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Sharpe's Skirmish: Richard Sharpe and the Defence of the Tormes, August 1812 (Sharpe, #14.5)
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Sharpe's Skirmish: Richard Sharpe and the Defence of the Tormes, August 1812 (Richard Sharpe (chronological order) #14.5)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,190 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Richard Sharpe and the defence of the Tormes, August 1812
It is the summer of 1812 and Richard Sharpe, newly recovered from the wound he received in the fighting at Salamanca, is given an easy duty; to guard a Commissary Officer posted to an obscure Spanish fort where there are some captured French muskets to repair. But unknown to the British, the French are planning a lig
Paperback, 64 pages
Published September 3rd 2002 by Lowdham: Sharpe Appreciation Society (first published January 1st 1999)
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Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017

I reserve the four stars for the novel length adventures of soldier extraordinaire Richard Sharpe.
There’s nothing really wrong with the present novella, but there’s also little that I didn’t read in the fourteen or so previous installments.

As the title suggests, it’s a skirmish and not a full blown battle, but the stakes are, as usual where Sharpe is involved, nothing less than the fate of the whole English military campaign in the Iberian Peninsula. I believe in the previous episode ( Sharpe’s
Dec 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who is "doing" the "Richard Sharpe" series.
This short 64 page story was originally a promotional give-away with the purchase of "Sharpe's Fortress" at W.H. Smith book stores.

Evidently the original pamphlet was not very well written and created problems with book stores that weren't part of the promotion. Cornwell decided to re-write the story in 2002 and gave it to the Sharpe Appreciation Society to publish with proceeds going to both the Society and the Bernard and Judy Cornwell Foundation that provides scholarship assistance for young
Brent Ecenbarger
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: richard-sharpe
No matter how thrilling a Richard Sharpe adventure is, without a note regarding the historical accuracy of the events described at the conclusion it’s a bit of a letdown. Fourteen books into the series, with several more to go, it’s clear that Sharpe is going to survive each adventure and find a way to single handed turn the tides for the British in battle. What keeps these stories from being repetitive is plugging that formula into different historical events and making a cool hybrid of educati ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an entertaining though quick short story with all the Richard Sharpe elements that are expected.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
When the book arrived in the mail I was wondering where the rest of it was. Skirmish turns out to only be about 55 pages in length and the introduction explains why this is. The story itself is not bad. It's just that the story wraps up almost as soon as it begins and it was disappointing that there were not the usual historical notes at the conclusion.
Josh Keyser
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
"Sharpe's Skirmish" is a heavily compressed Sharpe adventure with all the formulaic elements of the longer novels but little of their characteristic charm. It's a standard setup for Sharpe, complete with a cunning French enemy, a bumbling "Jack Pudding" British senior officer, a hopeless battle that Sharpe must miraculously win, and Sharpe's grousing about the unfair expectations that an officer from the ranks is expected to meet. Notably missing are the elements that allow the Sharpe novels to ...more
Bethan Taylor
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Not one of my favourite Sharpe stories. I still love the main characters and as always it fills in gaps in the period, but I think I might have overdone Sharpe a bit, I’m enjoying my new Peninsular War series more at the moment. Still it’s a good read and I enjoyed it.
Rachel White
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's nice to read a Sharpe story which is shorter but I do feel like you lose some of the fun that you usually have with Sharpe books. I still really enjoyed this one though!
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bernard-cornwell
Sharpe has to defend a fort against an army with only a company of men.
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
#14.5 in the Richard Sharpe series chronologically (#16.5 in publication order). Novella originally written as a giveaway to spur sales for Sharpe's Fortress (1999). Captain Sharpe and a small force are guarding an obscure Spanish fort and a quartermaster Major who is inspecting 200 captured French muskets. When he hears that French troops are marching on Avila, he correctly suspects that it is a feint and are really going to head for the river crossing at the fort he is guarding. Short, but a g ...more
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
This Sharpe outing is no biggie - but that's only because it's a short, 60-odd page effort originally written as a freebie before being later re-released on its own merits.

There aren't many Sharpe short stories out there, but I found the format holds up as well in brief form as it does in novel length. In essence, Sharpe finds himself in an isolated locale, up against overwhelming numbers of the French.

No prizes for guessing he manages to fight back in a rather splendid way.

