Sharpe's Fortress

Bernard Cornwell, Author HarperCollins $25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-019424-6
Already a bestseller in the U.K., this 16th volume chronicling the heroic escapades of Richard Sharpe, a British soldier with Gen. Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the duke of Wellington), resumes the marathon historical narrative in India during the final battle of the Mahratta War of 1803. With an amorous French widow waiting for him back in Seringapatam, and carrying a fortune in jewels he has liberated from the Tippoo sultan, Ensign SharpeDnewly promoted from sergeantDis struggling to make a successful transition to officer responsibilities. Led by the murderous English turncoat Col. William Dodd, the Mahratta army withdraws to the impregnable mountaintop fortress of Gawilghur, where Dodd intends to defeat Wellesley and perpetrate a final treachery that will make him ruler of all India. Assigned to the service of Captain Torrance to assist with the supply train, Sharpe uncovers a large cache of misappropriated military supplies. The captain realizes that Sharpe suspects him and his sergeant, Obadiah Hakeswill, Sharpe's old nemesis, of stealing the supplies. He hands Sharpe over to Hakeswill, who takes his jewels and turns Sharpe over to a bandit leader to be killedDbut all is not lost. Resplendent with color and action, the stirring saga overwhelms the senses with the flash of sabers and the gore and din of battle. True to his adoring readers, Cornwell leaves no treachery unpunished as Sharpe again proves his mettle. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/2000
Release date: 11/01/2000
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