Ensign Richard Sharpe is back in Sharpe's Trafalgar
, the 17th in Bernard Cornwell's remarkable series of Sharpe novels. Sharpe is at the thick of things again, but this time not on the battlefield, but on the high seas.
The year is 1805 and Sharpe is stuck in Bombay, waiting passage back to England on the Calliope. He soon discovers that his fellow passengers include the aged patrician Lord William Hale and his "breathtakingly, achingly, untouchably beautiful" young wife, Lady Grace. The scene is set for a romantic but eventful passage, which becomes even more entangled as the Calliope is surprised by the rogue French warship the Revenant. The ensuing maritime adventures sail Sharpe right into one of the most momentous naval battles of all time, off Cape Trafalgar, on the 21st of October 1805, as the massed fleets of Spain and France face the might of Admiral Horatio Nelson's English navy.
Sharpe's Trafalgar is one of Cornwell's most ambitious Sharpe novels to date. Filled with the Cornwell trademarks of heroism, graphic violence, romance and vivid evocation of the period, its portrayal of Sharpe at sea is convincingly done and Sharpe's encounter with Nelson himself, alongside his previous encounters with historical figures such as Wellington, is particularly effective--the frail Admiral characterised as asking "nothing from life except to be seated with his good friends Chase, Blackwood and Richard Sharpe". Sharpe's Trafalgar finds Bernard Cornwell on top form; Sharpe fans will not be disappointed. --Jerry Brotton
‘Sharpe and his creator are national treasures.' Sunday Telegraph
'Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail
'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer
‘The best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive.’ George R.R. Martin