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Sharpe's Enemy (Richard Sharpe (chronological order) #15)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  5,582 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
Newly promoted, Major Richard Sharpe leads his small force into the biting cold of the winter mountains, his task to rescue the well-born women held hostage by a rabble of deserters.
Paperback, 380 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Harper (first published 1984)
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Anthony Ryan
Oct 07, 2014 Anthony Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For my money, this is the best outing for Cornwell's titular hero. Mid-way through the Peninsular War British officer Richard Sharpe draws his sword for a showdown with arch-enemy Obadia Hakeswill before marshalling his meagre forces, including some new fangled rockets, to stave off a French offensive. Historical fact and fiction mixed to great effect with Cornwall's customary aplomb.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Birks
Firstly, I love the TV show. Seen it multiple times, even marathon-ed it with a friend one weekend at Uni. For me, Sharpe will always be Sean Bean. Despite the different description in the book, Sean Bean has become the default image of the character in my mind. This being said, I honestly have no suitable answer as to why it has taken me so long to read a Sharpe novel. And I know I've begun out of order, but for whatever reason Sharpe's Enemy was the Sharpe novel I chose to start with.

To say I
Sep 22, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gerald Matzke
Dec 10, 2016 Gerald Matzke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This episode in the series of stories featuring Richard Sharpe was an exciting read from beginning to end. The fan of Richard Sharpe will recognize several characters from other stories in the series. This story was cleverly woven together in such a way that the reader was treated to some surprising twists that upon further reflection you would say that you almost expected it to happen. That makes this work especially enjoyable. This one of the best Sharpe books that I have read!
Jun 06, 2008 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction, Napoleonic Wars, Cornwell fans
This is perhaps the best of the Sharpe series, and I've read 14 of the 20 I know about. The only volume close to it is "Trafalgar".

Sharpe is most human in this story. He is, as usual, bedeviled by an arrogant aristocrat, Col. Lord Farthingdale, who knows nothing of fighting but is intent on imposing his will on Sharpe.

The true evil villain, Sgt. Obadiah Hakeswill, shows up again in the company of a group of deserters led by the infamous Pot Au Feu, a French deserter. The band have invested a Spa
David Weinfeld
Jun 18, 2016 David Weinfeld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sharpe outdoes himself. Promoted to Brevet Major, Sharpe almost single handedly takes over a battalion, saves a great number of hostages from a strong deserter band, and despite a higher officer's desire to abandon the location,Sharpe stays and holds off the French long enough for reinforcements to arrive. His wife Teresa is killed by Hakeswill who in turn is killed by shooting squad with Sharpe delivering the coup de'tdad.
Oct 29, 2013 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always preferred the mostly-fictional Sharpe novels. When Cornwell fits plot around historical events and has Sharpe casually winning some of the most famous battles in history on his own, it can sometimes feel forced and contrived. This is one of my three favourite Sharpe novels along with Siege and Regiment, because it's atmospheric, moody and chronicles a bitter, sordid private war. When Sharpe is allowed to escape history, he truly can be one nasty fucker!
L.M. Mountford
Jul 31, 2016 L.M. Mountford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy the sharpe novels but i feel this one desevered 5 stars as it was complete fiction. Aside from a few characters, all the events in this are entirly works of fiction with no bases on historical events. And so I deffinatly feel it deserved 5 stars for that alone. Want more, afraid you'll have to buy and read :)
Drew Ck
Jan 26, 2013 Drew Ck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Major Sharpe, is sent to pay the ransom of a British lord's wife after she was captured by an army of deserters, led by an old enemy. Major Sharpe finds himself a new enemy in the french spymaster Major Pierre Ducos.
Sharpe defending a pass into Portugal, and meets his nemesis Obadiah Hakeswill. Hakeswill is one of the more vivid villians out there.
Jeremiah Frick
Jun 30, 2012 Jeremiah Frick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is, in my mind, the most touching and enjoyable of the Sharpe series to this point. Fantastic.
Mar 19, 2014 Deanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, war
Sharpe comes to the rescue of some damsels in distress and comes across an old enemy, there's also a promotion and a new weapon.
Kathy Davie
Aug 30, 2010 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, military
First read: 19 Mar 2009. Love the battle, tactics, camaraderie, and the history.

Fifteenth in the Richard Sharpe fictional military series featuring the now Major Richard Sharpe fighting in the Peninsular War.

My Take
I'm thinking "the best of times, the worst of times". Yeah, Richard gets his majority and amazingly defends against a much superior force. And loses his heart. I know it's stupid to cry about a fictional character, but I can't help but think of the waste...even if it is just a story
Scott Schmidt
This is my second Sharpe novel after Sharpe's Siege and I already can't wait for the next one I come across. Cornwell's prose is right on that sweet spot of being accessible, but not watered down. And the scenarios in which he places his characters always keep you guessing. This book in particular involves a two-pronged plot in which the newly-appointed "Major" Sharpe and his green-jacketed Riflemen must first assault, then defend a strategic valley. It's also the first appearance of "Sweet Will ...more
Jan 31, 2017 Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four and a half stars. This is a great series, and Sharpe's Enemy is one of the best, if not THE best, of the lot. This is one of the few Sharpe books not placed in an actual historical setting, but it loses nothing by that. In fact, this plot is more active, the characters are more compelling, and the action more varied than in many of the earlier books in the series. Highly recommended for fans of this genre.
Nov 10, 2016 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bernard-cornwell
Probably my favorite Sharpe book to date beside the obvious resurrection of Hakeswell who somehow has managed to escape from certain death in previous books. Recently promoted to Major Sharpe is asked to rescue an English nobles wife from a army of deserters. Sharpe finds himself struggling to hold them off until help arrives.
Chris Crum
Jan 25, 2017 Chris Crum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great as always. very entertaining overall with excellent depictions of battles. the escapades of sharpe and harper never fail to entertain.
Feb 12, 2013 Mick rated it it was amazing
This entry in the Sharpe series is unusual, in that unlike most of the other books (Sharpe's Gold is the other notable exception) it is based on fictional events, albeit inspired by actual characters and circumstances. It's also a particularly strong entry in the series, and perhaps my favourite so far.

