Richard Wise's Reviews > Sharpe's Rifles

Sharpe's Rifles by Bernard Cornwell
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Apr 25, 10

bookshelves: war-historical-fiction
Read in December, 2009

I am a lover of historical fiction and I have wanted to get into the Sharpe series for some time. I am glad that I did. At first I was a bit put off by Cornwell's characterization of Sharpe. I bought the book assuming since it was marked #1, it was the first of the series. I was wrong.

Sharpe is the son of a London whore who was raised in an orphanage and we are treated to some clumsy renderings of the effects of this physic damage in the first few chapters. As I got into the narrative, I realized that this beginning clumsiness simply served to make the character more human and thus more compelling.

And Cornwell's climatic last chapters are thrilling. Twists, turns (Cornwell gives us an intimate view of battle strategy) and nonstop action. Great counterweight to the normal come down that follows the Christmas rush.

Gritty! No fantasy her, real men (and women) engaged in real warfare. Great sense of place! Couldn't wait to download my second Sharpe, via Kindle.

RW

P.S. I reserve 5 stars for Tolstoy.
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