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Sharpe's Fury by Bernard Cornwell
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There isn't a great deal of fury going on in this eleventh (chronologically) Richard Sharpe novel, but at this point it must have started getting difficult to come up with titles? Maybe?

At any rate, Sharpe's Fury is, well, another Sharpe novel, in which much the sort of thing that happens in other Sharpe novels, happens again. He survives the nearly fatal incompetence of yet another highly placed British officer and manages to distinguish himself in doing so. He gets suckered into a decidedly non-military assignment on which, potentially, the fate of the Peninsular War depends. He meets a pretty woman of loose morals at just the right between-lovers moment to enjoy her usually expensive favors for free. He earns grudging admiration and gratitude and makes new enemies. He ruffles allied feathers. He is Richard Sharpe in a Richard Sharpe novel.

The fun here is largely in the side plots, which in this novel take place largely in and around boats, as befits its overall setting of the Spanish city of Cadiz, one of Europe's oldest cities, almost completely surrounded by the sea, its inhabitants desperately afraid that their British allies are going to make it into another Gibraltar. Well, most of them are afraid; some of them are more concerned about fanning that fear for their own political ends, whether they be to make of Spain a throwback autocratic monarchy/theocracy or to liberate it as a republic (with or without the help of Napoleon) or to continue to enjoy its current state of near lawlessness and profit potential.

Which brings us back to the main plot, which has Henry Wellesley, brother of the Iron Duke and British envoy to Spain in his own right. Unhappily married, it is he who first and primarily enjoys the favors of this novel's token female, only to convince himself he's in love, pen her some very indiscreet letters in which he tries to show off and impress her and thereby gives the Brit-haters of Cadiz exactly the kind of ammunition they need to make Brit-haters of the whole of Cadiz.

Guess who gets to try to buy, steal or destroy those letters? Hint: one of them carries around a non-regulation sword and rose up from the ranks; another carries a seven-barreled volley gun and actually gets to use it a bit. And, you know, the rest of their friends.

But that's all just the middle third of the book, which is bookended with, what else, battles. The last third, in a bit of a departure for the Sharpe novels, is rather light on scenes that actually feature Sharpe, as even Bernard "I put my infantry bastard at Trafalgar" Cornwell had trouble working his hero into the Battle of Barrosa. Suffice it to say that while Sharpe was playing spy/thief, the rest of the British are channeling Buttercup's beloved: "We are men of action; lies do not become us."

Again, history knowledge acts as a spoiler for this stuff, so I'm proud of myself for avoiding that Wikipedia article until just now. And again, well, the Spanish do not come off so well, perhaps even worse than the last time they let their British allies down. Still, I have a new hero about whom I wish to learn more in Sir Thomas Graham. Wow, that guy. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
Love the Sharpe books. ( )
  nx74defiant | Jan 23, 2016 |
Not quite up to standard, but a few exciting scenes, especially the fight in the cathedral.
Sharpe gets involved with trying to recover some incriminating love letters by a British official. Blackmail is being attempted to try to persuade the Spanish to throw in with the French. The usual complications ensue. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
Another typically enjoyable Sharpe adventure. Description of Battle of Barrosa seemed more graphic and longer than some battles in other books but probably because it was being fought on a number of fronts, and Sharpe and his men were only involved in part of it. Good rousing stuff, and always enjoy Cornwell's Historical Notes at the end. ( )
  cbinstead | Nov 13, 2013 |
In truth this is the first 'Sharpe' book that I have read and they are a completely new departure for me. That being said I really enjoyed it and will certainly follow up with others in the series.
Needless to say I come in very late on in Sharpe's career (seldom starting my reading in the correct order) so it took a little time to make sense of it all. My only prior knowledge came via two DVD's in fact.
Sharpe seems to be a 'loveable rogue' type of character and I look forward to reading more about him in due course.
I took the trouble on completing this book to check the historical facts of the Battle of Barrosa and of some of the participating characters,and I must say Bernard Cornwell seems to have done his research very well. ( )
  devenish | Sep 12, 2013 |
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Book description
En 1811, en plena Guerra de la Independencia, empiezan a surgir en España voces que defienden un acercamiento a Napoleón. El descubrimiento de unas comprometedoras cartas del embajador inglés a una prostituta no hacen sino alentar todavía más esa propuesta. En un Cádiz sitiado por las tropas francesas, Sharpe será el encargado de encontrar a la destinataria de las misivas y recuperar esas cartas. Cuando Sharpe y sus dos camaradas Harper y Moon llegan a Andalucía, las tropas inglesas, a las órdenes de sir Thomas Graham se disponen a romper el cerco francés, complicando, aún más, si cabe, la misión de Sharpe.
Esta vez Cornwell nos hará una magistral descripción bélica de la batalla de Chiclana (5 de marzo de 1811)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060561564, Paperback)

Be prepared for scenes of great action & heroics

"I had a word with Sergeant Nolan, so I did, and said you weren't entirely bad unless you were crossed, and then you
were a proper devil. And I told him you had an Irish father, which might be true, might it not?"
"So I'm one of you now, am I?" Sharpe asked, amused.
"Oh no, sir, you're not handsome enough."

Richard Sharpe

Soldier, hero, rogue—the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles, whose green jacket he proudly wears.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The year is 1811, and the French appear to have won their war in Portugal and Spain. The British army is penned into a small part of Portugal, while all of Spain except for the sea-wrapped city of Cadiz has fallen to the invader. Captain Richard Sharpe has no business being in Cadiz but finds himself in a city under French siege, attempting to defeat a blackmail attempt by Spaniards who want to break the alliance with Britain and forge a friendship with Napoleon's France plans that only Sharpe can thwart.… (more)

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