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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding Post-Napoleonic Sharpe Adventure!
Six years after the end of the Napoleonic wars, ex-Rifleman Richard Sharpe toils on his French wife's farm in Normandy. Times are a little tough, so when the fabulously wealthy wife of a former Spanish comrade asks him to travel to Chile to find her missing husband, he can't refuse the gold that comes with the request. Naturally, Sharpe rounds up the now-rotund and...
Published on 28 Feb 2005 by A. Ross

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WEAK END TO SERIES
Having read all of BC's books this was the last one I had to read and also the last in the Sharpe series. It was ok, but easily the weakest in the whole Sharpe series and also all of BC's books, not quite the struggle that Stonehenge was though. Sharpe and Harper should have just marched off at the end of Waterloo and be done; a book too far!
Published 16 months ago by D. Cole


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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding Post-Napoleonic Sharpe Adventure!, 28 Feb 2005
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sharpe's Devil (Paperback)
Six years after the end of the Napoleonic wars, ex-Rifleman Richard Sharpe toils on his French wife's farm in Normandy. Times are a little tough, so when the fabulously wealthy wife of a former Spanish comrade asks him to travel to Chile to find her missing husband, he can't refuse the gold that comes with the request. Naturally, Sharpe rounds up the now-rotund and prosperous tavern-keeper Patrick Harper before setting sail for South America. Their vessel is a Spanish one, ferrying a number of patronizing and foppish Spanish officers who are off to fight the Chilean rebels (who are led by the intriguing half-Spanish, half-Irish gentleman Bernardo O'Higgins). These Spaniards decide to take a minor detour to St. Helena to gawk at the imprisoned Napoleon, and of course Sharpe and Harper can't resist the chance to pay their own respects. The ex-emperor is by now rotting away in his dank mansion, with peeling wallpaper, a poor wine-cellar, and a large British garrison to keep him company. Treated like a curiosity in a zoo, he is disdainful of the Spaniards, but is intrigued by Sharpe and Harper, who are clearly fellow warriors. Cornwell has a lot of fun with this section, as the two old soldiers talk shop, honor each other, and Sharpe, with his customary naivite is unwittingly drawn into intrigue.
Eventually, the ship arrives in Chile, where Sharpe is told the man he is seeking, Captain-General Vivar, is actually dead. Of course, Sharpe is suspicious when a body can't be produced, and soon he and Harper have run afoul of the thoroughly evil Spanish Governor-General Bautista. Events entertainingly run their course, and soon the dynamic duo find themselves on the side of the rebels seeking to eject the Spaniards from Chile. They come under the wings of Admiral Cochrane, a Scottish Lord turned rebel seaman, and all around adventurer. Cochrane is a wildly daring and bold leader, a real life figure of such improbability that many readers will want to rush out and read one of the biographies about his exploits (The Audacious Admiral Cochrane by and The Sea Wolf by being two). Once in Cochrane's company, the action ratchets up until the climactic battle at Valdivia, where the ragtag rebel navy crushed the entrenched and more numerous Spanish defenders in an audacious action, heralding an end to Spanish rule. The rout also allows Sharpe to unravel the mystery of what befell Captain-General Vivar, and of course, exact retribution on the nasty Bautista.
This is indubitably a change of pace and setting from the regular Sharpe books, but a welcome one. As always, the military action is well described, there are evil villains, interesting supporting characters, and a heavy dose of vivid personages from history on hand. It's hard to imagine anyone making the nominally drab topic of Chilean independence come alive more vividly than Cornwell does here. There's a lot packed into this one, and Cornwell even manages to raise the specter of one of history's more interesting "what ifs" via an audacious plot. All in all, great fun.
PS. Anyone interested in St. Helena is advised to read Harry Ritchie's excellent travel book, The Last Pink Bits, which has a good section on how the island fares in modern times.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book that keeps Sharpe alive after Waterloo, 21 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Sharpe's Devil (Paperback)
Interesting solution to keeping Sharpe alive after most of his protagonists have been killed and/or defeated by the time of Waterloo. Even though the Napoleonic wars are over, Cornwell finds a way for Napoleon to influence Sharpe's life, to detach Patrick from his idyllic life and to set the two on another quest. Although this book may not have quite the same capacity to involve the reader in the art of warfare as it happened so long ago, Cornwell produces a credible adventure that keeps the reader's attention throughout... but where can he go now?
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Sharpe-tastic, 6 Feb 2001
This review is from: Sharpe's Devil (Paperback)
