This book follows chronologically from Sharpe's Tiger, so has a familiar bunch of characters as well as Sharpe himself. But this is different in style from that book or Sharpe's Rifles; in fact it is what I expected all the Sharpe novels would be like before I read them: it is the story of a real campaign (the battle of Assaye) with a fictional character (Sharpe) involved in the midst of it.
The British army is up against a force which hugely outnumbers it, both in terms of men and weapons. But by clever planning, it may be that Wellington can outflank the opposing army, and take first their fortress and then the town that forms their major stronghold.
The details of the battle and the strategies Wellington uses are impressive and interesting. However, it did feel a bit that the stuff about Sharpe had been tacked on - it was readable, and there were more encounters with the evil Hakeswill to get your pulse raised, but I don't think in this book Cornwell did quite such a good job of merging fact and fiction.
Well worth reading anyway, just maybe not up to the high standards of Sharpe's Tiger.
Completed : 27-Mar-2005