I picked up "Sharpe's Tiger" solely because I'd run out of books of my own. My husband had devoured the entire Sharpe series, but his taste in reading material isn't something we always shrare. Nevertheless, I couldn't find any better candidates among his book collection, and a quick scan assured me it would at least be a quick read.
Was I pleasantly surprised! I've since read four additional books in the series, and am working on a fifth. Bernard Cornwall makes war interesting, and the first four books (the prequels to the original series) include handy sketch maps to help keep track of things. Even details like the steps required to load a musket, which I would have expected to be achingly dull, are presented in a straightforward and entertaining manner. You never get the impression that Cornwell is trying to fill up space or show off his (obviously vast) knowledge.
Sharpe himself is a believable hero -- or would you call him an anti-hero? He's certainly no Dudley Dooright; he's lowborn, unmannered and uncultured, but you end up rooting for him just the same. The women in the series so far are usually in need of rescuing, but they aren't the typical delicate blossoms of femininity. Instead, Cornwell portrays them as intelligent, pragmatic, hard-edged, and more likely to trade in our hero for a better deal than the other way around. The only (minor) criticism I can make of this book is that Sharpe's nemesis, Hakeswill, seems a bit overboard. But nobody's perfect. ;)
Sharpe's Tiger had a tough time working its way into my reading list but, once it did, I was hooked. I'll continue with the series, and I won't be as put off by historical fiction as I was, thank's to Bernard Cornwell's talented contributions.