Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Barrosa, March 1811
HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780060530488, 352pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
For more than twenty years, Richard Sharpe, the brave and dashing officer who rose from rags on the street to a commission in his majesty's army, has been thrilling audiences on both the page and on screen. Now the incomparable Bernard Cornwell ("the greatest writer of historical novels today"*) returns with a thrilling new installment—the first new Sharpe novel in more than two years.
The year is 1811. With the British army penned into a small part of Portugal, and all of Spain fallen to the invader except for the coastal city of Cadiz, the French appear to have won their war. Captain Richard Sharpe has no business being in Cadiz, but when an attack on a French-held bridge goes disastrously wrong, Sharpe—accompanied by Harper, his loyal Irish sergeant, and the obnoxious Brigadier Moon—finds himself in a city under French siege. It is also a town riven by political rivalry. Some Spaniards believe their country's future would be best served if they broke their alliance with Britain and forged a friendship with Napoleon's France; their cause is only strengthened when some letters written to a prostitute by the British ambassador fall into their possession. They resort to blackmail, and Sharpe, raised in the gutters of London and taught to fight, is released into the alleys of Cadiz to find the woman and retrieve the letters.
Yet defeating the blackmailers will not save the city. That is up to the charismatic Scotsman, Sir Thomas Graham, who takes a small British force o attack the French siege lines. The attack goes horribly wrong; Sir Thomas's outnumbered army is trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea, and on a March morning, at Barrosa, Richard Sharpe finds himself embroiled in one of the most desperate infantry struggles ever fought. Sir Thomas has his own reasons for revenge, as does Sharpe, who goes into battle seeking the French colonel who precipitated the disaster that stranded Sharpe in Cadiz. In a bloody and stirring battle, Sharpe and the English get their revenge and their victory, but at a terrible cost. A triumph of both historical and battle fiction, Sharpe's Fury will sweep both old and new Sharpe fans into their hero's incredible adventures.