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Sharpe's Rifles (Richard Sharpe (chronological order) #6)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  11,235 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
It's 1809 and the powerful French juggernaut is sweeping across Spain. Lieutenant Sharpe is newly in command of the demoralized, distrustful men of the 95th Rifles. He must lead them to safety--and the only means of escape is a treacherous trek through the enemy--infested mountains of Spain.
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published July 24th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1988)
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More of a 2.5, but definitely my least favorite of the series so far. I didn't care for the reader, Fredrick Davidson, which didn't help. While he was tolerable, his Spanish voices were very low, gravelly, & almost unintelligible at times, while all his Irish voices were very high & lilting. Since one of the Irishmen was a really big, tough sergeant, the high voice didn't fit my image of a red haired Lee Marvin well.

Sharpe wasn't shown in a very good light for most of the book & the
I am reading the Sharpe books in chronological order and have just reached Sharpe's Rifles, the first meeting of Lt. Richard Sharpe and his best friend, Sgt. Harper, and I have to admit that the moment doesn't mean all that much to me.

It's crafted to be one of those great moments in fiction, and I suppose it could have been if I had approached Sharpe's Rifles from a different direction. Had I been reading the books in order of publication or even seen the occasional installment of the BBC's Shar
I've read many of his other series (Grail Quest, Saxon, Warlord, etc) but have not read any of the Sharpe's Rifles until now. Typically great fighting scenes, good characters, strong story. Brings the period to life. Now to find a bunch to acquire and read...eventually. 3 Stars
Kate Sherrod
Jul 26, 2009 Kate Sherrod rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"He might not be a born officer, but by God he was a born soldier. He was the son of a whore, bereft of God, but a God-damned soldier."

I've decided that the best way to approach the Sharpe series -- in which the publication order differs so radically from the publication order as to seem all but an exercise in randomization -- the way one does when reading stories about Conan the Cimmerian. There might be some narrative carry-over from novel to novel, but it's best to just regard them as discret
Sep 30, 2013 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sharpe's Rifles starts in 1809 with the Peninsular War in Spain already raging. For those who aren't familiar, the Peninsular War was one of the big conflicts of the Napoleonic Wars, with basically Britain, Spain, and Portugal duking it out with the French on the Iberian Peninsula. When we join our hero, the Spanish armies are destroyed and the British are already outnumbered and on the retreat from the French hordes. Due to some typical snobbish officer dumbassery, Sharpe and a small group of R ...more
Samuel David
Mar 25, 2017 Samuel David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have actually read several of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series before, but it had been some time ago. I was glad to re-immerse myself in a Napoleonic campaign of long ago. Sharpe is a hero that comes across as a real person. He responds authentically to the challenges he faces. I am not sure how much of the book is historically accurate, but it rings true to me.
Clearly, the campaign in Spain was a bloody one, and much of the book is devoted to military strategy and the nuances of battle. Some
Feb 09, 2011 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have really enjoyed this fantastic series by Bernard Cornwell, but this novel is, if not the most intricately plotted, saturated with battle after battle between Sharpe and his Rifles and the pursuing French hordes invading Spain in 1809. Right from the get go, the gore of the skirmishes leaves the reader feeling a bit queasy, and Cornwell rarely lets up. In fact I would say that every second chapter has some form of fight, conflict or attack that leaves the haggard main character, Richard Sha ...more
Feb 07, 2014 Deanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, war
More swashbuckling derring do from Lieutenant Richard Sharpe, do like a man in uniform though Sharpe's sounds like it should be thrown in the rag bag.
The action has moved to Spain and the peninsular war, read books which mention the Napoleonic wars but this is a chance to get to grips with who fought where and when. Already got the next in the series on the shelf to read.
Linda Banche
Dec 22, 2008 Linda Banche rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set during the Napoleonic Wars, Sharpe's Rifles is the story of soldier Richard Sharpe. War stories, full as they are of blood and guts, are not exactly my cup of tea. But Sharpe's Rifles is also a rousing adventure story, with plot twists that take you straight to the end, loads of descriptions, and even a bit of romance. Highly researched, the book is chock-full of historical detail, which I love, since it puts you right into the period.

