Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I guess you could say that my reading lately has been pretty Sharpe

Wow that was bad. It wasn't punny at all.

Okay, I'll stop now.

As you might be able to guess from the title, I've started reading Bernard Cornwell's excellent Richard Sharpe series of novels, beginning with Sharpe's Tiger.

I'm on the 43rd page, but damn it is good. Here's the gist:
In a battery of events that will make a hero out of an illiterate private, a young Richard Sharpe poses as the enemy to bring down a ruthless Indian dictator backed by fearsome French troops.

The year is 1799, and Richard Sharpe is just beginning his military career. An inexperienced young private in His Majesty's service, Sharpe becomes part of an expedition to India to push the ruthless Tippoo of Mysore from his throne and drive out his French allies. To penetrate the Tippoo's city and make contact with a Scottish spy being held prisoner there, Sharpe has to pose as a deserter. Success will make him a sergeant, but failure will turn him over to the Tippoo's brutal executioners — or, worse — his man-eating tigers. Picking his way through an exotic and alien world. Sharpe realizes that one slip will mean disaster. And when the furious British assault on the city finally begins, Sharpe must take up arms against his true comrades to preserve his false identity, risking death at their hands in order to avoid detection and thus to foil the Tippoo's well-set trap.

Barnes & Noble.
The battle at the start of the book, which doesn't end until probably around page 40 really pulls you into the story. Going by the copy I checked out from the local library, I'd say a lot of others would agree with me on how good the book is. Looks like I have a new series to collect! Aside from that book, I also found a copy of Richard Holmes' Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Musket and Horse.

The first chapter blew my socks off and I plan on buying a copy of my own, provided I can actually find one. I'm also looking at getting his book about the Duke of Wellington as well, though I'm facing the same problem finding a copy. Hopefully, the local bookstore can order one or both.

I think the reason for my sudden interest in the Napoleonic Era is because of all the wargaming blogs I read. Even some of the ones that aren't strictly focused on that period occasionally dally in there. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I'm growing to appreciate the era.

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