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    SHARPE'S PREY by Bernard Cornwell

    DENMARK 1807

    HarperCollins 2002

    Richard Sharpe has lost his fortune, the love of his life, and his newborn son--and now he can't even sell his commission in the English Army. He is at a low point of desperation when he is offered a special job protecting the British envoy to Denmark in a doomed attempt to head off a new war. Denmark owns the one navy in Europe not controlled by either France or Britain--a navy that might just be powerful enough to make the difference in Napoleon's plans to invade. Britain will do anything, including making war on a neutral nation, to prevent that navy from falling into French hands. Sharpe's mission is to prevent that war from being necessary.

    Once in Denmark, Sharpe finds his life in constant danger from French spies, the Danes, and even from his fellow Englishmen. He is sent into doomed Copenhagen to prevent the list of British spies from falling into Napoleon's hands and to save a beautiful woman--a woman who just might relight his heart. To accomplish his mission, or even to survive, will take all of the wiles Sharpe can muster.

    Author Bernard Cornwell (click here to see our reviews of SHARPE AT TRAFALGAR by the same author)) does a fine job describing British society, the birth of the modern military, and the brutality that marked so much of the Napoleonic era. Sharpe himself is a complex character marked by both cruelty and loyalty. Cornwell makes Sharpe emotionally complex and real. The battle scenes are brief (and this portion of the Napoleonic wars was brief), yet speak tellingly of the destruction of war and the battle between morals and necessity that victory requires.

    SHARPE'S PREY was hard to put down.

    Three Stars

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