Review: Sharpe’s Rifles

Bernard Cornwell (1988)
304 pages

I don’t read many action adventure stories, so this was a fun change of pace.  Set in 1809, a regiment of British infantry called the 95th Rifles become involved in the Spanish fight for independence from the French. Under the leadership of Lt. Richard Sharpe, a career soldier who reluctantly rises from the ranks, the Rifles find themselves in league with a charismatic Spanish noble transporting a mysterious chest the French are desperate to capture.

The adventure moves quickly from one battle to the next as the vastly outnumbered Rifles, the best of the best, use skill, strategy and luck to fulfill their mission. Throughout, Lt. Sharpe adjusts to his new role as commander, makes mistakes, and ultimately wins the respect and acceptance of his men. The first in a series of eleven novels, culminating at the battle of Waterloo. [**** out of 5]

3 thoughts on “Review: Sharpe’s Rifles

  1. Very good series, although I always thought there were more than eleven books.
    Have you seen the TV series with Sean Bean as Sharpe? Each show was like a mini movie.
    You should read more of Cornwell’s books. I particularly enjoyed his Athurian trilogy.

  2. While in San Diego this past week I snapped up the next three Sharpe books from my favorite used book store. I’m familiar with the TV series (which I haven’t yet seen) — it led me to the books. I wanted to give them a try first and I’m glad I did!

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