Ensiform's Reviews > Sharpe's Escape

Sharpe's Escape by Bernard Cornwell
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Mar 16, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, historical, war
Read in August, 2007

In Portugal in 1810, Sharpe is cut off from his South Essex regiment (which is, naturally, to be given to a higher class commander, who is, naturally, the colonel’s brother in law, not very good at battle and also a drunkard) and finds himself with Sergeant Harper and Vincente, an old Portuguese ally, behind French lines. They pursue a Portuguese major (who is, naturally, a traitor and has colluded with the French, and has a brother who is cruel to women, particularly one pretty woman who, naturally, falls for Sharpe) all the way back to the famed defensive works that Wellington has built at Torres Vedras.

Sure, it’s pretty much the same formula as the last installment Sharpe’s Gold (inept rival, traitorous ally), but all these books are cut from the same basic cloth anyway. I don’t read Cornwell for character development, innovation, or vicissitudes in plot. He delivers drama, sufficient historical realism, and the kinds of villains the readers love to hate: they may as well wear black cloaks and twirl handlebar mustaches for all the depth they have. It’s a diverting page-turner, and scenes like the escape from a cellar into sewers, or the climactic battle at the farmhouse, keep me reading.
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