Not much characterisa
Lauren Stoolfire
In order to recover from a wound Sharpe is given the relatively easy task of guarding a Commissary Officer at some obscure Spanish Fort where there are captured French muskets to repair. As it turns out the French are planning a raid and they figure that obscure Spanish fort will be lightly guarded. Sharpe's going to have a fight on his hands.

After watching a couple of the tv movies starring Sean Bean I've wanted to read the source material so when I found this at a library book sale I figured t
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Short story, set after the events of Sharpe's Sword and before Sharpe's Enemy, this is definitely a fast-paced read.

Recuperating from his wound received at Salamanca in the previous novel, Sharpe is given command of a border fort behind friendly lines while the French are in full retreat: a fort, of course, that certain French forces seem intent on capturing ...

As a short story, there's little in the way of characterization, but I think Sharpe has been around long enough now that that is not rea
Darran Phelps
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A nice little tale. Short but ever true to the legacy that is Sharpe.
I read this out of sequence of the rest of the books that I have been reading. Quite honestly I was so carried away with reading the books in sequence that I forgot about the smaller books that I have on my computer as E-books. Never the less this is a small tale that stands on its own in its own right.
I don't want to give anything away in the plot but suffice to say Sharpe saves the day after it seems that all is lost.
Mar 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series
Set in the Summer of 1812 (I'll let you work out which books it comes between), this short story tells of Richard Sharpe doing what he often does: taking on staggering odds and succeeding.

If you haven't read any of the novels before I suggest you start with one such as Sharpe's Tiger, which is, currently, the first chronoligically or Sharpe's Rifles, where most of the main characters for the rest of the series are introduced.
R. August
Fun little romp, if not a little formulaic. Cornwell does a little too much building up his French enemies given that they always lose, and knowing that they will always lose tends not to lend credence to what he writes. Another super star who is unbeatable with the perfect plan? Not too worried since I've seen this play out in the same way for the past 10 books. Not that they aren't fun...
Rob Trans
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I probably read this on Oct 22, 2014 as a bonus in another Sharpe novel, probably Sharpe's Fortress, although I can't be sure.

Sharpe's Skirmish is a short story that is a great addition to the Richard Sharpe series. It is a quick read. We get to see typical Sharpe action with him facing uneven odds and problems with the effectiveness of his subordinates.

Kimberly Chapman
Jun 27, 2012 rated it liked it
I love this character, but this has been the weakest so far in the series. It feels unfinished and poorly edited. Writing quirks I've noticed in other Cornwell books are more obvious here, suggesting that his editors usually smooth out those quirks but in this case, did not.

It's an amusing enough short read, but not on par with the other Sharpe novels.
Michael Thompson
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a short story unlike the other books in the Sharpe series. I made sure to read all of the books in chronological order instead of the order that they were written. Made things much easier to understand.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Short work that Cornwell himself says that should never have been written for all the trouble it caused. The shortness makes it feel rushed and rather non-consequential but it is rather readable if you don't mind the price / page count quotient.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it liked it
This short story was originally written as a giveaway book sale enhancement for a bookstore. It has since been re-written as a standalone piece. It does not possess the situational or character development that is possible in a book, but if you are a Sharpe fan as I am, then it is a good read.
Oleg Bogatyrevich
Dec 04, 2012 rated it liked it
A short story that is not easy to find in stores. Only a few thousand were printed. The events in the story are not significant to the overall story of the war, but still a nice read that connects Sharpe's Sword to Sharpe's Enemy.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Bernard Cornwell uses his usual blend of wit, excitement and immaculate historical detail to produce a fantastic and entertaining read.

Anyone who likes well-researched, well-written historical fiction MUST read Cornwell!

The only gripe I have is that it's very short.
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Though a short story it was a very fun one. It was full of excitement and was hard to put down even for a break. Great lead up for the setting. I did read this out of order but it did not detract from the chronology since it was only a short story and just a skirmish.
Richard Mulholland
Good fun Sharpe short story.
Malcolm Burtt
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Leaves you wanting all good short stories should.
Tiago "Salvador" Souza
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A nice short story!
Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Delightful short story of Sharpe's adventures, not too bad.
Steven Yenzer
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Cornwell admits to writing this in less than a week... And it shows.
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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 n ...more
More about Bernard Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

Richard Sharpe (chronological order) (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)

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