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Sharpe's Tiger (Richard Sharpe #1)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  10,855 ratings  ·  523 reviews
In 1799, the British Army is fighting its way through India in an attempt to push the ruthless Tippoo of Mysore from his throne and drive his French allies out. Posing as a deserter, the young and illiterate private Richard Sharpe must penetrate into the Tippoos city and make contact with a Scottish spy being held prisoner there. Success will mean winning his sergeant stri ...more
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Published August 1st 2003 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 1997)
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Ah, the delicious historical crack that is the Sharpe series. If ever there were a series of books that needed a drinking game, this is it, and I mean that in the best, most entertaining way possible. Sharpe hits something: drink! Sharpe is unjustly punished: drink! Sharpe saves the life of a superior officer: drink! Sharpe drinks: drink! Sharpe does something noble even though he hates doing it: drink! Sharpe pretends to be dumber than he is as a plot point: drink!

And that's just in the first t
Jason Koivu
India, tigers and Richard Sharpe? Where are we? What happened to my Napoleonic War historical fiction series?


Once upon a time Bernard Cornwell's series following Rifleman Richard Sharpe's career in Wellington's army during the Napoleonic Wars began in media res. The embattled rifleman was stuck in with his brothers on the European continent fighting a losing war.

After the originals were finished, Cornwell restarted the series and although this prequel is decent, showcasing his improved writing,
This is the first in the James Bond style Sharpe series, focusing on Sharpe's earlier times in the British regiment as a private.

It's close to the turn of the century . .. late 18th century . .. and focuses on Sharpe's time in India as different groups struggle for power of the realm. Through luck and desperation, Sharpe goes undercover with a lieutenant to rescue a colonel from a fortified enemy city. This colonel is vital because he has crucial information for the British to take the town succ
Christopher Bunn
I've read and re-read the Sharpe series countless times. For me, they're arguably one of the finest collections of historical fiction written. Cornwell knows what he's doing and does it well. There are some easy potshots to take at the books. The biggest one is that each book is essentially the same plot: Sharpe is thrown into an underdog fight, he saves the girl, and emerges victorious against all odds. However, that's fairly irrelevant due to everything else the books have to offer. Cornwell p ...more
An excellent beginning to a great series, if you like historical fiction. Cornwell does an excellent job depicting the people & the times. He captures the essence of the battle & the issues surrounding it, but through the eyes of a common infantry man, Richard Sharpe.

Sharpe is not a nice guy, but he's not a bad man, either. He is the product of his times & that often leads him to actions most would be hesitant to take. As he says in one place - he's not a rapist, but he's lied, murde
This excellent historical novel is the first in a series about Richard Sharpe, a soldier in the British army in 1799. The army is setting out to attack a city in southern India. Unfortunately, the leader of the city, the Tippoo, has set up a brilliant trap to surprise the attackers.

Although Sharpe was a thief before joining the army, he is a very clever, intelligent, likable rogue. Nevertheless, Sharpe is bedeviled by a hateful, cowardly British sergeant. In the middle of a brutal flogging, Shar
I had a ton of fun with this book. This was my first Sharpe novel but not my first Cornwell (I started with The Last Kingdom.) I have to insist (I'm pretty sure I brought this up in another Cornwell review but whatever) that this might be a better way to get into history than being forced to look at dusty textbooks when you're six, if someone had handed me a copy of this book when I was like 10 it would have sparked my interest in history way earlier, and I think it would do the same for most pe ...more
This superbly exciting novel is set during the British siege and capture of the South Indian city of Seringapatam (Srirangapatnam) near Mysore. Based on sound historical research, the author adapted what actually happened to improve the thrilling nature of his narrative. A short section at the end of the book gives the reader an idea of what actually happened in Seringapatam, and indicates how the author deviated from history in his novel.

The story centres around the antics and bold adventures o
Tim "The Enchanter"
A rousing 4 Stars

Sharpe's Tiger , my first foray into the world of Bernard Cornwell, was a success! The story is filled with interesting characters, an exotic locale and exciting action and espionage all set against the background of a British Army Battalion in 1799.


In reading other reviews, some readers complained that the characters were flat and one-dimensional. I have to respectfully disagree. While the characters may not be developed to point you may find in a Tana French nov
Even if this may be 'formulaic', Cornwell writes it very well. Dashing roguish anti-heroes, savage battles, a fun cast of stock characters, all here. The book reads very quickly, too. I read the whole thing in an hour this morning instead of sampling a chapter.

