Sharpe's Tiger (Sharpe, #1) Sharpe's Tiger discussion

What order should the Sharpe books be read in?

Comments Showing 1-28 of 28 (28 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Adam (new)

Adam I have never read Sharpe but was recommended them by a friend. I have found out through wikipedia that this is the first in the series, though this wasnt publshed first . . .

What's the best order to read the Sharpe books in?

message 2: by Lisa (last edited Jul 24, 2008 07:44PM) (new)

Lisa Adam, We read the ones written in the 90's in the order of the Masterpiece Theater offerings. It seems like the timeline was pretty good, but obviously there are quite a few additions since then. It sounds like Sharpe's Tiger is a prequel to the ones listed. However, even though Sharpe's Challenge takes place in India, I believe it is a return to India and not his early life like Tiger (haven't read those two, read the others long ago).
Sharpe 1: Sharpe's Rifles
Sharpe 2: Sharpe's Eagle
Sharpe 3: Sharpe's Company
Sharpe 4: Sharpe's Enemy
Sharpe 5: Sharpe's Honour
Sharpe 6: Sharpe's Gold
Sharpe 7: Sharpe's Battle
Sharpe 8: Sharpe's Sword
Sharpe 9: Sharpe's Regiment
Sharpe 10: Sharpe's Siege
Sharpe 11: Sharpe's Mission
Sharpe 12: Sharpe's Revenge
Sharpe 13: Sharpe's Justice
Sharpe 14: Sharpe's Waterloo
Sharpe 15: Sharpe's Challenge (movie in 2006, didn't read this one...not sure if it was actually a title in the series)

message 3: by Ash (last edited Aug 14, 2008 08:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ash Buttle i'm reading them in historical order, not the order in which they were written.

• Sharpe's Tiger
• Sharpe's Triumph
• Sharpe's Fortress
• Sharpe's Trafalgar
• Sharpe's Prey
• Sharpe's Rifles
• Sharpe's Havoc
• Sharpe's Eagle
• Sharpe's Gold
• Sharpe's Escape
• Sharpe's Fury
• Sharpe's Battle
• Sharpe's Company
• Sharpe's Sword
• Sharpe's Skirmish
• Sharpe's Enemy
• Sharpe's Honour
• Sharpe's Regiment
• Sharpe's Christmas
• Sharpe's Siege
• Sharpe's Revenge
• Sharpe's Waterloo
• Sharpe's Ransom
• Sharpe's Devil

Nathalie Nelson It is good to read them in the chronological order of the content but not really necessary. They are wonderful whichever way you come across them and your mind can straighten out the chronology.

Bernard Cronwell a full and often updated list of the books in chronological oder can be found here

Nathalie Nelson I checked the dates that each book covered and read them in chronological order.

Marko Chronological order is what I prefer. Although - rather surprisingly - the first book ever written has thus far been the best one of the lot. Perhaps Cornwell had not found the "recipe" for his novels yet and the plot is therefore not as predictable and stereotypical as in his later novels (which is his one failing).

Johnnie I am reading it in the historical order and will start Trafalgar next. I really do enjoy them. A similar series, more modern is the Hawke books by Ted Bell. Hawke (Alexander Hawke, #1) by Ted Bell

message 9: by Ray (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ray I found Historical order to not be the best way... because there seems to be so little connection between storylines in the books that there is very little need to read them that way.

publication order would be my suggestion. Time will jump around, but you arent going to be reading them as a series like you would read The Warlord Chronicles. Each book stands alone so well, I was more thown off by jumps in writing styles and changes in character from book to book whenever I tried to read in historical order that I went to reading by publicaiton and the style, feel, tempo, and dispositions of the characters makes more sense to me that way.

Joshua Flenniken I have been reading them in chronological order (as opposed to order of publication). Though I have noticed what Ray mentions, it has not decreased my enjoyment of the books. Though each are "stand alone" stories, I have enjoyed reading them so that one story picks up more or less where the last leaves off.

