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Sharpe's Sword (Richard Sharpe (chronological order) #14)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  6,541 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
The greatest threat to Wellington's Salamanca Campaign is not Napoleon's Army but France's deadliest assassin. He's already failed to kill Captain Richard Sharpe once. Now he's getting a second chance. Colonel Leroux is killing Britain's most valuable spies, and it's up to Richard Sharpe to stop him. Thrust into the unfamiliar world of political and military intrigue, Shar ...more
Audio CD, 9 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1983)
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Jul 19, 2016 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

None of the Sharpe books is bad. They present history in a thrilling, heroic manner following the career of Richard Sharpe, a British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars who rises through the ranks thanks to his courage and martial prowess. I must confess though that after reading a fair number of them they tend to blend together in a 'paint-by-numbers' fashion. Cornwell has a winning recipe for cooking his historical romances that he he applies time and time again: Sharpe is the perfect so
Jason Koivu
Keep movin', movin', movin', though they're disapprovin'! Keep them doggies movin', Rawhide! ...must be constantly playing in Cornwell's head as he churns out these adequate historical fiction novels following rough-and-tumble ensign Richard Sharpe as he rises from the ranks of the British army with Wellington's fight against Napoleon as the backdrop and his own personal struggles as the focal point. Sharpe is a man with a mighty large chip on his shoulder as is, but it isn't helped that almost ...more
My eighth Sharpe book still follows the same formula but I just love them all the more.

Set in the summer of 1812, the life of Britain’s most important spy is at stake. Sharpe has been given the task of ensuring their safety by finding the dangerous Colonel Philippe Leroux, who knows the identity of the spy and will stop at nothing to silence them. A cast of characters including the lovely Hélène, La Marquesa de Casares el Grande y Melida Sadaba (no Sharpe novel would be complete without a beauti
Another fine outing for Cornwell’s hero, topped and tailed by some impressively described battle scenes, but the heart of the book lies in the story in the middle. It’s a story of spying and spies; of heroes and villains; of secrecy, blackmail and a world in which nobody can really be trusted. Of course, Sharpe fits well into this story, and Cornwell keeps things moving at a breakneck speed with tons of action, romance and danger.

Leroux is another top villain, this time a torturer who enjoys sk
Jun 06, 2008 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cornwell and Sharpe and Historical Fiction fans.
I am an unabashed Richard Sharpe fan and Bernard Cornwell fan.

In this episode, built around the battle of Salamanca, Sharpe encounters the evil Colonel Leroux, France's most ruthless assassin. In the process of trying to capture Leroux and appropriate his highly valued sword, he becomes romantically involved with LaMarquesa, an extraordinarily beautiful woman whose interest in Sharpe is not purely romantic.

As always, Sharpe, while almost dying from a gunshot wound, eventually figures it all out
Rick Brindle
Feb 11, 2014 Rick Brindle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
More fighting and seemingly insurmountable problems for Richard Sharpe. This time he's in Salamanca where he gets involved in espionage that unsurprisingly involves a beautiful woman. Sharpe suffers grievous wounding from the owner of the sword in the title, and as ever, provides a lynch pin in turning around a massive battle at the end. And despite being an infantry officer, he's also involved in a cavalry attack on an enemy square. Only Sharpe could have such an illustrious military CV and sti ...more
R. August
It took over a year to read this one - started it in August 2010. I finally got fed up with the cookie-cutter plot of Sharpe finding "the most beautiful woman in the world," bedding her, then moving on to the next book only to find another "most beautiful woman in the world." The biggest redeemer of this book was when Sharpe caught the French soldier's eye and they both shrugged at each other over the absurdity of war as they marched past each other at the battle of Salamanca. Will finish the se ...more
Aug 11, 2009 Ross rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fairly typical of the series, good but not one of the very best in the series. If you like the series you would certainly not want to skip this book. If you are not entranced by the series this is one to skip.

I am going through the whole series again, this time with audiobook versions (Oct 2015). Adding a bit to the above, there are technical errors in the story which annoy me and quite a bit of padding. It is a stretch to give it three stars, but I do really like the series as a whole.
A similar plot to Sharpe's Company, with a nigh-unkillable villain and a charge into the breach necessary to secure good fortune, but a more interesting rendition. Cornwell does have to give his villains the devil's luck, but in this book it's more believable that the capable and dastardly Leroux would be so blessed.
Sep 19, 2008 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read the whole Sharpe series, and can highly recommend them. While Sharpe is a fictional character, the battles he fights in really took place (his career follows Lord Wellington's), and Cornwell's research into the historical setting is impressive. Reading these stories has brought this period of European history to life for me.
Feb 20, 2009 ReNu rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 25, 2008 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 10, 2008 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting that Sharpe can play a minor role yet the book is still worthwhile. I suppose this is because a series about a major military/political event can treat lots of issues. This time the main emphasis was on the spy system set up by both sides during the napoleonic Wars.
Drew Ck
Jan 22, 2013 Drew Ck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never before has Captain Sharpe been this close to dieing.
These are all great. Some better than others of course, since there are maybe 20! I do not know how BC does it.
Jane Higginson
Sep 01, 2015 Jane Higginson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really enjoyed this, Paul Mcgan did a great job narrating and did a very good impression of Sean bean as Richard Sharpe! shakeout was abridged though someday I will read the book in full
Kathy Davie
Fourteenth in the Richard Sharpe fictional military history series revolving around a man who has come up through the ranks. A natural soldier who fights back and forth around Salamanca in Spain between June and July, 1810 in this installment. The Americans have just invaded Canada.