Cornwell has a talent, no doubt there. Even his historical notes and documentation of sources are still treats to read. Good brain candy.
rating: 4.5/5

Another home run for Cornwell.

Even though it started off slow, it just kept getting better and better and better...

Yes, his characters a formulaic (do I even need to say this in every single review?). They are charming, brave, smart(ass) with a hilariously sharp (no pun intended) tongue and yet are flawed (love of bloodshed, idiotically running into danger, and greed but not too much). In many aspects Sharpe is similar to Uhtred, but different at the same time (like not killing of
Chad Sayban
I decided to start at the beginning of this lengthy historical fiction series and I'm glad I did. I expected I would probably like Sharpe's Tiger, but I ended up liking it even more than I had hoped I would. Enough that I have already picked up the first four books in the series in hardcover. That should say something right there. The main character of Richard Sharpe hit all the important points for a series protagonist - smart, resourceful, good looking. He is protective when he can be and ruth ...more
Jason , etc.
Bloody hell.

In order to confuse all future readers of these books, Bernard Cornwell wrote them out of order. This is actually the first of the Sharpe's series, but was actually written years after the first Sharpe's book was published. Whatever, dude. This was abso-goddamn-lutely amazing. I listened to this during a long drive (as I do) and at first, the reader's British accent was so incredibly Eton-esque, dripping with the posh sensibilities of the dandiest of British dandies, that I was worri
My rating here is really more for the entire series than just this book alone. There are something like 20 books in the series, so you need to go to to read the books in order, even though they weren't written in order. This series is one of my favorites and falls in that magical category of truly educational fiction. The series follows the journeys of the fictional Richard Sharpe through the British army around the world in the early 1800's. It is amazingly well research ...more

A friend of mine has been trying to get me into the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell for about a year now. A few months back I went ahead and purchased the first 3 books in the long running series and finally got around to reading book one, Sharpe's Tiger. My friend described it as a great series for when you need something light or a break from your traditional genre. I'd say he summed it up perfectly. It's my first book by BC and only my second foray into Historical Fiction. I'm excited to c
Benjamin Thomas
This is just what I was afraid of...a very good historical novel, introducing me to yet another series that I must now follow. And this series has over 20 books in it.

But that's just what I expected from a Bernard Cornwell novel: great characters surrounded by a great plot and depicting a cool historical situation. Throw in a well-drawn bad guy and a very good cast of supporting characters and you've got yourself a fine time of reading. I chose to read these books in chronological order, as the
This book started a series which now runs into the dozens. In addition to writing rousing adventure tales, Bernard Cornwell painlessly teaches us history. That’s what good historical fiction does. It bring history into the sharp focus of an individual. (Excuse the pun.)

Sharpe's Tiger opens in India 1799. Richard Sharpe, our tarnished hero, is following (though he doesn’t know it yet) Arthur Wellesley, later Viscount Wellington, as the latter starts his incredible career of service to king and co
Now that was a fun ride. In truth, for the first third or so I thought I was going to get rather bored, and I wasn't sure this book would be more than a 2-star, 3 at most. Matter of fact, right up until the end I thought I was looking at a 3-star, even when it did get interesting.

But Richard Sharpe is a brilliantly drawn character. He's a regular guy in the British army in 1799. He's crude and a bit wild and bored with the service. But when you get right down to it, the man is a good guy, mostly
I have been anxious to read the Sharpe series for a while now. My first exposure to Bernard Cornwell was through his take on the King Arthur myth with his "Warlord Chronicles" series which I devoured with a fervor I hadn't had for a series in quite some time. Loving his take on the medieval time period I jumped into the "Saxon Tales" next and having finished the books in that series I was ready to tackle Sharpe.

I had heard many good things about certain books in the series and I went in with hig
Joyce Lagow
First in the series. Richard Sharpe, in 1799, is a private in the British Army, stationed in India, which is fighting a war with the Tippoo of Mysore, a powerful Muslim ruler. Sharpe and a Lieutenant Lawford go on an undercover mission as supposed deserters to the Tippoo in his capital of Seringapatam. While there, they participate in the climactic battle for the city. The book is based on actual events and remains very close to the historical record.[return][return]This is an action-packed book ...more
Robert B
Bernard Cornwell writes very interesting historical fiction. He is also very prolific. Whether his subject is Stonehenge, King Arthur, 14th century free companies or, as in this case, his fictional character Richard Sharpe and the British excursion into India (or the larger opus involving the Napoleonic wars), he writes page-turning prose.

