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on 22 June 2001
Sharpe's Enemy is the first "Sharpe" novel I ever read, some twelve years ago. To this day it remains my all-time favourite, not only in this series but of any historical fiction. It contains all of Cornwell's best creations in terms of characters: in addition to Sharpe himself we see the indestructable Patrick Harper, the formiddable enemies Obadiah Hakeswill and Pierre Ducos. There is the "Lady" Josefina, and Sharpe's Spanish wife, Teresa. Two new allies are also introduced in this story: Major General Nairn, and "Sweet" William Frederickson who will both have important roles to play in later stories. Harry Price is there, as drunk as ever, and even Hogan and Wellington himself put in brief appearances.
In Sharpe's Enemy, there are, as ever, enemies on both sides. It is Cornwell's gift to depict complex characters which really come to life, and we expect nothing less from the master of this genre. However, in addiction to the excellent plot, and fine description of war in the Napoleonic era, this story has an extra touch of humour which is sometimes lacking in the others. This is not to say that readers, old and new, will not be deeply moved by the novel's ending.
In his Historical Note to the novel, Cornwell apologises for distorting facts somewhat. It is true that Sharpe seems to pop up in just about every major battle, and indeed many a casual skirmish, of the era, but the quality of the writing always seems to overcome these unlikely coincidences.
This is an essential read for any fan of Richard Sharpe, whether you are new to the series or not. In fact, my advice to any new readers is to start with the original series (Sharpe's Eagle was the first) before going back to the more recent "prequels".
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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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on 10 January 2003
I have read all of the Sharpe novels. This is the best. I take it out on a cold winter night every couple of years to find a cast of truly remarkable characters who have become old friends: the indestructable Patrick Harper and the rest of the Green Jackets: Harry Price is there with the Red Coats: evil and dangerous enemies Obadiah Hakeswill and Pierre Ducos: the incomparable "Lady" Josefina; Sharpe's incredible wife, Teresa; Two new allies appear in this story: Major General Nairn, who is introduced in one of the most hilarious and outlandish accounts in any of the Sharpe books, and "Sweet" William Frederickson,a thoughtful intellectual looking for a fight; Hogan and Wellington and a courageous French colonel who allies himself with Sharpe round out the cast. This book has humor, action, adventure, and tragedy. As a new Major, Sharpe shows that he can outthink and outfight his enemies, both foriegn and domestic! It is the supreme Sharpe story!
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on 17 January 2016
This is as usual a very good and interesting read. As with all the Sharpe books I thoroughly enjoy the story, and the action.
I have read many of Bernard Cornwell's books and can say without a doubt that he is my favourite author.
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Major Sharpe, in the bitter winter, must attempt a desperate rescue and face his most implacable enemy. Newly promoted, he is given the task of rescuing a group of well-born women, held hostage high in the mountains by a rabble of deserters. And one of the renegades is Sergeant Hakeswill, Sharpe,s bitter enemy. Sharpe has only the support of his own company and the new Rocket Troop - the last word in military incompetence - but he cannot afford to contemplate defeat. For to surrender or to fail would mean the end of the war for the Allied armies...Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side.
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on 19 November 2013
I have read and enjoyed this book so decided to purchase a copyas a birthday gift for my son. the copy I received was not the one I ordered. it was in a very poor condition and x library with new jersey free library stamp inside and library card pocket glued on back page. not suitable for a present. amazon have kindly given me a full refund and the book has been donated to a local charity shop.This would not put me off buying from amazon again your customer care is excellent.
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on 4 July 2012
as with all the books in the series it is something that is difficult to put down once the story begins. This book is a good example of the need to read the books in order because there are quite a few 'references' in this story.
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on 9 September 2014
One of the best of the Sharpe series - Hakeswill should get his own novel. I love the characterisation and is the definitive nemesis to poor Sharpe.

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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on 28 April 2002
I love the Sharpe books and this is one of the best I have read. vivid battle scenes, pulsating plot and a savage twist at the end. One of those books that you just cannot put down.
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on 5 July 2005
Looking for an emotional ride? Forget lovey-dovey novels and epics by Byron and settle down with Sharpe's Enemy! Told as only Cornwell can, expect dangerous plots, heroic decisions, edge of your bed pillow (or seat!) action and for something you may not expect to experience from the manner of the narrative. Absolutly fantastic! Simply brilliant! My congratulations to Cornwell on such a novel!
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