My Take
I love the battle, tactics, camaraderie, and the history of the Richard Sharpe series.

It's all about spying in this installment. Master spies, the little guy. The depths to which the enemy will sink to destroy
Kevin Findley
One of my favorites now in this series. The action, narrative, and description of real world events were nicely balanced and much smoother to jump into one from the other.

More time was given to Harper this time (for good reason) but I won't spoil it here. It directly affects the ending which was very appropriate. Costly to poor Captain Sharpe, but appropriate.

Find it! Read it!

Nathan Velson
Feb 20, 2017 Nathan Velson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take the cliche masculinity of a Louis L'Amour character and a formulaic plot, and add to that colorful writing and painstaking research into Napoleon era history, and you have a Richard Sharpe novel. A little predictable, but still damn entertaining.
Feb 20, 2013 Mick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The year is 1812. Wellington's advance to Madrid has stalled at the town of Salamanca, blocked by the army of Marshal Auguste Marmont. As the two armies prepare for the battle everyone know is coming, Captain Richard Sharpe of the South Essex Regiment's light company captures, and then loses again, a cavalry officer who turns out to be Napoleon's top spy in Spain.

As the only English officer capable of recognizing the sadistic Leroux, Sharpe is withdrawn from his usual duties to fight on an altog
Brent Ecenbarger
Oct 03, 2016 Brent Ecenbarger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: richard-sharpe
"Sharpe's Sword" is the 14th book in the Sharpe series, and just knowing the title of the book, somebody who has read the first thirteen books can probably accurately predict the plot of the book. Specifically, it will be about Sharpe gaining a sword from an enemy that he will undoubtedly carry in future books (much like his looking glass from Arthur Wellesley). The enemy will probably be a French officer that makes examples of civilians by committing atrocities. Sharpe will be tasked with defea ...more
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#14 in the Richard Sharpe series.[return][return]Wellington s army and therefore Richard Sharpe is in Spain, near Salamanca, still fighting the French. But there s a new element in the mix Napoleon s personal intelligence officer, Colonel Leroux, who has been tracking down and eliminating the network of spies who supply information for Wellington s army. His latest coup is someone who will lead Leroux to the coordinator of the network, known only as El Mirador.[return][return]By accident, Sharpe ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 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.
I do not usually enjoy historical fiction but my husband suggested this one to me. It fills a category in my challenge reads and looked to be short enough to suffer through if need be. It also helped that I enjoyed the two episodes of Sharpe's Company I have watched and that the last historical fiction my husband suggested (the Hornblower series) is one of my favorite reads and watches. Sharpe is a believable character that resonates with the reader. I believe we can all understand his very huma ...more
Apr 28, 2012 J213 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captain Richard Sharpe is the action hero protagonist in a collection of books staring him as a rifleman Captain in the British army fighting the French. I say "collection" and not "series" because this is the fourteenth novel which are all stand-alone as far as I know and don't follow each other. This particular story was set in and around a Spanish city named Salamanca where Sharpe is hunting a fictional assassin named Leroux.

It's a decent little story that combines history and action around
Mar 19, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#14 in the Richard Sharpe series chronologically (#4 in publication order). It's the summer of 1812 and Wellington's British army is jockeying for position with the larger French army of Marshal Marmont. Behind the scenes in the secret war, France's master spy Col. Leroux is attempting to learn the identity of the British spy, El Mirador, who is the Salamanca conduit for the British spy network in Spain and Portugal. On a more basic level, Sharpe falls in lust with the beautiful Helena, La Marqu ...more
This story is set against the battle of Salamanca. When Sharpe captures a French officer, he doesn't imagine that his life is suddenly going to get very difficult. When the officer breaks his patrol and flees into Salamanca, killing two of Sharpe's superiors, Sharpe can't wait to track him down and exact revenge. But Colonol Leroux is more important than he can imagine, for the Frenchmen knows the true identity of El Mirador, the chief spy for England whose huge network of informers stretches a ...more
Oct 27, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Or ... "Richard Sharpe gets badly wounded"

(currently) chronologically the 14th entry in Bernard Cornwell's long-running Sharpe series, this was the 4th book published, and takes place during the Salamanca campaign.

In a departure from the (then) previous 3 books, this is also largely set in the spy-world, with Richard Sharpe (the soldier) assigned to protect the identity of Britain's most important spy: an identity which has been uncovered by the ruthless Col Leroux, who breaks his parole (and ki
Carol Storm
Jul 18, 2011 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great battle scenes, but the romance between Sharpe and LaMarquesa was incredibly awkward and badly written . . . Sharpe's women make the Bond girls look like feminist icons!

In this story, you see the best and worst of the Sharpe series. The battle between Sharpe and the psychotic French spy, Leroux, is written very well. And Sharpe's love/hate relationship with Lord Spears is even better. But Sharpe and the Marquesa . . . sigh. You really have to wonder why Cornwell even bothers giving Sharpe a
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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
More about Bernard Cornwell...

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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“When God made the world he made the big plain just for the cavalry. It was firm, or would be when the sun had dried off the night’s rain, and it was mostly level. The sabres could fall like scythes in the corn. The Arapiles, Greater and Lesser, God made for the gunners. From their summits, conveniently made flat so that the artillery could have a stable platform, the guns could dominate the plain. God had made nothing for the infantry, except a soil easily dug into graves, but the infantry were used to that. All” 0 likes
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