- Hardcover: 608 pages
- Publisher: Headline Review; First Edition edition (24 Jun. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0755324390
- ISBN-13: 978-0755324392
- Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 24 x 5.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 220,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Fields of Death (Wellington and Napoleon 4) (Revolution 4) Hardcover – 24 Jun 2010
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More About the Author
'in the hands of this author the whole lot is brought thrillingly to life' (The Bookseller)
The hardback of FIRE AND SWORD, the third title in Simon Scarrow's series about Wellington and Napoleon, spent five weeks on the Sunday Times hardback bestseller list, reaching the No. 4 positionSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
But it's so easy for this sort of this to be told in a dry bland fashion.
Anyone who has read the first 3 books in the series (Young Bloods, Generals, Fire and Sword) will know that Simons writing is anything but dry and bland, he brings
forth the pace and characterisation of his hugely popular fictional eagles series and applies the writing skill to a more confined writing area, having to stick to the bounds of real people and what they actually did, rather than the freedom of fictional characters who can play around in a time period, yet he still brings these people to life in just the same way something you just don't often see with many writers these days.
This book is no small offering at 500+ pages its easy to class it as a hefty tome, and yet it was the first book in my hand luggage for holiday this year (my fault for starting it a few days before we left, but there was no way I was waiting a week to finish it). Its very easy to say you cannot put a book down, but it really is the case with all 4 of the books in this series, not only are they fun , absorbing, escapism and exciting but they are also hugely entertaining and educational as well.
This book is sure to top the charts and deservedly so, I think every author has a crowning achievement in their writing repertoire (and who knows Simon may prove me wrong and go on to write even better...I can only hope) but for me this could be his master piece. David Gemmell wrote his Troy Series to culminate his career, Feist wrote The Empire Series early in his career, you never know when that perfect storm of writing skill, character, plot etc will happen, maybe this is Simons?
Either way this is a must buy for this year, if you have not read the rest of the series then buy the lot, it's a real treat.
Was it worth that torturous hiatus?
Undoubtedly so! This is by far the best book in the series and was well worth the frequent checks on Amazon for the publishing date and the eventual trip to the local bookstore on the morning of its release.
What of the content itself?
The book follows Arthur as he continues his campaign across the Peninsula, over the Pyrenees and eventually into France. Napoleon's adventures begin with battles against the Austrians, continue as he makes the ill-fated decision to invade Russia and come to an end as he is forced to abdicate at which point he is exiled to Elba. As is to be expected the book and the series reach a climax at the infamous Battle of Waterloo when Napoleon and Wellington finally have the opportunity to cross swords. The final few pages give us a glimpse of the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, but the book really comes to an end at Waterloo.
From the moment I picked this book up, I struggled to put it back down again. Work and sleep were unnecessary obstacles which forced me to grudgingly set the book down for a while. I have read all of Scarrow's previous books, but I have to congratulate him on the way he made me feel sorry for Napoleon during his inglorious retreat from the depths of Russia when everything was going wrong and turning to ashes. I think this is the sign of a truly gifted writer, when the reader can sympathise with the chief villain.
I have to ask; was that a cheeky reference to our beloved Richard Sharpe when Wellington meets the unusual Major who carried a Rifle and spoke with what appeared to be a slightly Northern accent? Definitely not, I hear the publishers cry!Read more ›
The opening did not bode well. Napoleon is attacking "the Bohemian town of Ratisbon." Where was that? Bohemia? Ratisbon? It's hardly the best-known battle of the Napoleonic wars. Still, Napoleon soon explains its importance to his officers and to Scarrow's readers. "Gentlemen," he says, "Ratisbon must be taken if we are to cross the Danube and force the enemy to face us on the battlefield." Fortunately for us, Napoleon was apparently in the habit of providing quick summaries of the strategic underpinnings of his campaigns to his generals at regular intervals.
It's all too obvious that we are not about to read great literature. But Scarrow does succeed in sketching out the details of Wellington's peninsular campaign and some of Napoleon's greatest triumphs and disasters, culminating in the retreat from Moscow. Although I dimly remember having to study this period for O-level (back in the days when there were O-levels), I had never before understood how Napoleon was defeated and sent to Elba or how he had managed to come back so quickly to the position of Emperor. And, despite an interest in the period that has seen me visiting museums with detailed displays of the Battle of Waterloo, I had never really understood what the French were doing there or how the British defeated them. That I now have a much clearer understanding of military strategy and political manoeuvring in a critical period of European history is a credit to Scarrow's ability to inject some life into what is all too often taught as a boring and confused sequence of attacks and counter-attacks.
That is not to say that Scarrow always gets it right.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you read the eagle series you have to read this one. As always a very well written and excellent storry from Simon Scarrow.Published 4 months ago by Dunn
Fascinating insight into the minds of the 2 main protagonists as they fight a number of battles against each other's armies and very informative about how battles were fought.Published 9 months ago by bozzy