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

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,095 Ratings  ·  95 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
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.
Rebecca
Oct 03, 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.
Bjoern
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ed
Jan 06, 2009 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
...more
Ed
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
...more
Jamie
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!
Larry
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
...more
Deanne
Apr 11, 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.
Drew Ck
Jan 27, 2015 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.
Tom Darrow
May 08, 2014 Tom Darrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Michael
Sharpe defending a pass into Portugal, and meets his nemesis Obadiah Hakeswill. Hakeswill is one of the more vivid villians out there.
Stuart
Apr 12, 2007 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have found the Sharpe series to be good historical fiction--though not at the level of the O'brian seagoing series.
Jeremiah Frick
Jul 19, 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.
Alex
Aug 21, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(view spoiler) ...more
Phil
Nov 08, 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.
Graham
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
...more
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
Mick
Mar 13, 2015 Mick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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'
...more
Kathy Davie
Mar 12, 2012 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
...more
Daleb.
Jun 18, 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
...more
Rog
Sep 17, 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 facet ...more
Dark-Draco
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
Marko
Feb 17, 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
...more
Rupert Fenton
Jul 02, 2015 Rupert Fenton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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".
Jimmy
Apr 18, 2016 Jimmy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war-fiction
How ironic is it that my favorite Sharpe novel is the one with the least fact VS fiction ratio.?
None the less this is the book that has Sharpe where he belongs., front and center of the battle with hawkswill along as our favorite bad guy.
There are some very interesting events that I expect will feature in future novels. Unfortunately discussing them will almost certainly make for spoilers.
So if you like Sharpe read this even if you are skipping some other books
Unwordy
Mar 18, 2015 Unwordy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jayw
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.
Brandan Woelm
Sep 03, 2012 Brandan Woelm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Cate
Jan 27, 2016 Cate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was fun to watch Sharpe command a battle, however improbable. Interesting too to see how much superstition plays in soldier's actions.
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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 mother's maiden name, C ...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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