My father loved the Sharpe series
, and he tried for years to get me to read it. I takes place at the turn of the 19th century, it features British soliders, and it's about the histories of battles and places that I know nothing about. Plus, I was a teenage girl when he suggested that I read this, so of course, I ignored my father. I shouldn't have.
Sharpe's Tiger was exciting, interesting, full of intrigue, and it read really fast. The hero, Richard Sharpe, is every action hero all rolled up into a simple British soldier. Sharpe does what he can to survive, and once he's let off of his leash, he survives with a style and a hardened bravery that drags the reader behind in his wake.
The villain in Sharpe's Tiger is one of the most nasty pieces of work that I've run across in a book in a *long* time. He's right on up there with Simon Legree from Uncle Tom's Cabin
, and Long John Silver from Treasure Island
. The reader comes to despise this man, and the stench of evil and heartlessness just drips off of this character. He is an excellently crafted character.
Aside from the action packed story, I was also impressed with the smooth transition from point-of-view to point-of-view that Bernard Cornwell
achieved in Sharpe's Tiger. One minute the reader is viewing the world out of Richard Sharpe's eyes, and then we are seamlessly viewing it out of the Tipoo's eyes. The transitions were so fluid, it really was quite an admirable example of writing skill.
So, as much as it pains me to admit that my father was right, he was right. I really enjoyed this book, and I've already got Sharpe's Triumph
coming my way. I just wish that I had read these when my father was alive, so that I could have shared the pleasure of these stories with him.