Sharpe's Fortress: India 1803 (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #3)

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9780060194246: Sharpe's Fortress: India 1803 (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #3)

Britain's number one bestselling novelist is back! Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Fortress--the stunning successor to Sharpe's Tiger and Sharpe's Triumph marks Richard Sharpe's explosive, unforgettable, final adventure in India.

Surviving the infamous battle of Assaye, Richard Sharpe has been promoted for his gallantry and skill assisting Sir Arthur Wellesley--the future Duke of Wellington--in overcoming the rebellious Mahratta confederation. But though the war with the Mahratta seems near its end, Sharpe, now an officer in Wellesley's army, faces a battle of a different kind among his own ranks. Uncomfortable with his newfound authority and unwelcoming colleagues, Sharpe is relegated to the tedium of baggage duty.

But his fury and uncertainty are soon overcome when he catches wind of a treasonous scheme devised by none other than his oldest and worst enemy, Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill. His life hanging in the balance and no friend to turn to, Sharpe has little choice but to take up arms and seek revenge in a desperate attempt to thwart his old nemesis and regain his stolen treasure, the jewels of the Tippoo Sultan.

Sharpe's private campaign leads him to the legendary impenetrable fortress in the sky, Gawilghur--the last refuge for desperate enemies of all dark stripes, including the renegade Englishman William Dodd. Joining Wellesley's army as it prepares to lay siege to this fortress high above the Deccan Plain, Sharpe will risk his honor, reputation, and fortune on a battle that will test him as never before.

Sharpe's Fortress caps this unforgettable soldier's India trilogy and leaves him poised to return to Europe, where he will face new, even more evil and lethal enemies.

Bernard Cornwell's masterful characters and sweeping historical novels provide "a marvelous mixture of fact and fiction" that are "characterized by . . . immaculate historical reconstruction and the ability to tell a ripping yarn." For adventure fans everywhere, they are not to be missed.

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Review:

Fighting in the millet fields of India circa 1803, Richard Sharpe knows trouble when he sees it: dissension in the ranks, a feverish and arrogant enemy, nobody to confide in. Unbeknownst to his comrades, Sharpe has buried a fortune in booty along the way. He knows his freedom is coming, and it's only a matter of time before he can feast on the spoils. Sharpe's Fortress is the 17th in Bernard Cornwell's series starring this colonial British soldier who has risen in the ranks despite blunders and misadventures, not to mention his own suspicions of the men around him.

Treason, near-death experiences, cannonballs hidden in the tall grass "sticky with blood and thick with flies, lying twenty paces from the man it had eviscerated," these are the elements of Cornwell's war stories, which rely heavily on long, involved--and involving--battle scenes, marvelous description, and bawdy dialogue in the trenches (a highlight: arguments over whether there's such a thing as breasts that look like grapes). For readers who hunger for humorous, complex characterizations, Sharpe proves vivid and three-dimensional. He holds tightly to his dreams of treasure, eavesdropping on betrayers, ultimately hatching a desperate plan to make his way to the fortress in the sky, Gawilghur. Cornwell's hero is an honest soldier, and also a pragmatic one. He doesn't care as much about the medals and the glory as he cares about dodging cannon fire and finding a place to sleep. --Ellen Williams

From the Back Cover:

Be prepared for scenes of great action & heroic.

The sword hissed an inch behind the boy's neck.
"I said to leave him alone!"
Sharpe said. "Or do you want to fight me instead?"
"None of us," a calm voice said behind Sharpe, "wants to fight Ensign Sharpe."

Richard Sharpe.

Soldier, hero, rogue—the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles, whose green jacket he proudly wears.

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