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Capt. Richard Sharpe, upstart rifleman, performs a sensitive mission for Henry Wellesley, the duke of Wellington's younger brother and special envoy to Spain in Cadiz, in bestseller Cornwell's rousing 21st military historical (after 2005's Sharpe's Escape). A secret cabal of Spaniards who favor a rapprochement with France threatens the alliance between England and Spain in the fight against Bonaparte. The conspirators, who include a murderous priest, Fr. Salvador Montseny, have stolen some unfortunate love letters Wellesley wrote to his prostitute amour, Caterina Blazquez, and plan to use them to embarrass the British. It's up to Sharpe to recover the letters and save the alliance. Meanwhile, British troops, with little help from the Spanish army, maneuver to lift the French siege of Cadiz. As usual, Sharpe must contend with a snobbish superior officer, Brigadier Moon, who gets his just reward in a delicious surprise twist at battle's end. One hopes the nasty Father Montseny, who disappears from the action too soon, will return to bedevil Sharpe in future installments. (Sept.)
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Once again, Cornwell is right on target, providing an irresistible combination of rousing military history, penetrating character analysis, and suspenseful martial intrigue. In the twenty-first entry in the best-selling Sharpe series, Cadiz, the last bastion of Spanish independence, is under siege, and it is up to the ever-resourceful Richard Sharpe and his stalwart unit of British soldiers to foil their ruthless French enemies in the winter of 1811. Of course, nothing is that simple, as Sharpe and his comrades become embroiled in much more than basic military maneuvers. The action culminates in the historic Battle of Barossa, which Cornwell--as usual--re-creates in painstakingly bloodcurdling detail. This new installment in a masterful, long-running series set during the Napoleonic Wars, which will appeal equally to devoted fans and to crossover readers who devoured the novels of the late Patrick O'Brian, is stirring British military history at its finest. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I would tell you to skip this book, but you deserve to read the wonderful story of the Battle of Barrosa which the British won single-handed against horrible odds while the Spanish... Read morePublished on March 30 2009 by Donald Mitchell