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Sharpe's Prey (Sharpe, #5)
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Sharpe's Prey (Sharpe #5)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  4,458 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Bestselling novelist Bernard Cornwell returns to his popular Richard Sharpe series with this eighteenth dazzling installment, which finds his beloved hero in the heart of war-torn Denmark, trying to protect the prized Danish fleet from Napoleon Bonaparte's ambitions.

The year is 1807, and Richard Sharpe is back in England, where his career seems to have come to a dead end.
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Hardcover, 262 pages
Published January 8th 2002 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Now we're talkin', yo! Badass mo-fo, Richard Sharpe gets back to what he does best: kickin' ass and lovin' the ladies! Oooh yeah!

I don't know what Bernard Cornwell was thinking with that last book in the Sharpe series (#4, Sharpe's Trafalgar)...Well okay, I do know. He wanted to write a book about one of Britain's most famous battles ever, Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. Problem is, it was a naval victory and Cornwell's Napoleonic War hero Sharpe is in the army. So the author plopped his characte
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Brad
Sharpe's Prey is the first Sharpe book I really found exceptional. The four adventures in India and Trafalgar were fair and compelled me to read on, but Sharpe's Prey has actually made me a true fan of Cornwell's "great British hero."

My admiration for the stories is grounded in the bold statement stamped on the back cover of each book I have read: "Meet Richard Sharpe, a great British hero."

Sharpe is a murderous, thieving, brutish, self-pitying thug, but he's a thug with a brain and a strict eth
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Jim
My wife & I watched half a dozen of the movies made from these books back in the mid 90's & liked them. I never got around to reading the books, though. Last year, I somehow stumbled across this one & finally got around to reading it. I waited too long! I'm going to get more of them, starting with the first.

The book was grittier than the movies were, but very well written. Sharpe isn't the nicest guy, but when you find out where he came from & what he's put up with, he's a good m
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Patricia Dietz


Again, Cornwell teaches in depth history painlessly. His powerful stories are so tightly woven into historical events that they spring from them and move them forward rather than just using a historical setting as background. This is about an embarrassingly inglorious moment in Britain's history when Copenhagen becomes the victim of the conflict between England and France, like an innocent trapped between two schoolyard bullies. Richard Sharpe finds himself once again critical to the action, tr
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Kate Sherrod
We last saw Sharpe improbably serving as an honorary marine on board a fictional substitute for the ship that came to Admiral Nelson's rescue at a crucial stage of the sea battle at Trafalgar, a hilariously contrived plot in which to find our infantry bastard-hero but still jolly good fun. Sharpe's India adventures thus came to a rollicking closure, and Europe beckons....

As Sharpe's Prey opens, though, Europe, or at least England, has not exactly welcomed our man with open arms -- even though he
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Chris
(2.5 stars)
Perhaps I'm alone in this, but I dislike this book quite a bit. Probably my least favorite Sharpe novel. Bits of it are great, sure. I especially enjoyed the trip into Sharpe's past, with him going back home to the seedy parts of London.

But... (view spoiler)
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Tom
Richard Sharpe is not a happy man. This one starts out in London with Sharpe lonley, depressed and angry...and in the mood for murder. Life has not gone well for him since the battle at Trafalgar. He did get the girl, but he lost his fortune fighting lawyers and then she died with their child during the birth. He wants to leave the army but finds out his "gift" of promotion has no monetary value. Basically life sucks.

Sharpe ends up on a secret mission to Denmark to convince the prince (with a ch
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Deanne
Rapidly moving story with Sharpe some two years aftr Trafalgar. Now in the 95th Rifles he's atill not a happy bunny and on the point of leaving when he's given a mission. So our hero goes off to Copenhagen, a part of history I was completely unaware of.
There's a particularly swarmy bad guy with his appropriate henchman and a damsel in distress. Looking forward to Sharpe's adventures in the Napoleonic wars.
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
This is an excellent read dealing with one of England's less celebrated moments during the Napoleonic wars; the almost forgotten second battle of Copenhagen. The city was virtually defenceless when the British bombed it (killing thousands of innocent Dutch citizens in the process) in order to prevent the French from getting hold of the very large Dutch Navy sheltered there. Sharpe is sent in to protect a British agent who turns out to be a traitor (and not very nice man) and, in the process, fin ...more
AndrewP
The British attack on Copenhagen in 1807, and Richard Sharpe was there of course:)

