Sharpe's Fury (Sharpe Series #11)

Sharpe's Fury (Sharpe Series #11)

by Bernard Cornwell


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From New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, the eleventh installment in the world-renowned Sharpe series, chronicling the rise of Richard Sharpe, a Private in His Majesty’s Army at the siege of Seringapatam.

In the winter of 1811, the war seems lost. Spain has fallen to the French, except for Cadiz, now the Spanish capital and itself under siege. Inside the city walls an intricate diplomatic dance is taking place and Richard Sharpe faces more than one enemy.

The small British force is trapped by a French army, and their only hope lies with the outnumbered redcoats outside refusing to admit defeat. There, in the sweltering horror of Barrosa, Sharpe will meet his old enemy Colonel Vandal once again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060530488
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/22/2006
Series: Sharpe Series , #11
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

BERNARD CORNWELL is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling Saxon Tales series, which includes The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord, and, most recently, The Empty Throne and Warriors of the Storm, and which serves as the basis for the hit television series The Last Kingdom. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.

Read an Excerpt

Sharpe's Fury LP

By Bernard Cornwell

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Bernard Cornwell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061233048

Chapter One

You were never far from the sea in Cádiz. The smell of it was always there, almost as powerful as the stink of sewage. On the city's southern side, when the wind was high and from the south, the waves would shatter on the sea wall and spray would rattle on shuttered windows. After the battle of Trafalgar storms had battered the city for a week and the winds had carried the sea spray to the cathedral and torn down scaffolding about its unfinished dome. Waves had besieged Cádiz and pieces of broken ship had clattered on the stones, and then the corpses had come. But that had been almost six years ago and now Spain fought on the same side as Britain, though Cádiz was all that was left of Spain. The rest of the country was either ruled by France or had no government at all. Guerrilleros haunted the hills, poverty ruled the streets, and Spain was sullen. February 1811. Nighttime. Another storm beat at the city and monstrous waves shattered white against the sea wall. In the dark the watching man could see the explosions of foam and they reminded him of the powder smoke blasted from cannons. There was the same uncertainty about the violence. Just when he thought the waves had done their worst, another two or three would explode in sudden bursts, thewhite water would bloom above the wall like smoke, and the spray would be driven by the wind to spatter against the city's white walls like grapeshot.

The man was a priest. Father Salvador Montseny was dressed in a cassock, a cloak, and a wide black hat that he needed to hold against the wind's buffeting. He was a tall man, in his thirties, a fierce preacher of saturnine good looks, who now waited in the small shelter of an archway. He was a long way from home. Home was in the north where he had grown up as the unloved son of a widower lawyer who had sent Salvador to a church school. He had become a priest because he did not know what else he should be, but now he wished he had been a soldier. He thought he would have been a good soldier, but fate had made him a sailor instead. He had been a chaplain on board a Spanish ship captured at Trafalgar and in the darkness above him the sound of battle crashed again. The sound was the boom and snap of the great canvas sheets that protected the cathedral's half-built dome, but the wind made the huge tarpaulins sound like cannons. The canvas, he knew, had once been the sails of Spain's battle fleet, but after Trafalgar the sails had been stripped from the few ships that had limped home. Father Salvador Montseny had been in England then. Most Spanish prisoners had been put ashore swiftly, but Montseny was chaplain to an admiral and he had accompanied his master to the damp country house in Hampshire where he had watched the rain fall and the snow cover the pastures, and where he had learned to hate.

And he had also learned patience. He was being patient now. His hat and cloak were soaked through and he was cold, but he did not stir. He just waited. He had a pistol in his belt, but he reckoned the priming powder would be sodden. It did not matter. He had a knife. He touched the hilt, leaned on the wall, saw another wave break at the street's end, saw the spray dash past the dim light from an unshuttered window, and then heard the footsteps.

A man came running from the Calle Compania. Father Montseny waited, just a dark shadow in dark shadows, and saw the man go to the door opposite. It was unlocked. The man went through and the priest followed fast, pushing the door open as the man tried to close it. "Gracias," Father Montseny said.

They were in an arched tunnel that led to the courtyard. A lantern flickered from an alcove and the man, seeing that Montseny was a priest, looked relieved. "You live here, Father?" he asked.

"Last rites," Father Montseny said, shaking water off his cassock.

"Ah, that poor woman upstairs," the man made the sign of the cross. "It's a dirty night," he said.

"We've had worse, my son, and this will pass."

"True," the man said. He went into the courtyard and climbed the stairs to the first-floor balcony. "You're Catalonian, Father?"

"How did you know?"

"Your accent, Father." The man took out his key and unlocked his front door and the priest appeared to edge past him toward the steps climbing to the second floor.

