Sharpe’s Prey – Bernard Cornwell

The last of my initial trio of Sharpe tales borrowed from the library, Sharpe’s Prey is also the last of Bernard Cornwell’s prequels to the original Sharpe series. It is a more personal tale, featuring his childhood – the misery and pain of a bastard orphan living in London’s east end docklands – and his doomed love affair with the lovely Lady Grace which began in Sharpe’s Trafalgar.

Set in 1807, two years after Sharpe’s return to England, the early part of the story alludes to the fact that his early years with the 95th Rifles, and as an officer, were not hugely successful and that he is planning to leave the army. We also learn that why and how the path of true love did not run smooth, which adds depth to Sharpe’s reluctance to engage in later love affairs (although his broken heart seems well on the mend by the end of the expedition to Denmark). The action, as good as ever, takes us from East End bar room brawls to the British siege of Copenhagen, with plenty of espionage, counter espionage and spies of both sexes.

Now all I need to do is: (1) read Sharpe’s Tiger and Sharpe’s Triumph, and (2) get the DVD player working…. Sharpe’s Prey – Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe Novels: an Amazon Listmania list, giving the Sharpe series in order of event rather than publication.