That said, there are times I could want a little more depth from him. He doesn't waste words and knows how to drive a narrative forward, but sometimes, as in S
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jan 02, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who Love Military Adventures a la Dunnett, O'Brian, Forester
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
I'm a big fan of CS Forester's Horatio Hornblower books about a British naval officer during and after the Napoleonic wars, and this has been praised as the Army equivalent.

Richard Sharpe is a very different character, and I don't know if I'll become as attached to him as Hornblower, but after this novel I'm looking forward to the other novels detailing Sharpe's exploits and rise through the ranks. While certainly no gentleman, Sharpe does have a core of what one officer calls "kindness" and wh
Steve Vernon
I picked up a copy of Sharpe's Tiger on a whim, several years ago. I read it and was instantly hooked and promptly hunted up the rest of the serious - some twelve to fifteen books or so.

Cornwell writes a rip-roaring romp through the Napoleonic War in Europe, leading our hero Sharpe, from the ranks of buck private into the realm of a rank officer. Cornwell's battle scenes are authentic and exciting. You can follow the flow of each battle without getting lost in the gunpowder and grapeshot.

thus far....
As having watched the TV series "Sharpe's Rifles" and the TV movies I had a general knowledge of the story and characters. "Sharpe's Tiger" begins in the very early career of Sharpe while on campaign in India. As I read the book I picture the actors and voices in my head. In particular is Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill, an twisted evil character, who was played by Pete Postlethwaite in the TV series. First off Pete was an amazing actor, but as I read "Sharpe's Tiger" you truly come to ap
James McFadyen
I'm not usually a fan of historic fiction, especially 19th century history, but Cornwell's writing was truly engrossing. I knew nothing about the siege of Siringapatam or the campaign of the British in India but now I find it very interesting. Great battle scenes and action. The author creates amazing character ranging from the truly badass, tough-as- nails Private Richard Sharpe to the evil, twisted Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill. The fact that there are fictional characters wound in a historic eve ...more
Richard Sharpe has the pseudo-hero, muddy ethics thing like crazy. He's a character I could fall in love with, and Sharpe's Tiger did enough to make me want to read more.
Toni Osborne
Young private Richard Sharpe and his fellow soldiers are preparing for the siege of Seringapatam in India. It will be Sharpes first battle, the objective: to topple the Tippoo of Myrose and drive out his French allies. When a senior officer falls in the hands of the enemy, Sharpe is asked to pose as a deserter in order to be captured and imprisoned with his superior. The plan is to orchestrate an escape and bring back vital information. His success will make Richard a sergeant but his failure wi ...more
It's a mystery to me why I don't enjoy these books as much as I know I should. I mean, it's about a scrapper in a uniform who can't avoid danger and adventure and he does it while being all manly male and stuff. I love the series of movies starring Sean Bean, but the books simply lack something (besides Sean Bean). Maybe it's Cornwell's style - it's straightforward, yet totally unremarkable. At least, I fail to get excited over it. Sharpe is three-dimensional (barely), but the other characters l ...more
Avevo letto un libro di Cornwell anni fa, Territorio nemico, e mi stupii di quanto poco si conoscesse questo autore perché mi ricordò molto da vicino Wilbur Smith, sia come scrittura che come tematiche affrontate. Credo si possa definire un imitatore di Smith, anche se non merita l’accezione negativa del termine.

La sfida della tigre è il primo libro della serie di otto volumi “Le avventure di Richard Sharpe”, un soldato semplice (almeno per ora) appartenente all’esercito britannico di stanza in
The first book in the Sharpe series, although not the first written; this is the earliest story chronologically, which sees Sharpe rising from the ranks to become the hero we all know and love.

Cornwell has great fun with a change of scenery and a change of pace, with the renegade Tippoo’s army becoming the bad guys this time around. The focus of the story is the siege of the fortress, the actual event taking up the rousing climax which is pretty much faultless.

Before then we get an intriguing,
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What order should the Sharpe books be read in? 24 841 Oct 24, 2013 12:39PM  
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  • Hornblower and the Hotspur (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #3)
  • The Generals (Revolution, #2)
  • The Ionian Mission (Aubrey/Maturin, #8)
  • Under Enemy Colors (Charles Hayden, #1)
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

Richard Sharpe (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • 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)
  • 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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“It was funny, Richard Sharpe thought, that there were no vultures in England.” 6 likes
“Obadiah Hakeswill had never been concerned by such enmity. Power did not lie in being liked, but in being feared.” 2 likes
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