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For avid readers of the Sharpe books this is a short story of some 53 pages in length. At the normal price of £4.50 it is for die hard lovers of the Sharpe series but is a good read in this re-written version. The proceeds of the book's sale go to the Sharpe Appreciation Society (an appreciation of Sharpe and the soldiers of the early nineteenth century who fought in Portugal, Spain and France) and the Bernard and Judy Cornwell Foundation (scholarships for young people).
The book is a good taster for anyone who might be interested in Richard Sharpe, with story elements and references to other books in the series.
Richard Sharpe starts as a private under the command of Wellington in India (Sharpe's Tiger set 1799), and his subsequent promotion through the ranks to Ensign, Lieutenant, Captain and Major after acts of heroism and bravery in the other 15 books in the series of adventures.
This book is set in Spain, August 1812 where Captain Sharpe and his troops are supporting Major Tubbs in his mission to repair captured French muskets and give them to Spanish partisans. The assignment appears to be straightforward but Sharpe has a bad feeling, with good reason. Major Ducos, a future foe of Sharpe's, has the idea to cut Wellington's supply lines and thus stop the English advance on Madrid. He orders a French General to send his troops to fulfill this task, expecting the mission to be straightforward. Of course he hasn't encountered Sharpe yet and so it is not straightforward at all.
I liked this book immensely, it is concisely written and has the usual elements of a Sharpe story, intrigue, fighting, death and destruction. As in many of the other books Sharpe and his men face insurmountable odds and with some luck and heaps of bravery they fight on against their enemy.
A really good read. 8/10.
If you want to give the proceeds to charity by buying the book, all good, I borrowed it from the library.