Ed's Reviews > Sharpe's Eagle

Sharpe's Eagle by Bernard Cornwell
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May 20, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, reviewed
Recommended for: Historical Fiction Readers
Read in May, 2008

Trying to read the Richard Sharpe series in chronological order can be difficult. The reason being that Cornwell did not write the books in order. Sharpe's Eagle is the 8th book in the series but the first book of the series, he wrote.

In the Introduction, he mentions that he's never re-read it himself because he's afraid that he would be too critical of his own skills. It's a hell of a good read, though. I enjoyed it immensely.

The story's themes are familiar to anyone who has read any of the Sharpe books. Sharpe's biggest problems are not with the French, his ostensible enemies, but with Officers in his own army who resent him because he's been promoted up from the ranks and is not a "gentleman".

His other weakness seems to be his attraction and pursuit of ladies above his "station". He inevitably succeeds in capturing their affections only to lose out in the end either because of family pressure, death, or in this case just not having enough money to support the lovely Josefina.

This plot is not markedly different but the battle scenes are exceedingly well drawn. The relationship of Sharpe to his men, his peers and his superiors is very revealing of the social contract of the time.

After reading "Sharpe's Eagle, I can understand how readers became hooked and have continued to be hooked through 21 volumes.
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