Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The quintessential Richard Sharpe novel.
Sharpe's Eagle is where so many of the familiar faces that recur throughout the series originally crop up. Most notably Sir Henry Simmerson...
(Simmerson as so aptly played by actor Michael Cochrane in the tv series.)
He's the snobbish, ineffectual British officer everyone loves to hate. With him arrives the utterly inexperienced South Essex regiment, which Sharpe is forced to batter into something like fighting shape or otherwise inevitably perish with them in the upcoming Battle of Talavera, an important conflict in Wellington's campaign against Napoleon. Simmerson brings with him a couple of shitty lieutenants, who become lethally entangled with Sharpe. (Another TV side note: One of the two lieutenants was played by actor Daniel Craig in one of his earlier roles. He plays a real prick here.)
However, it's Simmerson who will, in future books, become one of the biggest, continuous thorns in Sharpe's side. Seriously, you'll read this and think, "What a dick!"
In Sharpe's Eagle Bernard Cornwell is at his best. He puts his talents to good use, crafting an exciting, action-packed adventure set in a nicely detailed historical fiction that allows his rough and tumble character to flex his might and motivation as he fights his way through the ranks, battling not only Napoleon's forces, but also the worst knaves of the British army. It's all very heroic stuff that is surely over-the-top macho at times with ubiquitous love affairs per book so improbable as to be laughable. But hey, it's a rollicking good time nonetheless!
Read the books and go watch the tv series...it's got
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