Graham's Reviews > Sharpe's Revenge

Sharpe's Revenge by Bernard Cornwell
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's review
Aug 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 19th-century, historical, napoleonic-war
Read from August 03 to 10, 2011 , read count: 1

An atypical Sharpe outing, in which characterisation takes precedence over plotting. The resultant book is one with an extremely brief and thin plot, which barely gets a look in when there's so much going on elsewhere: the introduction of a pivotal French family in the supporting cast, an epic and seemingly climatic battle at Toulouse, the frenetic climax and the emphasis on romance.

In short, SHARPE'S REVENGE marks an attempt by Cornwell to get to know his characters at a greater depth as he looks at what makes them tick and what drives them to do what they do. Sharpe, Harper and in particular Frederickson are all explored at length, which makes for engaging reading, while Sharpe's wife Jane gets a subplot all to herself and a new character, Lucille, brings freshness to the pages.

Add in returning characters Nairn, Ducos, Bampfylde and Calvet, and you barely have time for any storytelling. Not that that's a problem; it just means that this novel flies by and seems to be over almost before it's begun. There's enough going on here, though, for the novel to have been twice the length it is.
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