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Sharpe's Sword

(The Sharpe Series #14)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  8,003 ratings  ·  176 reviews
The greatest threat to Wellington's Salamanca Campaign is not Napoleon's Army but France's deadliest assassin. He's already failed to kill Captain Richard Sharpe once. Now, he's getting a second chance. ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by Signet (first published 1983)
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Algernon (Darth Anyan)

None of the Sharpe books is bad. They present history in a thrilling, heroic manner following the career of Richard Sharpe, a British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars who rises through the ranks thanks to his courage and martial prowess. I must confess though that after reading a fair number of them they tend to blend together in a 'paint-by-numbers' fashion. Cornwell has a winning recipe for cooking his historical romances that he he applies time and time again: Sharpe is the perfect
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Number 14 in the Richard Sharpe series.
This book concerns the campaign to capture Salamanca in Spain during June-July 1812.

Three things are of concern for Richard Sharpe in this book.
(1)The capture or the death of Philippe Leroux a cruel and vindictive French spy who will stop at nothing to get his hands on British secrets.
(2)Fighting for his very life after being shot by Philippe Leroux. So now Leroux’s death would be preferable to Richard Sharpe.
(3)The successful destruction of the French
Jason Koivu
Aug 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Keep movin', movin', movin', though they're disapprovin'! Keep them doggies movin', Rawhide! ...must be constantly playing in Cornwell's head as he churns out these adequate historical fiction novels following rough-and-tumble ensign Richard Sharpe as he rises from the ranks of the British army with Wellington's fight against Napoleon as the backdrop and his own personal struggles as the focal point. Sharpe is a man with a mighty large chip on his shoulder as is, but it isn't helped that almost ...more
My eighth Sharpe book still follows the same formula but I just love them all the more.

Set in the summer of 1812, the life of Britain’s most important spy is at stake. Sharpe has been given the task of ensuring their safety by finding the dangerous Colonel Philippe Leroux, who knows the identity of the spy and will stop at nothing to silence them. A cast of characters including the lovely Hélène, La Marquesa de Casares el Grande y Melida Sadaba (no Sharpe novel would be complete without a
Another fine outing for Cornwell’s hero, topped and tailed by some impressively described battle scenes, but the heart of the book lies in the story in the middle. It’s a story of spying and spies; of heroes and villains; of secrecy, blackmail and a world in which nobody can really be trusted. Of course, Sharpe fits well into this story, and Cornwell keeps things moving at a breakneck speed with tons of action, romance and danger.

Leroux is another top villain, this time a torturer who enjoys
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cornwell and Sharpe and Historical Fiction fans.
I am an unabashed Richard Sharpe fan and Bernard Cornwell fan.

In this episode, built around the battle of Salamanca, Sharpe encounters the evil Colonel Leroux, France's most ruthless assassin. In the process of trying to capture Leroux and appropriate his highly valued sword, he becomes romantically involved with LaMarquesa, an extraordinarily beautiful woman whose interest in Sharpe is not purely romantic.

As always, Sharpe, while almost dying from a gunshot wound, eventually figures it all out
Sharpe's Sword is the 14th book in the Sharpe's adventure / historical series by Bernard Cornwell. This story is set during the period June / July 1812 during Wellington's Salamanca Campaign in Spain. Sharpe is attached to Wellington's spy master Maj Hogan to try and find a master French spy, Colonel Leroux. Leroux is a nasty man and is set on finding El Mirador, one of Hogan's most effective contacts.

Leroux has been captured but disguised himself as another officer and escapes into a French
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: x2017-18-season
Adding a spy hunt to the expected military action raises the stakes without detracting from the pace. A fine addition to Sharpe's catalog of adventures.
Rick Brindle
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
More fighting and seemingly insurmountable problems for Richard Sharpe. This time he's in Salamanca where he gets involved in espionage that unsurprisingly involves a beautiful woman. Sharpe suffers grievous wounding from the owner of the sword in the title, and as ever, provides a lynch pin in turning around a massive battle at the end. And despite being an infantry officer, he's also involved in a cavalry attack on an enemy square. Only Sharpe could have such an illustrious military CV and ...more
R. August
It took over a year to read this one - started it in August 2010. I finally got fed up with the cookie-cutter plot of Sharpe finding "the most beautiful woman in the world," bedding her, then moving on to the next book only to find another "most beautiful woman in the world." The biggest redeemer of this book was when Sharpe caught the French soldier's eye and they both shrugged at each other over the absurdity of war as they marched past each other at the battle of Salamanca. Will finish the ...more
Aug 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Fairly typical of the series, good but not one of the very best in the series. If you like the series you would certainly not want to skip this book. If you are not entranced by the series this is one to skip.