Sharpe's Devil is a cracking good read. After the relatively (and only relatively) disappointing Waterloo this is a back to basics Sharpe, a real boys-own, gung-ho adventure. It's different from the Napoleonic novels, not quite as gritty, but it has a fast paced story line and a good plot.
There are some strong characters in this too. Sharpe is pretty much the same, as is Harper, apart from now being enormously fat. Napoleon seems to hang over the book like a shadow and I couldn't believe that Admiral Cochrane existed, but according to the historical note he did, and in reality his larger than life persona was even more so.
Cornwell has got it right yet again, a blend of action and adventure in a highly credible historical setting.
Since he did not write all the novels in chronological order I have often wondered how he avoided anachronisms and in this I think I have found one. Sharpe is engaged in what is described as his first sea battle off the Chilean coast. However, as Cornwell has since penned Trafalgar which is set some fifteen years before - I suspect (though I haven't read it yet) Sharpe had some hand in this most famous battle at sea - an error possibly. Similarly Sharpe is amazed that Cochrane met Nelson, I just bet Sharpe has met him too!
Minor criticisms of an excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good idea? Well actually..... yes!, 22 Oct 2008
By 
chuckles "barnie884" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
To be honest, although I was interested in what Sharpe would get up to after Waterloo, you think to yourself, dont bother, it ended at his greatest battle so let the man retire in peace. Somehow, Cornwell manages to get Sharpe and (fat-boy) Harper out of retirement for one last heroic effort. With Cochrane, a lovable scoundrel, the return of Blas Vivar, a nasty new bad-guy and the usual action Cornwell manages to get one more adventure out of the old soldiers. Turns out I was wrong to be sceptical about another book, and to be honest I am very happy he wrote this. Sad thing is, this is the last in the truely excellent series.....
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 7 Jun 2000
As a hugh Sharpe fan (both TV and Book) I thought no more Sharpe after Waterloo - wrong. This book is great. Sharpe on both land and sea. Sharpe is for the reader who likes heroes getting in the thick of the action. Has some reference back to previous books but still great for a first time Sharpe reader. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a good, fast and enjoying read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WEAK END TO SERIES, 15 Aug 2013
By 
D. Cole - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Having read all of BC's books this was the last one I had to read and also the last in the Sharpe series. It was ok, but easily the weakest in the whole Sharpe series and also all of BC's books, not quite the struggle that Stonehenge was though. Sharpe and Harper should have just marched off at the end of Waterloo and be done; a book too far!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic...., 7 Mar 1999
By A Customer
It wasn't until I happened across the the Sharpe series on TV that I realised these books even existed, I collected the video's and am in the process of reading the books, which I can now say are well recommended. Although for me, Sean Bean will always be Major Sharpe in my imagination as I read the books (even such as this one, which hasn't yet been made into a TV drama) - I only think this enhances the experience of reading the books, for they are extremely well written, and on TV, the characters are extremely well portrayed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves the reader wanting more., 12 Aug 2014
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Its a devil of a read, 9 Sep 2014
Its Sharpe, but then it's not.
Something's missing and I can't put my finger on it. Perhaps because it wasn't in the Peninsular War/different setting/peacetime. I don't know, but perhaps this could have just been a novella. It's nice to see Sharpe and Harper again, but I feel it was written because BC missed Sharpe after Waterloo and couldn't write him out of his life. Not to worry, he comes back with his brilliant Indian not soon after.

David Cook, author of Liberty or Death (The Soldier Chronicles Book 1) and Heart of Oak (The Soldier Chronicles Book 2)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of a screening, 4 Nov 2008
By 
Mr. Steven Dwan "the voltiguer" (london, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This one is an absolute must for any who enjoy the Sharpe series - it just flows in and out of scenes that catch and hold your attention. We are at sea in Sharpe's first naval engagement - then with the ailing Napoleon on St.Helena - then with the Chilien rebels in the all out storming of a fortress - all the usual Sharpe cameos and action are here. Having just seen the latest TV offering (Peril) which did not match the previous fine productions by any stretch of the imagination, I just hope this one catches the producers attention and we see it make it to our screens some day! Buy the book and enjoy it - its more than up to Cornwall's usual high standard.
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Sharpe's Devil
Sharpe's Devil by Bernard Cornwell (Paperback - 2 Jan 2001)
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