Sharpe's Fortress

Sharpe's Fortress

Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Gawilghur, December 1803

Book - 2000
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"The greatest writer of historical adventures today."
--Washington Post

Critically acclaimed, perennial New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell (Agincourt, The Fort, the Saxon Tales) makes real history come alive in his breathtaking historical fiction. Praised as "the direct heir to Patrick O'Brian" (Agincourt, The Fort), Cornwell has brilliantly captured the fury, chaos, and excitement of battle as few writers have ever done--perhaps most vividly in his phenomenally popular novels following the illustrious military career of British Army officer Richard Sharpe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In Sharpe's Fortress, Ensign Sharpe's adventures in India reach a grand finale at the Siege of Gawilghur during the Maharatta War in December 1803, as Cornwell's hero uncovers a foul treason and seeks a righteous revenge. Perhaps the San Francisco Chronicle said it best: "If only all history lessons could be as vibrant."

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, 2000.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060194246
Branch Call Number: CORN
Characteristics: 294p. 24cm.


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mvkramer Oct 08, 2016

The Sharpe magic has run out for me. This series is very formulaic. It's like clockwork. Sharpe faces prejudice and adversity, Sharpe faces Hakeswill and other villains, Sharpe randomly sleeps with some chick, Sharpe fights!! and wins. Rinse and repeat. Despite the excellent historical detail and exciting battle sequences, this is starting to wear thin.

Mar 21, 2011

Sharpe's Fortress represents one of the earlier installments of Sharpe's career before he ever went to Spain to do battle against Napoleon’s forces, before he ever become a Rifleman.

The novel takes place in India. Colonel Wellesly, later to become Lord Wellington, is charged with the task of subduing rebel forces in India. His last task is to take the seemingly unassailable fortress at Gwalighur. The storming of the fortress is no mere construct of fiction: the tale is firmly rooted in actual events --- and that includes this feat of military bravery. And the bravest of them all, of course, is our hero Richard Sharpe who must overcome military incompetence on the part of many of his “superior” officers.

An officer who has been promoted up through the ranks, Sharpe is not accepted, barely tolerated in fact by most of his fellow officers, many of who are working the system, selling British arms and ammunition to the enemy in order to feather their own nests. There is more than one gentlemanly born officer whose bravery is held to question as he instructs his men to “go slow” so they won’t be at the head of the charge.

Sharpe meets up with his old nemesis Obahdiah Hawkswill, seemingly evil incarnate and one who believes steadfastly that he cannot be killed. Despite Sharpe’s best efforts, Obahdiah escapes his just deserts by deserting to the enemy. And when the enemy’s fortifications fall to Wellesly’s men, Obahdiah escapes once again --- to reappear in subsequent Sharpe novels.

The assault on the fortifications leaves lots of room for sword and gun play and hot fighting. There are traitors to be dispatched. There are solders to be killed and other soldiers that must die.

Cornwell and Sharpe put you right in the middle of it all.

The nice thing about the Sharpe novels is that regardless of how improbable the odds stacked against our hero may be , through bravery, ferocity and tenacity, you know that Sharpe will prevail. Good must prevail. And what better good can there be than the manifest destiny of the British to triumph over all the inferior races of the planet: thank God there'll always be an England. This must be what leading a charmed life is all about.

So, here you have it: Sharpe’s Fortress: another fix for the Sharpe-addicted. What can I say: you’ve got to read this one too.


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