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Publisher's Summary

Lieutenant Richard Sharpe and a detachment of riflemen join the assault of a strong French force holding the Holy City of Santiago de Compostela.

Lieutenant Richard Sharpe and a detachment of Riflemen are cut off from the rest of the army and surrounded. Their only hope of escape is to accept the help of the Spanish, but this assistance comes at a price: to join the assault on the holy city of Santiago de Compostela, held by a strong French force. There is little Sharpe would enjoy more.

Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is 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.

©1988 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Sharpe and his creator are national treasures." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation." ( Daily Mail)
"Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched." ( Observer)
"The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive." ( George R.R. Martin)

What members say

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  • Overall
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  • Adam Turner
  • 30-07-2018

Fantastic

I have grown to love this series of books. They bring history into life like nothing else. The performance of the series is 5stars. Highly recommend the Sharpe series.

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  • Just
  • 24-04-2018

Rifles!

Would you listen to Sharpe's Rifles: The French Invasion of Galicia, January 1809 again? Why?

Yes, of course. I love Sharpe.

Any additional comments?

This is a prequel novel, written at the request of the producers of the TV series to provide a sort of origin for Sharpe's situation in the Peninsular. While not quite as good as some of the ones that come later, (written first), it is still a very good book in its own right and it is interesting to see how the characters react when they first meet. Also worth it just for Rupert Farley.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-03-2018

brilliant. compelling. couldn't put it down.

one of the best stories in the series. a treat! a great performance to boot

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  • Mr Hyde
  • 29-01-2018

Wow

The narration was fantastic, the story was fantastic. Bernard at his best, thoroughly enjoying, rediscovering the books that made me love reading as a kid.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clifford Piper
  • 15-11-2017

Fantastic book

I have read the book but listening to audio brought it to life.☺
Could do house work while reading

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  • Mr. Anthony D. Bateman
  • 21-09-2017

Cornwell genius

I've run out of words to describe Mr Cornwell books. The historical research behind them, the geographical description. but here Sharpe takes his first command, unofficially . One thing I can say, is that tv did not do justice to the series, though it brought me to the books, and yrs of entertaining reading and listening, not just a fan, I'm a sharpes fan.

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  • Sophie Bennett
  • 03-08-2017

rip raring adventure yet again

as usual Bernard Cornwall has done justice to the memory of these brave men. Rupert Farley does a good job of narrating. His French and Spanish accents are really good. It is understandable that Sharpe is and will forever be Sean Bean (and the voice is uncanny) but it's a little disconcerting to find Dave Lister making an appearance . I'm not going to spoil it for you. You're going to have to listen to see who I mean.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-05-2017

Totally different to TV series.

Excellent book well written by Cornwell totally different to TV series. As usual book better.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-02-2017

Sharpe's first outing

A damn good romp!
Sharpe is a cantankerous, bloody minded, violent, moody bastard. Who is quick to judge and likes a drink just a little bit too much and he's eye is soon turned by a pretty face.
But he's got a sense of honour and a moral compass that points in the right direction, although it sometimes gets him to the correct destination by the wrong path.
Ultimately the people he meets grow to love him because he is passionate and will fight at great risk to himself for what's right. He is lucky in a fight and unlucky in love, great riches seem to fall through his fingers and yet his forceful persona is his real wealth.
I've been hooked on the Sharpe books for a long time and I'm going back through them as audio books, I hope like me you will grow book by book to see Sharpe as loyal and trusted friend.

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  • MR W Daly
  • 12-11-2016

Sharpe makes the rifles his own

Sharpe meets Harper and helps forfil a Spanish legend. Slow in places but the pace grows and grows. Sharp has to win the trust and respect of the rifles before they truly become his rifles.