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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wellington and Sharpe - the beginning.
Having marched and fought with Richard Sharpe from the Peninsula to Waterloo and beyond, it was with great interest that I journeyed back in time with him, and indeed Wellesley, to India. "Tiger," in all honesty, I found difficult to get into, although by the end I was once more with Sharpe in the thick of the action. "Triumph," on the other hand,...
Published on 19 Dec. 1999

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid outing for Sharpe.
I touched upon how this period in history does not really interest me when I reviewed the first book in the Sharpe series, "Sharpe's Tiger." Being a big fan of Bernard Cornwell though, I was pleasantly surprised. I was reliably informed that Sharpe's Triumph was not as good as the other books in the series and so perhaps it was because I had slightly lower expectations...
Published on 2 Sept. 2011 by Snikt5


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wellington and Sharpe - the beginning., 19 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
Having marched and fought with Richard Sharpe from the Peninsula to Waterloo and beyond, it was with great interest that I journeyed back in time with him, and indeed Wellesley, to India. "Tiger," in all honesty, I found difficult to get into, although by the end I was once more with Sharpe in the thick of the action. "Triumph," on the other hand, had me hooked from the very start, and I would say to the new Sharpe reader - start with "Tiger" and persevere. "Triumph" fills in a lot of gaps in the Sharpe story as a whole, and after that, "Fortress" awaits you - and how! By the time you have fought at Assaye, won through at Ahmednuggur, and conquered Gawilghur, you deserve a rest, and a leisurely sea-voyage back home to England. But by then the year is 1805, and you will have to sail close to the South-West tip of Spain, the cape of Trafalgar. Who knows what will happen?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wellesleys's Triumph, 4 May 2009
Apparently, when asked towards the end of his life which battle he was most proud of, Wellington, without hesitation, named Assaye in 1803. Given the overwhelmingly poor odds he faced at the start of the battle and how quickly those odds were turned on their head, this seems entirely reasonable. It is presumably in honour of this achievement that Cornwell chose to focus this novel on Wellington rather than Sharpe who spends most of the novel following his General along dutifully and only getting involved in the fighting towards the end. This is not really a criticism. The book ably and engagingly relates firstly the breathtaking story of the audacious escalade at Ahmednuggur and then the great battle at Assaye.

As with Sharpe's Tiger Cornwell's research and ability to render extremely complex and confused battles both comprehensible and compelling is faultless. When Wellesley's Army first encounters its vast enemy across the River Kaitna I was reminded of the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. Carefully and with meticulous attention to detail Cornwell describes the movements of each side which lead ultimately to a veritable David versus Goliath style victory. Military tactics such as how and when Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry are most effectively deployed and when they are virtually useless are explained clearly without any let up in drama or excitement. If you have any interest in how battles were fought in the early nineteenth century you could do a lot worse than read this.

Perhaps inevitably, I have few criticisms; firstly Hakeswill is no less ridiculous than he was in Sharpe's Tiger, secondly I struggled a bit with Wellesley's determination to ford the river at a point where no one believed it could be done. Apparently this is really what happened and we have, of course to allow Cornwell some dramtic licence, but it is simply impossible to believe that he simply ploughed in under intense fire without testing it first! Finally I was confused by Sharpe's love interest, the young French woman Simone. I could not work out why Cornwell bothered with her, so insignificant to the plot is she and the love/sex scene was hurried over so quickly that again I had to wonder why Cornwell had included it at all. The whole thing smacks a bit of being `crow-barred' in simply to give the story a frisson of romance.

Nevertheless I greatly enjoyed the book and as with its predecessor, I learned a great deal. I look forward to following Sharpe and Wellesley to Gawilghur, Trafalgar and on to the European Peninsular.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Sharpe fans, 21 May 2007
By 
Like otehr readers, I was a little wary of delving back into the 'Sharpe' prequels; I woudl say that they are every bit as good as the original series.

Whilst it may be true that some of the characters are a little wooden, they all contribute to Sharpe's development as a soldier and a potential officer.

The battle scenes are brutal and detailed as ever, most particularly the battle of Assaye - which sees Sharpe defending Wellesley (Wellington) - a relationship that lasts until teh Battle of Waterloo. We also see a continuation of Hakeswill's malicious intent against Sharpe.

In all, we see Sharpe's frustrations and motivations, becoming teh officer that we know and love. I look forward to the next installment and intend on re-reading the entire series again. I am sure that these prequels will enhance the enjoyment - the commuppance of Hakeswill, Sharpe's acceptance as an officer etc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A typical gripping Sharpe adventure., 1 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This book has many similarities with Star Wars Episode one : it fills in the gaps in Richard Sharpes early life. Sergeant Hakeswill is still hot on his trail, and it is at the Battle of Assaye that Richard Sharpe saves the life of General Wellesley. This event leads to his promotion to Ensign, the first step away from the ranks of enlisted men. If you have read previous Sharpe books you will know exactly what to expect. As with the Star Wars film, you know the final outcome, after all, the main characters all appear in later (chronologically) books, but this does not spoil the enjoyment of a rattling good read, particularly when on holiday.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glory in the Midst of Bloody Battles and Duplicity, 7 Nov. 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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If you haven't yet read Sharpe's Tiger, I recommend that you begin your reading of this exciting series with that book. The characters and story in Sharpe's Triumph will make more sense that way.

If you liked Sharpe's Tiger, you will probably enjoy Sharpe's Triumph even more. The story here is more historically accurate, the various battles are brilliantly described, and readers will find it easier to identify with Sharpe as the hero of the story.

As the book opens, Sergeant Sharpe has been sent to pick up some ammunition . . . a seemingly dull assignment that soon becomes quite meaningful. There's a rogue lieutenant from the British East India Company who has a bounty on his head, and Sharpe is soon drawn into the search for Lieutenant Dodd and the sepoys he took with him.

