Another fine book. Writer's like Cornwell, of which there are few, never cease to amaze. Prolific yet always profound. Dramatic yet believable. Characters at once unstoppable yet also fallible. Stories fictional yet grimly realistic. And he always pays a mind to the ladies. In this one I read quite amused as the central female character, an English girl separated from her overbearing Protestant missionary aunt and thrust into Sharpe's willing care, goes on and on to the hardened but smitten Sharpe about her love interests, while the screams of dying men echo about the city. Sharpe, heartbroken and shocked from not being the chosen one, shows his human side and heads off to get drunk and find cheaper love. This amidst the aftermath of another vicious battle.
The author is so savvy and such a subtle teacher and so infinitely wise to the ways of men and women and life in this world, that you find his works not only entertaining but also instructive. You learn when you read his books. Sharpe is the ultimate warrior in a gruesome campaign to rid the peninsula of the murderous and treacherous French. I find his work somewhat formulaic at times, but it matters not if there is always a mysterious and devious villain, an alluring and attractive woman, a great fighter, a stalwart and able companion and the willing and able veterans of his green jacketed rifles. If you haven't gotten into Mr. Cornwell's works, then I can only tell you that a gold mine of literature awaits you.