But the best part is the self-doubting Sharpe, soldier ex
Robin Webster
Dec 05, 2016 Robin Webster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Sharpe’s Rifles’ is centred on the mainly fictional account of events in 1809 after a small expeditionary army sent to Spain in 1809 to support the Spanish and to cut off the invading French Army's supply lines. The story opens when the British army is forced to retreat and Lieutenant Sharpe finds himself for the first time in charge of a unit of his Rifle regiment. They find themselves cut off from the main army and the soldiers are reluctant to take orders from someone of their own class. Thi ...more
Sep 06, 2011 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
One of the best books so far in the series. The superhero excesses from the Indian campaigns have been tempered and Richard Sharpe is caught in a more convincing posture as a freshman officer recently promoted from the ranks and struggling to impose his authority on a band of recalcitrant soldiers. His encounter with Harper is memorable and I look forward to further interaction between the two personalities. As usual, there is a romance element in the novel, and this too has been treated in a mo ...more
Jul 17, 2008 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I watched the mini series first, and the book is way more intense and I wasn't even sure I liked Sharpe at all 1/2 way through the book. But that's character development for you. The author is a serious history buff and it's clear he knows what he's talking about. Some of it you kind of gloss over (which battalion was flanking which... come on!) but mostly he manages to sneak in interesting little facts like the English didn't smoke cigarettes, they only had little clay pipes. There's plenty of ...more
Marc Haddock
Jan 28, 2013 Marc Haddock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first met Richard Cornwell's books when I read his Arthurian series, and I've yet to read one of his books I didn't enjoy. I am working my way through the Sharpe series in chronological order and have enjoyed every one.

This book was written late in the series to provide an introduction to Sharpe and his Rifles, mainly to explain the relationship Sharpe forges here with his men and his brilliant Irish sergeant. It is great fun. The battle scenes are written with clarity and a great feel for act
Sam Taylor
Apr 01, 2016 Sam Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2015 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the beginning is slow and too detailed for my taste, the book provides a fascinating look into the routine of the English regiment during Napoleonic Wars. Sharpe's character evolves with the plot movement, and in a way his journey through French occupied Spain is his rite of passage: he grows up to become a leader of his men.
Sep 03, 2010 Lani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sharpe. He's brought up from the ranks. Here's where he forms his posse. Also, attends a battle in Santiago de Compostela.

Damage: Severe beating by one of his own men
Ladies Banged: 1, minister's niece who ends up snubbing him (if you know the series, this is no spoiler)
Proper Officer Yet?: No.
Feb 11, 2009 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so I wouldn't have read this series if my son hadn't been so enthusiastic about it. Sharpe is a military antihero in the British Army through part of the hundred year's war. Its sort of Horatio Hornblower on land. Love the adventures, loved the insubordination, learned a lot about the why's of the war. Lot of books in this series, this one's one of the best.
Nov 06, 2013 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apart from the fact that Sharpe should have been blond, like Sean!
Mar 19, 2013 Trina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great hook. There's something about the Napoleonic wars that stirs the blood. Sharpe's Rifles is like the Hornblower series, but on land. Bullseye if you like fast-paced action stories.
Drew Ck
Jan 04, 2013 Drew Ck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lieutenant Sharpe, has to lead men who resent him to the safety of the British lines.
Jan 29, 2011 Shane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've decided to read this series in chronological order, as I did, feel free to read on. If your reading in order of publication, be warned there are some spoilers.