I am going through the whole series again, this time with audiobook versions (Oct 2015). Adding a bit to the above, there are technical errors in the story which annoy me and quite a bit of padding. It is a stretch to give it three stars, but I do really like the series as a whole.
May 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A similar plot to Sharpe's Company, with a nigh-unkillable villain and a charge into the breach necessary to secure good fortune, but a more interesting rendition. Cornwell does have to give his villains the devil's luck, but in this book it's more believable that the capable and dastardly Leroux would be so blessed.
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have read the whole Sharpe series, and can highly recommend them. While Sharpe is a fictional character, the battles he fights in really took place (his career follows Lord Wellington's), and Cornwell's research into the historical setting is impressive. Reading these stories has brought this period of European history to life for me.
Jul 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting that Sharpe can play a minor role yet the book is still worthwhile. I suppose this is because a series about a major military/political event can treat lots of issues. This time the main emphasis was on the spy system set up by both sides during the napoleonic Wars.
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lizette M Russell
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great book in the series.
Drew Ck
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Never before has Captain Sharpe been this close to dieing.
Jane Higginson
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really enjoyed this, Paul Mcgan did a great job narrating and did a very good impression of Sean bean as Richard Sharpe! shakeout was abridged though someday I will read the book in full
These are all great. Some better than others of course, since there are maybe 20! I do not know how BC does it.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm finding that Cornwell is an author you cannot go wrong with. It is this kind of book, this kind of thoughtful, imaginative author that gives life to history. Meticulous research, no glossing over of ugliness, and adding personality to happenings make this an excellent read. If the American education system would meld this kind of learning with history, so much more history would be learned. I never realized how much I liked history, and how much strategy one can learn, with books like this. ...more
Somnath Sengupta
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a unique Sharpe tale, quite different from the usual formula of these stories.
For starters the amount of action is significantly less and Cornwell takes more care in knitting his “small story”. His attempt in inserting a twist isn't very successful though, and an intended mystery can be easily guessed.
La Marquesa is an intriguing female character. Leroux is possibly the most memorable Sharpe villain since Hakeswill and Major Dodd. The chapters around Sharpe's recovery are some of the
Jack Buechner
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read many Sharpe stories years ago I was hoping to reignite my fascination and appreciation for these Napoleonic War tales. One of my favorite authors , Bernard Cornwell, did not disappoint me. This story set in Spain during the Peninsular campaigns has it all. Captain Sharpe is rough and tough, but he is bested in a one on one sword fight with the top French "spy-catcher" . Leroux, noted for his diabolical tortures to extract information from the "enemies of the Empire (Napoleon's of ...more
Brian V
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had read the Sharpe books in order (this is #14) I stopped for a while and also moved onto different series due to the ‘cookie cutter’ method that is set up for writing.
This book seemed to change from the norm at about the halfway point. It gets more into spy novel type scenarios and the writing takes some unpredictable twists that actually worked out quite well. For the most part I can see the story about 40 pages ahead but this one simply kept me guessing. The previous books that let the
Rob Trans
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
We learn that Sharpe is not invincible and sometimes his luck fails. This book is a little different from many of the other Sharpe novels I have read. Sharpe is more involved with single important figures than with common soldiers and much of the book is not set on the battlefield. Sharpe has some introspective discussions with some of these figures. Espionage plays a part. There is a little bit of misdirection in the story. Sharpe fails in his mission and suffers for it. However, this being a ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: popular-fiction
Once described as "romance novels for men," the Sharpe series follows a British Infantryman in the Napoleonic Wars. Its protagonist is duly heroic, its love interests are predictably luscious, and its narratives of crucial battles in Wellington's campaigns are meticulously researched and rousingly told.

This particular Sharpe novel ranks among the best of the series. Its villains are villainous without being ridiculous, its heroes feel lived in, and its narrative comes across as a tightly plotted
May 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Read this book (1) because I had it (2) it was just the right size (dimensions) I needed, and (3) it was time for something relatively mindless.

Writing and characters and plot I’d call a step up from typical “airport-shop books” but not nearly as good —if you’re going to read fiction about the Napoléonic Wars—as the “Aubrey and Maturin” naval series from Patrick O’Brian. Really NOT nearly as good!

I will read one more of the Richard Sharpe books — because I have it — but that probably will be
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First time out of the Sharpe books that I have consumed an installment in its audio version and I deeply regret it. The narration is so bad and different from the voices presented via text that it's astonishing it was permitted to go forward. Harper a man over 6 and a half feet sounds like a thirteen-year-old, Sharpe a scarred, veteran of 12 years sounds only marginally better. I can't blame anyone but me for sticking it out but I won't be heading to the next via the same format again.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed all of the Sharpe series so far. I found this one to be even more compelling and enjoyable. The characters are well fleshed out and realistic. His adversaries, both open and hidden, are worthy. Sharpe's various internal struggles cause nearly as much anxiety to the reader as they must have to Sharpe himself. As I have since the first book, I am looking forward to the next.
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother, who was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his birth mother's maiden ...more

Other books in the series

The Sharpe Series (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Sharpe's Tiger (Sharpe, #1)
  • Sharpe's Triumph (Sharpe, #2)
  • Sharpe's Fortress (Sharpe, #3)
  • Sharpe's Trafalgar (Sharpe, #4)
  • Sharpe's Prey (Sharpe, #5)
  • Sharpe's Rifles (Sharpe, #6)
  • Sharpe's Havoc (Sharpe, #7)
  • Sharpe's Eagle (Sharpe, #8)
  • Sharpe's Gold (Sharpe, #9)
  • Sharpe's Escape (Sharpe, #10)
“When God made the world he made the big plain just for the cavalry. It was firm, or would be when the sun had dried off the night’s rain, and it was mostly level. The sabres could fall like scythes in the corn. The Arapiles, Greater and Lesser, God made for the gunners. From their summits, conveniently made flat so that the artillery could have a stable platform, the guns could dominate the plain. God had made nothing for the infantry, except a soil easily dug into graves, but the infantry were used to that. All” 0 likes
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