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Review: Sharpe’s Fortress

By pcurd

Sharpe's Fortress
Sharpe’s Fortress by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is last book of the introduction trilogy – written considerably after the first Sharpe book – and it was clearly written with the ending in mind (it of course can’t change Sharpe’s history, but only clarify it). That being said, as someone who didn’t know what would happen (I haven’t read the “later” books) it wasn’t boring or predictable. Sharpe remains an enjoyable character, and the secondary characters are still believable and well rounded. Baddies are complex, mostly (with one notable exception..), and good guys are thin on the ground.

The historical details are excellent as always and Cornwell has clearly done his homework. Whilst a triumphant period of British history, it’s never clear whether the spread of British Rule is a good thing for India or not. The complexity of the campaign is carried over into the story and the early career of the future Duke of Wellington is a secondary theme throughout rather than overwhelming. This style of explaining the past by telling a good story is a Cornwell specialty and it’s here in spades.

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