Micro Review: ‘Sharpe’s Assassin’ by Bernard Cornwell is the book 21 in his ‘The Sharpe Series’ – Times of India


Bernard Cornwell, one of the world’s bestselling historical novelists, author of more than 50 books with 25 million sales around the world, recently came out with ‘Sharpe’s Assassin’ – the book 21 in his ‘The Sharpe Series’. The stories are centered on the character of Richard Sharpe and also formed the basis for a television series featuring English actor Sean Bean in the title role.

The series charts Sharpe’s progress in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars, but the novels were published in non-chronological order. He begins in ‘Sharpe’s Tiger’ (1997) as a soldier in the 33rd Regiment of Foot who is continually promoted, finally rising to lieutenant colonel in ‘Sharpe’s Waterloo’ (1990). His military career ends with the final defeat of Napoleon, but he has more adventures as a civilian.

In ‘Sharpe’s Assassin’, the Duke of Wellington turns to Sharpe for a favor. Though Napoleon’s army has been defeated, another enemy – a secretive group of fanatical revolutionaries – is eager for revenge.

“Sharpe is dispatched to a new battleground: the maze of Paris streets where lines blur between friend and foe. And in search of a spy, he will have to defeat a lethal assassin determined to kill his target or die trying,” reads the book’s blurb.

As per critics, the book seems to have more elements of humor as compared to other books in the series. Though the middle part is a bit too long, Cornwell has managed to conclude the series well along with enough space for more future adventures. It is historically accurate and wherever Cornwell takes the liberty to play around with date and time, he does mention it in the historical notes.

How critics view the book:

“The best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive.” – George R.R. Martin

“Strong narrative, vigorous action, and striking characterization, Cornwell remains king of the territory he has staked out as his own.” – Sunday Times

“Cornwell’s skill is in aging his warrior-hero, who now creaks as he fights and is haunted by those he has loved and lost.” – The Times

Also read:
Micro review: ‘Silverview’ by John le Carre
Micro review: ‘Harlem Shuffle’ by Colson Whitehead

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