It's Christmas, 1812. As Wellington's army is preparing to defend Portugal against a fresh French onslaught, Captain Richard Sharpe, hero of Talavera and Badajoz and commander of the South Essex'
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
15th in the Richard Sharpe series.[return][return]Although late in the chronological sequence, this book is one of the earliest that Cornwell wrote. Like any good writer, he learned and improved as he went along. Sharpe s Enemy, however, does bear something of a burden from being one of the early ones, because as in one or two other early books, Cornwell has a bit of a difficult time getting the action off the ground smoothly.[return][return]However, the book suffers only from comparison with la ...more
Kevin Findley
A good Sharpe book, but not a great one IMHO. Then again, killing Teresa was a mistake to me. Especially when it was Hakeswell who had the opportunity only because Sharpe let him live to see a court-martial rather than killing him on the spot for desertion.
SHARPE'S ENEMY may well be the best of the early Sharpe outings written by Cornwell. I could never choose a single 'best' book in this long-running series, but this is definitely one of the top ones that surpasses most of its predecessors.

Unusually, the story isn't based on a big historical battle, but you can relax: Cornwell devises one of his own choosing anyway. The result is a pacey adventure packed with vivid description and even more vivid characters. I think the reason this book is so wel
Jun 06, 2012 Daleb. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mon. June 18, 2012
Finished this one on Sat. evening finally. Too many distractions ;oP and i kept putting it down.
Spoiler Alert Review:
Another great Sharpe novel. The actor who played "Hake Swill" (my private name for the loathsome thing) did and absolutely fabulous job of bringing "it" to life. They seemed to have make Obidiah both More & Less nasty than the book all at the same time. In the book, he just escapes but in the movie he rapes and kills the wife of the (now) dead soldier and ste
Oct 29, 2011 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 31, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#15 in the Richard Sharpe series chronologically (#4 in publication order). 1812 in the Napoleonic Wars and Sharpe helps Wellington's army prevent a French re-invasion of Portugal.

Richard Sharpe and the Defence of Portugal, Christmas 1812 - In the winter of 1812 a group of deserters descends on the hamlet of Adrados, led by Obadiah Hakeswill and Pot-au-Feu. They seize a number of women on pilgrimage, including Josefina Lacosta travelling as "Lady Farthingdale", and Madame Dubreton, wife of a Fre
Aug 30, 2013 Rog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Richard Sharpe, yet. In this story, Sharpe matures in multiple directions. Not only does Mr. Cornwell deliver his typically well written 19th century war-in-Europe story, Sharpe as the main character takes a strategic initiative�� as a commander. In past stories, Sharpe has been given a mission or had circumstances thrust upon him. In this story, Sharpe makes a decision that affects the course of the allies war against France. Sharpe also learns about himself and love in a tragic fac ...more
This is one of the older Sharpe books and also one of the best. Sharpe is a newly promoted to Major and is tasked with investigating whether the rocket troop will ever be effectively used as a weapon. But high in the hills, on a holy day for women, a small army of deserters attack a convent, kill the men and force the women to join them. Four ladies are amongst them and they are to be ransomed back to their English and French husbands. Sharpe is asked to take the money, but the deserters refuse ...more
Feb 14, 2016 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 15th book in the series and I am still reading them one after another. (OMG, it’s one L-O-N-G book – but I continue to enjoy each.)

It’s 1812 in Spain and Sharpe has been promoted to Major (!) and Wellington is now General of all of the English, Spanish and Portuguese. All seems to be going well for our main character and hero until the evil Sargent Obadiah Hakeswilll – his enemy for 20 years – reappears leading a band of British deserters. The Sgt. is massacring civilians creating di
Feb 08, 2013 Marko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I read the Sharpe novels in the chronological order, every time I get my hands on one written earlier in the series development (= the older Sharpe books), I've learned to expect more from it than I do from Cornwell's later and newer books. The new books are almost all of them very formulaic and lack the imagination and spirit that his earlier novels had.

The same holds true for Sharpe's Enemy. It is one of the better novels in the series, even though the end battle is predictable (even the tr
One of Cornwell's best, and notable for the introduction of Captain 'Sweet' William Frederickson. Sharpe, promoted to Major, leads a rescue mission to a place known as the Gateway of God to retrieve two ladies, one British and one French, held captive by a large and motivated group of deserters made up from many armies: French, British, Portuguese, Spanish. Amongst them is Sharpe's nemesis, the fearsome Obadiah Hakeswill - who may be Cornwell's best ever literary creation - and then Sharpe disco ...more
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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
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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 Rifles (Sharpe, #6)
  • Sharpe's Havoc (Sharpe, #7)
  • Sharpe's Eagle (Sharpe, #8)
  • Sharpe's Gold (Sharpe, #9)
  • Sharpe's Escape (Sharpe, #10)

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