Stephen Broeker I am a huge fan of historical fiction. Bernard Cornwell is great. I would suggest reading them in historical order, not as to when they were written. Check out the reading order printed in the beginning of any of the books.

David +1 for chronological (historical) order. Note, however, that there are times where characters disappear and re-appear between books (introduced in one if the newer, earlier set, books, then back to the originals, then to another 'new' one - you get the idea), which may factor in your decision.

message 13: by Andrea (last edited Jan 11, 2013 11:53AM) (new) - added it

Andrea Read Rifles first. I would do all the Napoleonic stuff first, then go to India and follow chronologically after that. Only because they are really like two series, and Cornwell's style changes through them. To me it only makes sense to read them the way he wrote them.

And get your hands on the Christmas short stories and skirmish, (read after sword) and you have a complete set.

Jonathan Hopkins +2 for historical order.

But if you want a taster first read 'Eagle'. It was the first Mr Cornwell wrote and remains one of the best, IMHO

Sharpe's Eagle (Sharpe, #8) by Bernard Cornwell Bernard Cornwell Bernard Cornwell

Steven Malone +3 for chronological

But I agree that I thought Cornwell matured as a writer as he did the series and some of his later ones are much richer as is Sharpe as a character.

I've never spent the money to get the xmas ones or skirmish. Maybe one day. I never get enough and reread the set every 2-3 years - so maybe one day.

message 16: by Nathan (last edited Feb 26, 2013 05:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nathan Once you set aside the predictible formula, the major difference between the books is the evolution of the character. Character development makes the most sense in historical order.

I read Sharpe's Skirmish after #14, but it's such a fast read it hardly matters.

message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Buchan The only way to read a series of Historical Fiction such as this is in Historical date order. This enables the reader to follow the maturity of the main Character Sharpe and his promotional success. It does detract from the main character if you jump around eg Major Sharpe to Sergeant Sharpe just does not compute and spoils the readers feel of the times. I prefer to be on the Battlefield and with the Character as he gains promotion and matures to be the soldiers Officer and indeed the COMPLETE Soldier. My personal opinion is that the India Campaigns are the best such as Seringapatam and the battle of Assaye which remained in Wellingtons own opinion as his greatest Victory when vastly outnumbered. Assaye is also where Cornwell decides that Sharpe should become and Officer from a grateful Wellington who is still Arthur Wellsley at this time.

message 18: by Leon (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leon Barnes I started reading them in chronological order, I like the idea of following Sharpe through his career. I'm up to Sharpe's Gold next. Each do stand alone very well so you can read other books in between them and not worry about having to remember things from previous books. You do however notice one or two contradictions when you get to Sharpe's Rifles but these can be forgiven considering how they were written and they don't really spoil the story.

Kerry Sharpe in India series.

Sharpe's Tiger - Siege of Seringapatam, 1799 - (1997)
Sharpe's Triumph - Battle of Assaye, September 1803 - (1998)
Sharpe's Fortress - Siege of Gawilghur, December 1803 - (1999)

Cornwell has of 2007 written 21 Sharpe novels and 3 short stories. A historical fiction writing machine, Cornwell rarely pens a poor story. It is possible to pick up this series at any point in time to get a respectable 4 star story. That said, Triumph reads like the middle book in a planned trilogy (little resolution) while Trafalgar is more a filler book that serves the simple purpose of getting Sharpe to Europe from India.