This book has all the usual traits of a Sharpe book. He manages to play a minor but pivotal role in an actual historic event. As with all the books, the actual events are mostly factual and Cornwell obviously does a lot of research for each of these books. If your not highly versed in British Military History, there is quite a lot to be learnt while reading. Like the others, an authors Historical Note at the end so
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Sandi
Richard Sharpe manages to get himself in the middle of the action during the bombardment, by the British, of Copenhagen. As always, an enjoyable listen. I did not know anything about this particular battle so found the history very interesting. Listened to the audio version read by Patrick Tull.
Steve Smits
Another enjoyable Sharpe historical fiction. The history of the campaign against the Danes at Copenhagen is (presumably) accurate. Like the entire Sharpe series the history of the British forces from India through Trafalger to the Napoleanic battles would be mostly unknown to American readers except for Cornwall's Sharpe series.

Cornwall follows his usual Sharpe formula: lots of violent action, intrigue, Sharpe's attractive influence on a woman, the portrayal of haughty superiors, the practicalit
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Phil
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nate
I don't know how Cornwell makes these so consistently fun and addicting in their own way but he's continued to (for me) with this one. It's like...I recognize the formula and probably did a long time ago but every once in a while I'm just not in the mood for anything but one of Sharpe's sketchy adventures. And while there is a pretty easily recognizable formula to this series this entry was still a new thing for Sharpe: a story centering around diplomacy and espionage, as he undertakes a voyage ...more
Ana Paula
I read this one in 3 days. That's good in the sense that it's entertaining, but bad in the sense that it lacks a little bit of description of thoughts and things that happen between the main actions. That isn't necessarily a bad point, though, but this little detail would have pleased me more.

I wasn't familiar with the bombing in Copenhagen. Having been there before, I could identify most of the places mentioned in the story and have a picture in my mind of an older version of them being destroy
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Doreen
This is a book about betrayal and revenge; it starts with Sharpe taking revenge on a person from his past, the overseer of the foundling home in which he grew up. This man betrayed the trust put in him to care for the orphans, and Sharpe in a dark time of his life deals with him. The book continues with the betrayal of both England and Denmark by the villain of the book, Lavisser. However it is not this that moves Sharpe in his desire for revenge; it is the fact that he personally feels betrayed ...more
Joyce Lagow
#5 in the Richard Sharpe series.[return][return]It's 1807, and Sharpe is broke and bitter. After returning to England after the Batle of Trafalgar, he and Lady Grace Hale began living together. But the class difference between them led to social disapproval and shunning. When Lady Grace died in childbirth, leaving Sharpe stricken with grief, the family's lawyers descended like a pack of vultures and stripped Sharpe of all his property, leaving him destitute into the bargain. In addition, he stil ...more
Kathy Davie
Fifth in the Richard Sharpe military fiction series revolving around a poor orphan who escaped a hanging for murder by enlisting in the military.


My Take
A peek at the diplomatic and cutthroat maneuvering employed behind the scenes before overt war breaks out between Britain and France. Talk about nasty! The Treaty of Tilsit signed between Russia and France contained a secret clause that gave the Danish navy to the French. The fact that Russia had no rights to it was beside the point. And the Fr
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Julia
It's been a long while since I last checked in on Richard Sharpe, and it was nice to go back and immerse myself in another of his adventures. This time, Lt. Sharpe is disgruntled as a soldier and on the verge of quitting the army when he is ordered on a secret mission to Denmark to protect an envoy. Of course, it goes wrong and he quickly becomes a hunted man and fighting off French spies as bombs and rockets destroy Copenhagen.

The battle scenes, as always with BC, are wonderfully detailed and
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Nick Phillips
My reading of the Sharpe series has been on hiatus several months while I've been seeking out this volume. I know that I could have bought it from Amazon or whatever but that's not how I buy books, so if it wasn't in one of my local book stores I wasn't going to get it. In the mean time I've read the Cornwall's Grail Quest series as well as a few of his other novels and returning now to Sharpe makes for an interesting comparison.

