© 2006 Bernard Cornwell
Winter 1811: most of Spain lies under the flag of the Emperor Napoleon, and the British army has beaten a retreat to a fortified corner of Portugal. Cadiz, the last city of the sovereign Spanish, is under siege. While Richard Sharpe has no business being there, a mission to blow up a bridge right under French noses didn’t go exactly as he planned, and he found himself washed down the river following history’s wake — right into Cadiz, where he enters the service of the Duke of Wellington’s brother involving a little domestic derring-do. Most book heroes would be content with surviving what Sharpe survives, and more would consider their task done if they manage to do what Sharpe accomplishes by the book’s midpoint — but Sharpe, being Sharpe, manages to get himself involved in a battle where the odds are more against the valiant redcoats than they’ve ever been.
Bernard Cornwell delivers yet another novel full of action and suspense, with his Napoleonic hero surviving treacherous priests, plots of blackmail, several explosions, the uncertain loyalty of Spanish allies, and a dragoon-filled final battle in which he tracks a nemesis. As mentioned before, I like the books which set Sharpe and his chosen men alone by themselves, and this book offers plenty of that when our favored scoundrel becomes a secret agent of sorts. Fury is another solid hit in this series.