By Bernard Cornwell
Penguin Books, 304 pp,1988
A friend turned me on to Bernard
Cornwell, knowing that I enjoy historical fiction. So I did my usual
stalling before I checked this out from the library.
It's a fine book, part of a long series
with Sharpe, who is an officer in the British army helping the Spanish
rid Spain of Napoleon's army. In this book, Sharpe becomes a Lieutenant
for the first time and must win over his skeptical and his mutinous men.
He is cut off from his army and alone in the mountains of Spain, caught
in the freezing cold of winter.
But then a certain Blas Vivar shows up
with his group of cavalry with a mysterious chest that holds, according
to Vivar, only papers. But Sharpe suspects it's more than that, and he's
right. It's something a bit more fascinating - and unbelievable.
So that's the premise. It's a fun read,
with great battle scenes that avoid becoming monotonous, and likeable
characters. Cornwell reminds me of Louis L'Amour. Like L'Amour, he's not
the best writer in the world but a fine storyteller (L'Amour was a
So I'm glad I read this and I'll probably
read more Cornwell.