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Sharpe's Sword: Richard Sharpe and the Salamanca Campaign, June and July 1812 (#14) [Paperback]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book by Cornwell, Bernard

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5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe does it again Aug. 24 2001
Why did I like this book?
*Excellent adventure
*Thrilling intrigue
*Exciting military strategies
*Extraordinary camaraderie
*Vicious villains
I don't know pick one...I enjoyed Bernard Cornwell's "Sharpe's Sword". The year is 1812, the location is Salamanca Spain. It is here that General Wellington must battle the French forces for the Western portion of the peninsula. Wellington's goal is to defeat the French, Sharpe's goal is to survive and be with his men. Captain Sharpe finds himself surrounded by spies and treachery, friends become enemies and enemies become friends. Sharpe can only place his trust in his faithful chosen men or in the doughty Major Hogan. Everyone else is suspect. Unlike the other Sharpe books, "Sword" doesn't spend a lot of time with the battles. Sharpe is drawn into a different battle field... the battle field of palace intrigue. Before long Sharpe is sharing the company of the beautiful... and mysterious La Marquesa. He battles the evil Colonel Leroux. Leroux's claim to fame is his usage of torture and cruelty. Along the way Sharpe is shot, lied to and very nearly stabbed by the same sword he covets.
I started with the PBS/BBS series, graduated to the audio tapes and now have read most of the novels. I wholeheartedly endorse the Sharpe series. It's great entertainment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Honor and Betrayal April 28 2009
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
As always, I encourage you to read the books in this series in the order of the chronology they describe rather than by publication date. Mr. Cornwell has come back again and again to "fill in" between books with other books. You'll enjoy the series more in a logical order.

At the current time, this is the 14th book in the chronological series.

After the desperate battles to throw the French out of Portugal and to enter Spain by breaching two fortresses, the British and their Portuguese and Spanish allies are near Salamanca looking to set up a battle that they can win decisively against the larger French forces.

As the book opens, the dangerous French Colonel Laroux has extracted some important information about a British spy ring through torture. But he's made a mistake and taken too long. He's at risk to be captured. Being a capable dissembler, Laroux soon has most of the British fooled . . . but not Sharpe. Laroux soon shows his true colors and the British realize it's essential that they contain Laroux's information before their spies are killed.

In the process, Sharpe becomes fascinated by Laroux's sword and begins to wish it were his. You'll begin to wonder how that might occur.

Next, Wellington has the relatively simple task of seizing three forts against far from extreme opposition after the main French army retreats. But it proves to be more difficult than expected. Someone has tipped off the French about when and where the attack will come.

Sharpe meanwhile is drawn into the party life of the Spanish aristocracy, finding himself drawn to the alluring La Marquesa despite being a newly married man. Is she also interested?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best in the series! May 12 2003
In order of publication, this is the 5th book in the Richard Sharpe series , but the 11th in a "timeline". As such , the author Bernard Cornwell has smoothed out his writing style to give Sharpe a lot more depth of character and a three dimensional aspect lacking in some of the earlier adventures.
In addition to Richard Sharpe ,Major Hogan , Wellington , and Patrick Harper , there are many interesting new characters introduced--La Marquesa (Helena) , Lord Jack Spears , "El Mirador" , and of course a vile villian , Colonel Laroux. All of these characters are artfully blended to achieve an exciting military adventure in which our hero Sharpe is gravely wounded ,and is rescued by his friend Patrick Harper. After being nursed back to health , Sharpe seeks his vengance against the man who wounded him.
The plot of this story involves a possible comprimise of the intelligence network of Major Michael Hogan and the possible exposure of his top agent , the mysterious El Mirador. Colonel Laroux , sent by Napoleon Bonaparte himself to destroy El Mirador , proves to be a ruthless enemy devoid of any honor. To reveal any more than this would indeed compromise the book's enjoyment for the reader , so I'll stop right here.
This volume seems to have it all--excitement,intrigue,romance,and of course the inevitable battle action! Of the 11 volumes I have read in timeline order , this one is right at the top of "my list" along with "Sharpe's Tiger" and "Sharpe's Triumph" for sheer entertainment value and excitement! Five stars and highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best in the Sharpe series so far July 18 2002
I have been reading the Sharpe series "mostly in order". Sharpe's Sword, to my taste, was the best so far. Cornwell had really matured as a writer by this time. I would not have expected a description of a near-fatal wound and its effects on a character we absolutely KNOW is going to survive to be so riveting and stirring. As always, Cornwell's closing historical note is like dessert after a fine meal, or perhaps more correctly like the moment where a magician steps back to reveal his secrets -- and you're left more in awe than ever, wondering, "How does he do it?"
I keep lists of the 20 to 40 books I read each year (anal, eh?), and this is the first in years I've given a full 5 stars. (I even forgive Mr. Cornwell now for the only regrettable book in the series so far, "Sharpe's Battle".) Highly recommended.
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