Re-issue to tie-in with publication of paperback.
Sharpe’s Havoc brings Sharpe to Portugal, and reunites him with Harper.
It is 1809 and Lieutenant Sharpe, who belongs to a small British army that has a precarious foothold in Portugal, is sent to look for Kate Savage, the daughter of an English wine shipper. But before he can discover the missing girl, the French onslaught on Portugal begins and the city of Oporto falls.
Sharpe is stranded behind enemy lines, but he has Patrick Harper, he has his riflemen and he has the assistance of a young, idealistic Portuguese officer. Together, they have to find the missing girl and extricate themselves from the entanglements cast by Colonel Christopher, a mysterious Englishman who has his own ideas on how the French can be ejected from Portugal. Those ideas are as fantastic as they are dangerous, but the French are rampant, Lisbon is threatened and Christopher sees Sharpe and his riflemen as the only obstacles to his subtle scheme.
But there is a newly arrived British commander in Lisbon, Sir Arthur Wellesley, and just when Sharpe and his men seem doomed, Sir Arthur mounts his own counter-attack, an operation that will send the French army reeling back into the northern mountains. Sharpe becomes a hunter instead of the hunted and he will exercise a dreadful revenge on the men who double-crossed him.
Sharpe's Havoc is a classic Sharpe story, a return to Portugal in the company of Sergeant Patrick Harper, Captain Hogan and Sharpe's beloved Greenjackets.
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One thing is as sure as death and taxes: that each successive Bernard Cornwell novel will be as exhilarating as its predecessor. Sharpe's Havoc continues the trend, demonstrating once again why the Richard Sharpe books by Cornwell are among the most cherished examples of historical derring-do around. While the novels are all assiduously detailed, with a precise sense of period, Cornwell knows how essential it is that his hero, the danger-prone Richard Sharpe, is as vividly characterised as ever. True to form, in Sharpe's Havoc we never lose sight of the character of the protagonist and the many members of the idiosyncratic supporting cast.
This time, we are taken to the spring of 1809 when a few British soldiers are stationed in Lisbon as Marshal Soult undertakes his assault on the garrison of Northern Portugal. It's not for Sharpe and his trusty crew of riflemen to dwell on the finer points of politics when they are sent into the city of Oporto to save the lives of two British women who have elected to stay. But when one of the women, Kate Savage, goes missing, Sharpe (along with Sergeant Patrick Harper and several battle-hardened colleagues) finds himself besieged in the city when the bridge over the river falls to the enemy. The English are forced on in a desperate journey back to the safety of the British encampment, but things become very murky when an enigmatic English officer informs them that they will be staying in the hellhole that is Northern Portugal.
Cornwell admirers will know exactly what to expect, and all the heady pleasures that distinguished such earlier books as Sharpe's Battle and Sharpe's Company are fully in place here, with the added impetus that comes from a notably picaresque narrative. All the central characters are drawn with the customary forcefulness, and instead of the expected tension and release that is the hallmark of most Cornwell novels, there's a steadily increasing excitement engendered here that leads to an all-stops-out finale. --Barry ForshawReview:
‘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
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Book Description Harpercollins Publishers, 2003. Compact Disc. Book Condition: Brand New. abridged ed edition. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0007158289