Of Cornwall's lead characters I always thought of Sharpe as the mos
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Baseni
"Am 7. Juli 1807 kam es in Tilsit zum Friedensschluß zwischen Frankreich und Rußland. Einer Geheimvereinbarung zur Folge, sollte das, bis dahin neutrale Dänemark, ohne russischen Widerspruch, seine Kriegsflotte an Frankreich ausliefern. Anscheinend war das Zusatzabkommen weniger geheim als gedacht, denn England forderte daraufhin die Auslieferung der Flotte. Da dieses von dem dänischen Kronprinzen verweigert wurde, setzten die Briten eine Belagerungsflotte und -armee in Marsch. Gleichzeitig über ...more
David
Chronologically the 5th book in Cornwell's long running Sharpe series, this is actually one of his more recent entries and is also (currently) the last one to be set before the Peninsular War.

In this, Sharpe has finally returned home to England after the events of Sharpe's Trafalgar, but tragedy has struck and he has lost both Lady Grace Hale, his unborn child and his home. Thinking of deserting the army, he visits (and terrorises!) old haunts, setting in motion a chain of events that leads to h
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Jamie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caro
Who knew the British brutally attacked Copenhagen in 1807? Not me, though likely anyone who understands the Napoleonic Wars knows all about it. Sharpe’s mourning for his beloved does not stop him from contemplating life with a Danish woman and perhaps fuels his deliberate decision in the heat of battle to let his roguish enemy die a cruel death. Pumphrey is a delicious character and Chase returns, hurrah!
Alex Telander
Sharpe is finally back in England. Sadly he is apparently done with the military; reduced to the lowly rank of quartermaster, he has no real hopes anymore, and wanders the streets of London destitute and bored. But then, as this is not much action for Richard Sharpe, serendipity strikes and a deal falls into his lap. He is to deliver a bribe to Copenhagen, and no one is to know. However, when he performs the seemingly simple job, serendipity strikes with a fiercer hand, as Copenhagen is attacked ...more
Ensiform
Sharpe is ordered on a secret mission to protect an operative sent to offer the Danish king a bribe so that England can possess her fleet. When the operative proves to be a turncoat (as, so far, all the villains in this series have been), Sharpe stays on in an unknown land, bent on revenge.

A solid, if not outstanding, addition to the series. There’s the usual meticulous historical detail of weaponry, class, and war (even if Cornwell leans more toward credulity-straining action and coincidence th
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Deepak
A good Sharpe's yarn as usual. However, this one is a little unusual in the sense that it runs more like a spy/espionage story rather than a war adventure. Not that adventure is missing. I also like Sharpe's series for the door to history it opens to me. I never knew about Denmark's misfortune in the Napoleonic wars. It came out as a tragic pawn in the game of powerful countries.

Synopsis (minor spoilers):
Sharpe is settling some debts from his childhood when he is co-opted into a spying assignmen
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Christine
Who knew the bombing and killing of innocent civilians had a start in 1807 in the Napoleonic Wars when he British bombed Copenhagen into surrendering their fleet to them rather than let it fall into the hands of Napoleon and France? Besides following the twists and turns of Richard Sharpe's military adventures, we get a view of the contrasting treatment of orphans in 19th century London and Copenhagen. It was better to be an orphan in Copenhagen.
Algernon
A solid addition to the Richard Sharpe saga. After a rather good cloak and dagger prologue on the streets of London and a glimpse at Sharpe's chilhood background, the action moves to Copenhagen.
The military action in this volume deals mostly with espionage and a quite shameful page of British history: the heavy bombardment of a neutral civilian city, using incendiaries, in order to plunder Denmark fleet. Admitedly, Cornwell doesn't try to sugar coat and whitewash the action, he tries to find jus
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William
Cornwell always seems to do a great job of storytelling when mixing detailed historical fact with a juicy storyline involving Richard Sharpe. This novel saw Sharpe play a role in Britain's siege/bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807. The Danes possessed the second biggest fleet at that time, and the British wanted it added to their own fleet before Napoleon Bonaparte could capture it and make it part of the French navy. Sharpe, in the meantime, discovers a British traitor who could make the whole si ...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...
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