Sharpe's Prey

Sharpe's Prey

Richard Sharpe and the Expedition to Copenhagen, 1807

Book - 2001
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The anger was livid now. "Remember whipping me?"he asked. "Whipping me till the blood ran? I remember, Jem. That's why I came back.""Listen, lad.""Don't you bloody lad me," Sharpe said. "I'm grown now, Jem. I'm a soldier, Jem, an officer, and I've learned to kill."

Richard--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.

Publisher: London : HarperCollins, 2001
ISBN: 9780002258753
0002258757
Branch Call Number: FIC Cornw 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 260 p

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Jul 30, 2010

Sharpe's Prey represents one of Cornwell's earlier episodes in the career of Richard Sharpe. This is a rougher Sharpe; less secure than we will get to know him in later novels. Sharpe is but just come back from India and is but at the beginning of his career.
The setting for this novel is Europe in 1807. France, desperately wanting to attack England is prevented from doing so only by the British navy which stands in its way. France last its navy at Trafalgar and is eyeing the fleet of small, neutral Denmark as a replacement.Currently the Danish fleet is ensconced in Copenhagen's heavily defended inner harbour.
Sharpe, put off at his ill treatment by the British military is ready to defect to the Danish as the British fleet lobs bombs and shells at Copenhagen.
That, in a thumb-nail is the plot. There are spies; traitors; double-crossers; and ladies to lose a heart to.
On the Cornwell gore, violence and murder scale, I would say this rates at perhapsn a six out of ten.
Regardless, as always, Cornwell's books: well worth reading.

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