In the background, Sharpe has been enjoying a leisurely four years since he earned his sergeant's stripes in Sharpe's Tiger. The cushion that his wealth has brought is about to become a curse, however.

In the search for Dodd, Sharpe is presented with the opportunity to better his station in life, meets a new love interest, and has some hard choices to make.

The high point of the story comes in the detailed recounting of the Battle of Assaye which was important to defeating the Indian forces and helped establish the reputation of Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington).

Those who don't want to read about the bloody side of war would do well to avoid this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wellesley's Triumph, 13 Jan. 2012
By 
Stuzinho (West Mids, England) - See all my reviews
I find Sharpe's Triumph a little different to all of the other Sharpe novels because I dont think Richard Sharpe is the hero of this story. The final third of the book, which details the brutal Battle of Assaye, is very much the story of General Wellesley, probably the greatest military commander in British history.

Sharpe has his moments obviously, swinging his sword against a dozen Mahratta's and 'effin & blindin' his way towards a battlefield commission like only Sharpe can. But for me he spends much of the battle as a spectator while the Scottish regiments are being blown to pieces. Meanwhile Wellesley is making up a battle plan, fording a river and sending his small army up against the odds with the certainty that the enemy 'will not stand'.

That's not to take anything away from Sharpe's Triumph as a novel. The Sharpe series is nothing without Wellesley and I loved the fact that this book gave me a real detailed glimpse of the battle from the General's point of view. The usual cast of Cornwellian villains are there, the delightfully vile Obadiah Hakeswill, the clueless commissioned officers and the downright evil William Dodd.

As with most Sharpe books the map at the beginning is essential if you are going to understand the battle itself, and Cornwell's dramatic style of historical fiction is highly addictive. These books also inspire me to research the true story of these battles and Assaye is a remarkable feat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cornwell's Triumph, 22 Sept. 2010
By 
D. C. Mytum (Ramsgate, Kent) - See all my reviews
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Sharpe's Triumph is just that. Another romping story about Richard Sharpe set in the run up to and then the actual battle of Assaye in India 1803.
Shape is witness to a brutal and bloody event which he narrowly escapes from. He then teams up with an East India Company intelligence officer, Colonel McCandless, whose job it is to capture the perpetrator, Major Dodd. You then follow Sharpe and McCandless in their pursuit of Major Dodd with the action of Wellesley's forces mostly in the background. Sgt. Obediah Hakeswill threads his way through the book in his relentless pursuit of Sharpe in order to ruin him.
Sharpe and McCandless drift in and out of the action until the battle of Assaye itself when Sharpe is thrown into the thick of the battle.
Cornwell has a great talent for being able to paint the gory, dirty, violent, and smelly battles so vividly in the readers mind you could almost be a bystander. The historical accuracy is also very good and any `additions' the author made, to help the story along, are fully recorded at the end of the book.
I enjoyed this book, unable to put it down at times, and would happily recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid outing for Sharpe., 2 Sept. 2011
By 
Snikt5 (Bromley, UK) - See all my reviews
I touched upon how this period in history does not really interest me when I reviewed the first book in the Sharpe series, "Sharpe's Tiger." Being a big fan of Bernard Cornwell though, I was pleasantly surprised. I was reliably informed that Sharpe's Triumph was not as good as the other books in the series and so perhaps it was because I had slightly lower expectations that I was again pleasantly surprised by the book. Whilst it is not a patch on the Warlord Chronicles, Sharpe's Triumph is a quick fun read. The plot is not overly complex but it is the characters that make the story. Sharpe is just one of those characters you instantly love and want to be. Other favourites from the first book are also back such as the reprehensible Hakeswill and the highly moralistic McCandless. If there is one downside to this book (and this is just a personal dislike of mine) is that there a lot of battle scenes. Cornwell writes these well, but I think his strength lies in his characters and I found myself yearning for the quieter scenes in between the action.
I am looking forward to the next Sharpe though.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!, 31 Dec. 2012
By 
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk (Oldham) - See all my reviews
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Sharpe series looks like a more "grown-up" Flashman. The books appear to be just as accurately researched and the writing is very good.
This story starts with a massacre which Sharpe miraculously survives, goes on to the siege of the city of Ahmednuggur where Wellesley first demonstrates his military audacity, and ends in the hard-fought (and well-described) battle of Assaye. Throughout this overall arc there is an understory involving a hated pursuit of Sharpe by Sergeant Hawkswill (who first appeared in "Sharpe's Tiger") and Sharpe's own pursuit (aided by Colonel McCandless, whom Sharpe had befriended in the earlier novel) of the instigator of the massacre that opened up the tale.
This is an exciting and engrossing read. The characters are perhaps a little cliche but keep the story flowing and the entertainment on the go. The battles are really very well described incorporating that "fog of war" one so often hears about. I finished this book wondering how men could endure such violent brutality - but evidently they did. Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping yarn, 14 Dec. 2012
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If only all history novels were this good!

There is nothing complex here. No detailed characterisation, philosophising or anything that will tax the thoughts of most readers. We have heroes and villains who we cheer or boo like a children's pantomime. This isn't Wolf Hall or War and Peace, but it IS spectacularly enjoyable.

Cornwell's structure, pace and prose are just right. There are moments so thrilling that you will not be able to put this book down. Cornwell's attention to detail is staggering, and his attitude to history is exemplary in the field of historical fiction.

Everything Cornwell invents (and all novellists - even Tolstoy - must partly invent) is detailed in an appendix so that the novel is at all times faithful to historical fact.

Finishing these books, one is left having both 'enjoyed' and 'learned'. And that is why I consider them paragons of their genre.

Dan Crawford
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