Review: Sharpe’s Assassin by Bernard Cornwell

SHARPE IS BACK.

Outsider.

Hero.

Rogue.

And the one man you want on your side.

If any man can do the impossible it’s Richard Sharpe . . .

Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe is a man with a reputation. Born in the gutter, raised a foundling, he joined the army twenty-one years ago, and it’s been his home ever since. He’s a loose cannon, but his unconventional methods make him a valuable weapon.

So when, the dust still settling after the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington needs a favour, he turns to Sharpe. For Wellington knows that the end of one war is only the beginning of another. Napoleon’s army may be defeated, but another enemy lies waiting in the shadows – a secretive group of fanatical revolutionaries hell-bent on revenge.

Sharpe is dispatched to a new battleground: the maze of Paris streets where lines blur between friend and foe. And in search of a spy, he will have to defeat a lethal assassin determined to kill his target or die trying . . . 

I’ve been a fan of Bernard Cornwell’s ‘Sharpe’ series for a long time now and had read them all, like all long series of books there were some I liked better than others but there were none that I had disliked. I was therefore both very excited and very apprehensive to see that there was a new Sharpe book available. It had been a long time since a new one was published and having been burnt by others that re-visited much loved characters after a long break I was apprehensive.

I knew as soon as I started reading that I didn’t need to have worried in this case though, picking up directly in the aftermath of the battle of Waterloo, Sharpe and Harper were instantly back exactly as I remembered them. It was like catching up with old friends you haven’t seen for ages, very quickly it seems like you haven’t been apart at all.

There was everything here that I’d come to expect from Sharpe, great characterisation, superbly written battle scenes, humour and friendship. I love how Sharpe and Harper are so fiercely loyal to one another, they are one of the truly great literary friendships.

In fact the only problem with this book was that now I want to go and re-read all the others again. I’ve missed these characters and now I want to spend more time with them. It’s been a while so a re-read may be on the cards this year…

It was a great pleasure to see Sharpe and Harper march again, if you had any doubts about picking this one up as a fan of the series then you don’t need to worry! If you haven’t had the pleasure of Sharpe’s company yet then this really isn’t the beat place to start – but go back to the beginning, follow Sharpe through India, Spain, Portugal and in to France as he works his way up through the ranks of the British army as they march against Napoleon, I promise you won’t regret it.

Sharpe’s Assassin is available now.

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