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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2003
This is one of my favourite Sharpe's. I own all but three of the series (no wait, four, I have to get Havoc) and have read them all. This is, apart from Regiment and Eagle, my favourite book. It combines incredibly powerful and invocative description of the battle for the village, and the brilliant Light Division rescue of the 7th (i think thats right). The characters are all perfect, each embodying a stereotype of the era. This is the book that make you want to jump into the book and experience the battle firsthand... One of the best books i have ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bernard Cornwell outdoes himself in building a powerful plot to illustrate the stubbornness of the often-scarred Captain Sharpe. In many of the most complicated stories in this series, the plot seems like an attempt to fill pages. In Sharpe's Battle, the enemies are vivid, obnoxious, dangerous, and intriguing. Sharpe continually tries to do the right thing and is punished for his efforts. For me, those elements make this war story work a lot better.

French Marshal Massena has been pulling back from his failed thrust toward Lisbon. The question now becomes whether or not Viscount Wellington can march his troops into Spain. In Sharpe's Battle, Wellington chooses to besiege Almeida so that the French troops there cannot be resupplied or relieved by Massena.

As the book opens, the captured King of Spain has ordered his personal guards unit made up of exiled Irishmen to report to Wellington to fight. The troops are led by a man whose mother was famous for her support for Irish rebels. Wellington and Major Hogan are doubtful that this "gift" is anything other than a Trojan Horse designed to create problems from within.

Sharpe is leading his men across the countryside when he spots French troops murdering civilians. Two of the men stay behind to assault a girl, and Sharpe captures them. In contrast to the rules of war, Sharpe refuses to exchange them . . . having them shot instead in front of their commanding officer, Brigadier General Guy Loup, who swears revenge on Sharpe. Loup's brigade has been using terrorist tactics to offset the partisans, and Sharpe wants Loup's head as much as Loup wants Sharpe's.

Back with the army, Sharpe is assigned to "train" the new troops under the leadership of timid Wagon Master General Runciman. Soon, the troops are deserting like rats leaving a sinking ship, but Sharpe wants more out of them. Loup senses an opportunity and decides to attach the remote camp where the royal guard is housed with massed force . . . helped by a little inside information. In the aftermath, Sharpe finds that he was become a pawn in a political game between the Spanish allies and Wellington over who will lead the combined forces into Spain.

Will Sharpe be able to escape from the claws of the factions?

The book culminates in an absolutely thrilling account of the battle of Fuentes de Onoro which featured an uncharacteristic mistake by Wellington, some remarkable soldiering, and unbelievable hand-to-hand combat within a village on a hillside.

The book ends with some remarkable ironies that will leave you thinking for some time to come.

This book features great writing and an thoroughly engaging story to test all aspects of Sharpe's mettle.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2001
This is my first Richard Sharpe novel and I had high expectations following the TV series which I really enjoyed. I wasn't disappointed. Cornwell does an excellent job of weaving the story into a real battle and the villaineous Captain Loup jumps from the page. Compulsive reading!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 1999
I am a Sharpe enthusiast and have read every one of the novels from India to South America. The battle scenes are magnificent, and have evidently been meticulously researched by Mr.Cornwell. I have personally visited many of the battlefields where Sharpe and his colleagues fought, including Fuentes D'Onoro, on the Spanish/Portugese border, where "Battle" is set. Having walked up from the Dos Casas stream through the village to the Church and the ridge beyond, for me there is no more evocative Sharpe story than this one - the description of the bitter struggle up through the narrow streets is unsurpassed, as is the account of the magnificent rescue and withdrawal involving the Light Division, the 7th Division and the Horse Artillery. This is as good as it gets, and if you only ever read one Sharpe novel, this is (for me at least) the one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2014
Bernard Cornwell is, in my opinion [for whatever that is worth] the best historical author currently working in the world of narrative fiction; based upon real-life historical events. He pulls no punches in respect to the often extremely violent reality of life during the wide ranging periods of human history he has covered. The net result is an authentic and often contemporary feel, featuring a cast of flawed characters that the modern day reader can identify with [in some cases], and entertained by until it becomes quite addictive.
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having used bits and pieces of peninsular war''s resources to create sharpe's battle as well as most if not all of other sharpe novels is intriguing. in this respect, the most exciting battlefield in this novel has started on chapter 10 when the french attacked the british barraks at the church in Fuentes de onoro village which is a stratgic location which impulsed Sharpe with the help of spanish royal regiment (real compania irlandesa which is of course a good support invention from the author )to counterattack them at the village and blocked massena's march to the frontier i believe .Thereby, the last two chapters comprised detailed battle gauging , firing , and swording in the village based on rather true events but not necessarily heroic.Also, Bernard has never ceased to impress me when he used somehow a slightly some ''between the lines'' historical information such as the fact that some of the british officiers were freemasons when he insinuated that in one of the chapters and i can not imply whether there is some whys and wherefored behind this but i can say that bernard cornwell nevertheless is master of history fiction books.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 1999
I have now read six books from Cornwell's 'Sharpe' series and this is one of his best. As always, beautifully researched and richly depicted battle scenes absorb the reader throughout. Captain Sharpe, born in the gutter and raised in the ranks, can only be as good as his last battle but again finds himself at the mercy of bumbling officers with an aptitude for stupidity. Clever sub-plots and convincing storytelling keep the reader intrigued, despite the inevitability of the book's ending. 'Sharpe's Battle' is easy to read and to an extent educational, but Cornwell's graphic descriptions ensure this is not one for the faint-hearted. My determination to read all the books in the series has been renewed, but as Cornwell fires them out more rapidly than our hero fires his Baker rifle there seems little chance, in the immediate future, that I will.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 March 2014
I have read all the Sharpe novels so far and this is one of my favourites and a return to form after the rather disappointing Sharpe’s Fury. The sub plot is particularly strong in this novel and the battle scenes are extremely well written.

Even as a standalone novel I believe this would be a good read but to fans of the Sharpe series I suggest this is a must read. Overall, a great novel well worth the purchase price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2014
A very good book from the Sharpes series...will not say about it because will spoil it for other book readers...
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on 10 April 2015
More Sharpe! Where does he get all these ideas from? Obviously based on a framework of actual history, but then the weaving of history and fiction starts. A number of authors do it this way, with C.S. Forester at the top of the pile, but certainly Bernard Cornwell must be a very close second, in fact it might be a tie for first place!
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