Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe Series

I’m not sure how many books Author Bernard Cornwell has written, I think it’s 40 or more. Cornwell writes historical novels and the Richard Sharpe books, as least the adventure series, follow the life of a fictional British Army soldier during the Napoleonic wars. There are 21 books that make up Sharpe’s Adventure Series and Sharpe’s Early Years. Millions of loyal fans have read all of Cornwell’s books and there’s a companion guide to The Early Years series written by a British Army Major.

I decided to see what all the fuss was about by reading one of the Sharpe’s Adventure Series books, and was informed that Sharpe’s Rifles was the place to start. It is set in Spain in January, 1809 after the disastrous British defeat by the French at the Battle of Corunna. Like Matterhorn, another war novel I recently read, I left this book with a sense of having personally experienced, albeit vicariously, the hardship, defeat and triumph of war.

In one sentence Sharpe’s Rifles is an adventure story about a man who deals with great obstacles in his personal life while facing mortal danger on the battlefield, and emerges triumphant on both fronts. Some of the dialog between characters is timeless and memorable and a joy to read. There are full reviews at Amazon for anyone who’s interested.

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