fun very much. With the final historical note, you'll also be left with some very interesting "what if's" to ponder.

This isn't one of the best books in the series, but it's a must read for all Sharpe fans due to the meeting of the two retired soldiers in the middle of the Atlantic.

Good-bye for now, Richard. It's been fun reading about you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good adventure. Sept. 1 2002
Excellend adventure reading. I liked all Sharp stories.
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but does this series ever have an end? July 20 2001
Bernard Cornwell's Sharp's Devil is, once again, an excellently written and well crafted story of adventure and chivalry in the Napoleonic Age. It compares well with the earlier novels as well as the trilogy set in India. At the same time, one has to wonder when this series of books will ever end? Next thing you know we'll see Sharpe single-handedly winning the Battle of Vera Cruz in the Mexican-American War, or maybe Mr. Cornwell could rewrite some of C.S. Forester's Hornblower books, and have Sharpe savage an entire brigade of French troops in the landings at Quiberon Bay. Excellent books, but I think the situations are getting a bit ridiculous now; Sharpe does not need to fight any more wars. Let him retire in peace.
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