The man opened his door, then pitched forward as Father Montseny suddenly turned and gave him a push. The man sprawled on the floor. He had a knife and tried to draw it, but the priest kicked him hard under the chin. Then the front door swung shut and they were in the dark. Father Montseny knelt on the fallen man's chest and put his own knife at his victim's throat. "Say nothing, my son," he ordered. He felt under the trapped man's wet cloak and found the knife, which he drew and tossed up the passageway. "You will speak," he said, "only when I ask you questions. Your name is Gonzalo Jurado?"

"Yes." Jurado's voice was scarce above a breath.

"Do you have the whore's letters?"

"No," Jurado said, then squealed because Father Montseny's knife had cut through his skin to touch his jawbone.

"You will be hurt if you lie," the priest said. "Do you have the letters?"

"I have them, yes!"

"Then show them to me."

Father Montseny let Jurado rise. He stayed close as Jurado went into a room that overlooked the street where the priest had waited. Steel struck flint and a candle was lit. Jurado could see his assailant . . .


Excerpted from Sharpe's Fury LP by Bernard Cornwell Copyright © 2006 by Bernard Cornwell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sharpe's Fury 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
jrtanworth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another rousing Sharpe adventure, with military action large and small, rotten enemies to be personally defeated by Sharpe, all in the context of historically accurate descriptions of Britain's war against Napoleon. This action takes place in 1811, when the British army was pinned in Cadiz by the French forces.
wispywillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was refreshing that Sharpe didn't end up with the girl. Mr. Cornwell, Sharpe doesn't ALWAYS need to get the girl! It gets a little old.Other than that, it was a pretty good one.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
No. 11 in the Richard Sharpe series.In March of 1811, the British are still penned up in Portugal behind the impregnable defenses of Torres Veras. Sharpe has been sent to Cádiz as a special agent to the British ambassador, Sir Henry Wellesley, who is Wellington¿s brother. While Spain is nominally Britain¿s ally, there are plenty of Spanish who would much prefer the French. Sharpe¿s Fury is based on a plot to extort money by blackmail from the British ambassador, throw in with the French, and restore the Spanish king who is a French prisoner.That¿s the basic story line. The plotting is more intricate than usual in the Sharpe series, but this installment has all the qualities that make the series so outstanding: meticulous research, amazing detail, superbly realized battle scenes, and excellent writing (although there is a tendency in the Rifles to grin entirely too much). The combination of the research and detail give this book, as in others, a hefty feel of authenticity. The Battle of Barrosa occupies a significantly larger portion of the story than the battles in the previous 2-3 books. The novel also contains a slightly altered version of the real capture of a French Eagle by Sgt. Patrick Masterson. There was a fictional version, based on this real event, in Sharpe¿s Eagle. My edition has two excellent diagrams, one showing the French, Spanish, and British positions, the other a diagrammatic map of Cádiz and the surrounding area in 1811. There is the usual Historical Note afterwards, explaining what liberties Cornwell took with the real events, sketches of the historical figures involved, and giving casualty figures for the battle.One of my favorites in the series. Highly recommended
5hrdrive on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A bit too much to expect that Sharpe could seemingly be so many places at once, but still very enjoyable. It does seem that he is little more than an observer once the main battle begins, but it seems even more incredible that he would be there at all. Loved learning about Sir Thomas Graham, Ensign Keogh, Sgt. Masterson, Major Browne and the astounding victory at Barrosa - so this entry in the series is much appreciated.
dougwood57 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As Cornwell explains in his always enlightening 'historical note' he visted the Barrossa battlefield while on a personal trip to Spain and thus Sharpe and Harper were sure to follow. Sharpe's Fury tells the tale of a crucial turning point in the Penninsular War against Napoleon's armies - the 1811 Battle of Barrossa. Spain (or the Spain that was allied with Britain) was reduced to a foothold in Cadiz. The British won (with virtually no Spanish help) and a tide was turned. The battle also featured the first 'eagle' (or cuckoo) taken by the British (Sharpe's Eagle notwithstanding). I've read nearly all the Sharpe books (as well several other Cornwell novels) and I found Sharpe's Fury to be every bit as good as any of the others (well, except maybe Sharpe's Fortress, a personal favorite). The book features an exciting retelling of a famous Napleonic battle with numerous real historical characters (Thomas Graham, Henry Wellesley, and Sgt. Patrick Masterson to name a few) and of course a beautiful and intelligent woman. Highly recommended for fans of Sharpe, historical action novels or the Napleonic wars.
stevenwbucey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Okay, but not his best. The ending was a good description of the battle but it felt as if Sharpe was almost a bystander.
lweddle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Sharpe's books, however, this one is not his best adventures. There seems to be a bit too much going on and the writing is oddly repetitive. Ah well. I did enjoy reading about Ensign Keogh, Sergeant Masterson and the Irishmen of the 87th. Faugh a ballagh!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am hooked on Cornwell's Sharpe series. and am reading #13 right now. Now that Sharpe and his men have become "old friends" I plan to go through the whole series. This book as the others sheds a light on a part of the Napoleonic Wars that is less written about.
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