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Publisher's Summary

It is 1810, and in Napoleon's determination to conquer Portugal, and push the British back to the sea, he sends his largest army yet across the Spanish frontier. But between the Portuguese border and Napoleon's seemingly certain victory are two obstacles; a wasted land, stripped of food by Wellington's orders, and Captain Richard Sharpe. But Sharpe is in trouble. The captain of the Light Company is threatened from inside and out: first by an incompetent British officer, who by virtue of family connections is temporarily given Sharpe's command. An even greater danger is posed by two corrupt Portuguese brothers, Major Ferreira, a high-ranking officer in the army of Portugal, and his brother, nicknamed "Ferragus" (after a legendary Portuguese giant), who prefer to rule by crude physical strength and pure intimidation. Together the brothers have developed a devious plot to ingratiate themselves with the French invaders who are threatening to become Portugal's new rulers.
Sharpe's interference in the first stage of their plan earns the undying enmity of the brothers. Ferragus vows revenge and plots a merciless trap that seems certain to kill Sharpe and his intimates. As the city of Coimbra is burned and pillaged, Sharpe and his companions plot a daring escape, ensuring that Ferragus will follow on toward Lisbon, into the jaws of a snare laid by Wellington that is meant to be a daring and ingenious last stand against the invaders. There, beneath the British guns, Sharpe is reunited with his shattered but grateful company, and meets his enemies in a thrilling and decisive fight.
Don't forget to check out the rest of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series.

Don't miss the rest of Bernard Cornwell's literary masterpieces.

©2004 Bernard Cornwell (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Another thrilling adventure." (Booklist)
"With fully fleshed-out characters and keen human insight, Cornwell just keeps getting better." (Publishers Weekly)
"Adroitly capturing character, Patrick Tull sounds like a grizzled, gin-soaked foot soldier who saw it all firsthand and who enjoys nothing more than telling war stories." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Randall on 01-06-07

Can't stand Tull

Loved the book but hated the reader. I've listened to most of the Sharpe series and skipped this one until now, but I will not listen to Tull again. It sounds like the narrator is constantly spitting and gasping for breath. The spitting sounds are very distracting, bet he buys microphones by the gross.

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18 of 21 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 06-16-10

Tull's narration

There are currently 2 primary narrators for the Sharp series, Davidson and Gaminara. Although I strongly prefer Davidson's characterization of Sharp's personality, Gaminara is different but a similar character comes through. For some obscure reason, P. Tull is the only narrator for Book X. Tull totally loses the character, slurs his presentation and makes all characters sound like old men who are simply incoherent. I really cannot follow the story and would suggest skipping Book X rather than suffering through Tull's presentation. It is only Cornwell's wonderful writing that keeps me listening to this book.

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12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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