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

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  4,933 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Richard Sharpe and the Expedition to Denmark, 1807

The year is 1807, and Richard Sharpe is back in England, where his career seems to have come to a dead end, despite his heroics in Britain's recent victory at Trafalgar. Loveless, destitute, and relegated to the menial tasks of quartermaster, Sharpe roams the streets of London, pondering a bleak future away from the army.

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Hardcover, 261 pages
Published 2001 by Harper Collins
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Community Reviews

(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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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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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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Gavin Smith
I accidentally read this one out of sequence but it didn't matter very much in the end. This might just be Richard Sharpe at his James Bond-iest! I kind of enjoyed seeing Sharpe on a mission of subterfuge and espionage. Although, Sharpe's idea of spy craft seems to mostly consist of telling people that he's American and covering his British uniform under a long coat. I could have done without the early part of the book where Sharpe mopes and murders his way around London for a bit. I get the fee ...more
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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John Thompson
another great book by Cornwell

Fast paced, riveting plot, writing crisp and spare, all in a flawlessly researched structure. Higher recommended for fans of history and adventure
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.
Ed
#18 in the Richard Sharpe series (#5 Chronologically). This book takes place during the Napoleonic Wars - it is a little remembered campaign that took place in 1807 and saw England go to war against Denmark and bombard Copenhagen to keep the Danes from surrendering their fleet to France. France desperately needed naval assets to wage war against England after the French and Spanish fleets were crushed at Trafalgar
- Sharpe's Trafalgar (2000).

Richard Sharpe and the expedition to Copenhagen, 1807 -
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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.
Drew Ck
Newly made Lieutenant Sharpe, is ordered to assist an officer sent to Denmark to bribe the king there.
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
C. Patrick
One of the great things about Cornwell's Sharpe series is how the author takes the reader off the historical beaten path. Sharpe's Prey is no different where the devastating bombardment of Copenhagen serves as the backdrop to a story that begins and ends with Richard Sharpe administering revenge to some deserving fellows. The story features the return of Royal Navy Captain Joel Chase, a handsome and charismatic frigate captain who leads his men from the front, no doubt Chase is modeled after mys ...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 Rifles (Sharpe, #6)
  • 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)
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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