The books leading up to Sharpe's Rifles were all written and published much later, still I don't feel it excuses the inconsistencies encountered when reading in chronological order. The Richard Sharpe in Sharpe's Rifles is nothing like the Sharpe from the previous books covering India, Trafalgar and Denmark. He's such a differen
Denton Holland
Mar 10, 2017 Denton Holland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sixth book in the series on Richard Sharpe finds him in Spain in 1809 newly placed in command of the demoralized, distrustful 95th Rifles who he must lead safely through mountains infested with Napoleon's armies which, with his usual flair, he does.
Roy Elmer
So, this is the sixth Sharpe book I've read so far, and quite a brief span of time. I do this from time to time. I'll pick up a series and read until the fatigue sets in. Discworld is the most recent example. The trouble with this approach is that it results in needing to take a breather and as the author's style and tropes become so familiar, it breeds a sort of complacent dislike for the material. Not because it isn't good, but because the turns of phrase can be repeated, or in Pratchett's cas ...more
Dec 29, 2010 Justus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you see one of these popular quasi-trashy series that have a million books written in non-chronological order I think you're always bound to be somewhat disappointed when you tackle them. Do you go in order of publication? That's what makes the most sense, I think. Yet Cornwell himself says to read them in chronological order. Not that his viewpoint has any special merit, all he did is write them and authors are far from the best judge of their works.

Over the years a number of people have a
Format: Audio (cds from Library)
Narrated By: Frederick Davidson
Original Publication Year: 1988
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Series: Sharpe #6
Awards: None

I really enjoy well researched historical fiction particularly that which focuses on Regency Era England. I’ve read Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles, a trio of Arthurian novels, which I liked very much. I usually love anything the BBC finds of interest. For all these reasons I should love this series of books which focus on Richard Sharpe, a
Kathy Davie
Aug 30, 2010 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, military, action
Sixth in the Richard Sharpe historical military fiction series revolving around Lieutenant Richard Sharpe currently slogging through a very cold Spain in January of 1809 as Quartermaster with the 95th Rifles.

My Take
This is a bridge story in which Sharpe struggles with and wins the hearts of the 95th while building new contacts that will aid him in Spain.

The Story
The 95th Rifles are bringing up the tail end of Sir John Moore's retreat in Spain. Clad in rags, freezing and starving, fighting off th
Jul 14, 2016 Tanabrus rated it really liked it
Per certi versi questo è uno dei migliori libri di Sharpe fino a qui (seguendo l'ordine cronologico).
Per altri, uno dei peggiori.

Il motivo per cui il libro lascia perplessi è che il personaggio di Sharpe sembra meno preciso, meno delineato di quanto non fossimo abituati a vedere nei libri precedenti.
E' sempre il solito grezzo, brutale e forte ufficiale promosso dai ranghi, certo, e si trova sempre a fare i conti con l'ostilità sia degli ufficiali che non si fidano di lui o lo ritengono una minac
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#6 in the Richard Sharpe series.[return][return]Two years have passed since the Copenhagen campaign, and in January, 1809, Sharpe finds himself, along wiht about three hundred men of the 95th Rifles, in Galician Spain running for safety, along with the rest of the defeated British army, from the French victory at Corunna. But in the retreat, Sharpe and the Rifles have become cut off from the main part of the army. Far from taking part in the fighting, Sharpe is Quartermaster of the 95th, a menia ...more
Feb 26, 2017 Muff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Sharpe is coming into his own as an officer and starting to bond with the Rifles. Davidson is a good reader, but I find the voice he uses for Harper to be too high pitched and a little annoying. I find I prefer Tull as a reader. Still a fun listen.
Apr 14, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this novel today, tore through it in three days...I would have finished last night but I took a pause to waste my time watching TV instead (silly silly move).

First, I have to say I have tried to read one of Mr Cornwell's novel before and I could not get into it at all. This one was different. I purchased this on Sunday evening and started reading it Monday over lunch and read about a third of the way through on the first day. Tuesday was murder on the book, I read through lunch and
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother, who was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his birth mother's maiden n ...more
More about Bernard Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

Richard Sharpe (chronological order) (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Sharpe's Tiger (Sharpe, #1)
  • Sharpe's Triumph (Sharpe, #2)
  • Sharpe's Fortress (Sharpe, #3)
  • Sharpe's Trafalgar (Sharpe, #4)
  • Sharpe's Prey (Sharpe, #5)
  • Sharpe's Havoc (Sharpe, #7)
  • Sharpe's Eagle (Sharpe, #8)
  • Sharpe's Gold (Sharpe, #9)
  • Sharpe's Escape (Sharpe, #10)
  • Sharpe's Fury (Sharpe, #11)

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