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Sharpe's Enemy (Sharpe, #15)
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Sharpe's Enemy (Sharpe #15)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  4,358 ratings  ·  85 reviews
A band of renegades led by Sharpe's vicious enemy, Obadiah Hakeswill, holds a group of British and French women hostage on a strategic mountain pass. Outnumbered and attacked from two sides, Sharpe must hold his ground or die in the attempt.

Consistently exciting... these are wonderful novels. (Stephen King)

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 1987 by Penguin Books (first published 1984)
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Anthony Ryan
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2009 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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!
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.
Drew Ck
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.
Tom Darrow
Good historical fiction. This is maybe the 7th or 8th of this series I have read.

Positives - Explains the history well enough to make sense for non-historians, but quickly enough so as not to dwell. The same is true for introducing characters.

Not as formulaic as some of his other works, which makes sense because it is mostly fiction.

Negatives - His narrative style in a few chapters gets a bit confusing where he jumps back and forth between different soldiers and army's perspectives in the same s
Sharpe defending a pass into Portugal, and meets his nemesis Obadiah Hakeswill. Hakeswill is one of the more vivid villians out there.
Jeremiah Frick
This is, in my mind, the most touching and enjoyable of the Sharpe series to this point. Fantastic.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Joyce Lagow
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
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'
Kathy Davie
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
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
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 facet ...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
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
Rupert Fenton
Cornwell is one of the greatest historical novelists and in my option the most fun. This is the eighth of the Sharpe books I have read and the best so far. It charges forward a great speed just when you start to guess what is coming next it takes an unexpected turn. I normally try to give a six month gap between reading a book by the same author - but am ready for the next one "Sharpe Honour".
Out of all the Sharpe's I've read, I think I like this one the best. The pacing is good, the friendship between Sharpe and Harper is brilliant, Captain Frederiksson is magnificent, the long-standing enemies, one leaving, other entering, are so wonderfully evil, the brooding and manpain are delicious, the humor is just right.
Barbara Ghylin
When I read this book I was very glad to see Richard Sharpe make rank. He has a lot of support in high places, just not the money to support his rank. I like the way the story picks up and many of the same people show up. Most of his men will follow him where him to hell knowing that he has been there-done that and he is right there beside them. A soldier's soldier!
Army of deserters have captured highborn ladies and are holding them for ransom. Sharpe is tasked with saving them if only the useless highborn officers will stay out of the way. Sharpe's nemesis, Sargent Hakeswill, is among the deserters.
Joel Larmour
Notable for three things: Sharpe's promotion to Major, the climax of Sharpe's feud with his bitterest enemy and a tragic event in Sharpe's life which means the book does not end in the upbeat manner so typical of others in the series.
Brandan Woelm
This is by far my favorite book of the 21 book series. I have read them all countless times, but this one would be the one I grabbed in a fire.
New promoted Major Richard Sharpe is appointed to clear out a rag tag army of deserters from British, French, Spanish and Portuguese forces that are wreaking havoc on supply lines and destroying Anglo-Spanish relations with their derisive antics. He meets and old enemy and makes new friends while supporting the newly formed Rocket Divisions inaccurate we
Another most excellent adventure for Sharpe. Very well read - immersed me into the tale fully. Looking forward to the next one.
Michael Thompson
Wow. Discipline in the British army was incredibly harsh. I have a new appreciation of the cat of nine tails.
Peter Hall
This is another book in which Richard Sharpe faces off with his arch nemesis Obadiah Hawkeswill who has a band of deserted British soldiers and other outlaws holding french and British women hostage on a key mountain pass. Sharpe's job is to rescue the women and clear the mountain pass. When he gets to the mountain pass he realizes that he is being assaulted on two sides because the french have also showed up. So Sharpe in a sense is surrounded, so with all of this being said this book deviates ...more
Jeff Yoak
This is a new favorite for me in the Sharpe series. It is odd that Sharpe's greatest moment (thus far!) and the consequences of his greatest failure fall together in this novel. This story had me beaming with pride as Sharpe assumes his largest command to date and holds off ten times as many French. The tragic events in the novel had me both grinding teeth in anger and disgust and crying. You couldn't appreciate the depths of all of these without having taken the journey with Sharpe through so m ...more
I really dreaded rereading this book because of something terribly sad that happens near the end of the book. Finally picking it up for the second time, I am struck not by the awful event, but by how well crafted it is. Books about soldiers and war cannot be all full of joy, happiness and light but the fact that I actually cried shows what a good job Cornwell does. I do not cry easily, especially rereading fiction. Like many of the Sharpe books this does an incredible job of making war in the ea ...more
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother 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 mother's maiden name, Cornwe ...more
More about Bernard Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

Sharpe (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)
The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1) The Winter King (The Warlord Chronicles, #1) The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2) Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3) The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest, #1)

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