Nathan's Reviews > Fire and Sword

Fire and Sword by Simon Scarrow
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Feb 20, 2012

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Read in February, 2012

This is an excellently written series from which I feel I'm learning a great deal about the historical milieu of the Napoleonic wars. However, this particular book dragged a bit for me. I presume the author is intending to contrast the growing character schism between Napoleon (very driven, formerly somewhat by ideals but largely now for largesse) and Wellesley (equally driven and increasingly empathic and principled) - because most of the time, Napoleon sounded whiney and impetuous, losing his strategic vision in battle to impatience and egotism. This increasingly monodimensional caricature made me want to fast forward through the Napoleon sections to read the much more balanced and complex character development and story of Arthur.

I'll be interested to see if this slide into bland depravity continues in the next book or if Napoleon again gains colour and vibrancy. It's a shame, really, since the author's after notes indicate that at this time Napoleon was leading significant structural and societal improvement through his governance at home, which might have balanced his selfishness in the bedroom and battlefield.
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