Sharpe titles listed in (chronological order) with publication dates:
Sharpe's Trafalgar(4) 2000
Sharpe's Prey (5) 2001
Sharpe's Rifles (6) 1988
Sharpe's Havoc(7) 2003
Sharpe's Eagle(8) 1981
Sharpe's Gold(9) 1981
Sharpe's Escape(10) 2004
Sharpe's Fury(11) 2006
Sharpe's Battle(12) 1995
Sharpe's Company(13) 1982
Sharpe's Sword(14) 1983
Sharpe's Enemy(15) 1984
Sharpe's Honour(16) 1985
Sharpe's Regiment(17) 1986
Sharpe's Siege(18) 1987
Sharpe's Revenge(19) 1989
Sharpe's Waterloo(20) 1990 (Battle of Waterloo, 1815)
Sharpe's Devil(21) 1992

Some odd hopping with Published Order.

message 20: by Clark (last edited Jul 27, 2013 05:38PM) (new) - added it

Clark I would go with the Peninsular campaigns first: Rifles through Waterloo and Devil. Then read what I'd call Sharpe's "prequel" novels: Tiger, Triumph, Fortress, Trafalgar and Prey. But that's just my personal preference, as I started with the Peninsular era. Cornwell's style does develop/improve from the earlier novels, with a few exceptions.

Sharpe's Company - one of his earlier ones - is one of my favourites (and one of his best IMO), while Trafalgar - one of the later ones - was as another reviewer mentioned, a filler novel: getting Sharpe from point A to B ... and once the fighting starts he was essentially an army man stuck as a spectator in the most famous naval battle ever.

The continuity issues that have been mentioned aren't major at all, but they will be there whether you read the novels chronologically or not. An example - the impression I had of the woman he meets in Trafalgar is that she's the love of his life, but obviously the older novels would mention nothing of her (since she didn't exist til Trafalgar was written.)

All the novels are entertaining. You can't go wrong with chronological order, or with the Peninsular novels first then India to Denmark prequels.

Nathan Greg wrote: "Clark wrote: "his hunger for a trophy wife detracts from him as a sympathetic hero, especially as he has little insight into his own failings, or willingness to confront his ambitious nature. "
WELL... He is a soldier.

Darran Whilst I agree that the books can be read as stand alone, the development of the character and references to previous pots do make it difficult to follow if they are read this way. I have to say that my feeling is also with the historical order. I haven't yet finished the series but I am hooked. I first read the the Grail series of books before discovering that the TV series that I loved was based on the Bernard Cornwell books.
On Bernard's web site he quotes the historical order and itemises where the short stories fit into that order.

Dylan The newer ones weren't out when I started reading them, but I had no trouble enjoying them out of order. I've been think about rereading them so might do that in Historical order.

Anyway, they're cracking books

message 24: by luke (new) - rated it 4 stars

luke jebb I recently purchased a bunch of the Sharpe books and am not sure what order to read, from what I can see here historical order is the preferred but obviously there is no real way of knowing which order to read is better. My main worry is that reading in historical order you may lose some character building that would have been done it the published order.

message 25: by Mike (new)

Mike Definitely chronological order. I am currently reading them for a second time and find them extremely good reads. Another good series by the author is 'The last Kingdom' (formerly 'The Warrior Chronicles'. Highly recommended.

Ronnie Slightly off topic, but can I put in a good word for the "Powder Mage" novels by Brian McClellan?

Fantasy set in a broadly similar worlds to "Sharpe", but the Riflemen are all magic users. They can take gunpowder as snuff, sprinkle it on their tongues, or - in extreme cases - eat a cartridge, and it enhances their senses.

Good books, I highly recommend them.

message 27: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Sherred I did read all of the Richard Sharpe books in chronological order quite a few years ago. They were my first introduction to Cornwell's work and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Can anyone tell me if, in recent years, Cornwell has inserted a few new books somewhere into the timeline? I recently read a short story called 'Sharpe's Christmas' which was a new one on me.



Wwkeeler Adam wrote: "I have never read Sharpe but was recommended them by a friend. I have found out through wikipedia that this is the first in the series, though this wasnt publshed first . . .

What's the best orde..."

There is no wrong order. Even picking up in the middle, you can follow the story. It might even make you want to read the earlier ones to pick up some of the references.

back to top