Sharpe's Prey

Sharpe's Prey

Richard Sharpe and the Expedition to Copenhagen, 1807

Book - 2002
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"The greatest writer of historical adventures today."
--Washington Post

Critically acclaimed, perennial New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell (Agincourt, The Fort, the Saxon Tales) makes real history come alive in his breathtaking historical fiction. Praised as "the direct heir to Patrick O'Brian" (Agincourt, The Fort), Cornwell has brilliantly captured the fury, chaos, and excitement of battle as few writers have ever done--perhaps most vividly in his phenomenally popular novels following the illustrious military career of British Army officer Richard Sharpe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In Sharpe's Prey, Sharpe must prove his mettle once again after performing courageously on Wellesley's battlefields in India and the Iberian Peninsula, as he undertakes a secret mission to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1807 to prevent a resurgent Napoleon from capturing the Danish fleet. Perhaps the San Francisco Chronicle said it best: "If only all history lessons could be as vibrant."

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2002.
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780060002527
0060002522
Branch Call Number: CORNWELL
Characteristics: 262 pages ; 25 cm.

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Jul 30, 2010

Sharpe's Prey represents one of Cornwell's earlier episodes in the career of Richard Sharpe. This is a rougher Sharpe; less secure than we will get to know him in later novels. Sharpe is but just come back from India and is but at the beginning of his career.
The setting for this novel is Europe in 1807. France, desperately wanting to attack England is prevented from doing so only by the British navy which stands in its way. France last its navy at Trafalgar and is eyeing the fleet of small, neutral Denmark as a replacement.Currently the Danish fleet is ensconced in Copenhagen's heavily defended inner harbour.
Sharpe, put off at his ill treatment by the British military is ready to defect to the Danish as the British fleet lobs bombs and shells at Copenhagen.
That, in a thumb-nail is the plot. There are spies; traitors; double-crossers; and ladies to lose a heart to.
On the Cornwell gore, violence and murder scale, I would say this rates at perhapsn a six out of ten.
Regardless, as always, Cornwell's books: well worth reading.

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