Reviews for Sharpe's Assassin: Richard Sharpe and the Occupation of Paris, 1815

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Richard Sharpe is fierce and fearless in his 22nd adventure for king and country. The British have just defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, but a whole lot of blood is yet to be shed. As Lt. Col. Richard Sharpe helps his riflemen bury British dead, he receives orders from the Duke of Wellington to capture a citadel in a French town called Ham ("as in eggs") and release its prisoners, specifically Alan Fox, who trades in artworks and is making a list of stolen paintings. “So I’m to do the impossible,” he remarks, and is told “you have the devil’s own luck” and “you excel at dirty business.” Sharpe is a great series character who doesn’t fit the officer mold. He is the gutter-born bastard son of a prostitute and a random whorehouse customer. He’d been a rank-and-file soldier with deep scars on his back from flogging until the duke noticed his intelligence and bravery and made him an officer. But wouldn’t you know, now under his command is the captain who’d once had him flogged. No hard feelings, though? Think again. Sharpe threatens to flay the skin off the captain’s back if he orders any more floggings of the men. They are to go to Paris so Sharpe can find and kill a group of assassins known as la Fraternité, which either exists or is medieval claptrap. Vicious fights ensue in Parisian tunnels and in the open air. Sharpe’s formidable antagonist is the French Col. Lanier, a killing machine known as le Monstre, whose pleasures are “women, wine, and death to his enemies.” Their forces must meet—Sharpe has a battalion—and so must the two ferocious leaders. For them and their men, “it would be such a stupid time to die. The war was won.” And yet there’s still time for spectacular combat scenes, with swords and volley guns and thumbs in the eyes. This is first-rate historical fiction that any fan of the genre will enjoy. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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