Sharpe's Devil (Sharpe Series #21)

Sharpe's Devil (Sharpe Series #21)

by Bernard Cornwell

Paperback(1 HARPER)

$14.69 $15.99 Save 8% Current price is $14.69, Original price is $15.99. You Save 8%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, October 17


From New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, another exciting adventure in the world-renowned Sharpe series, chronicling the rise of Richard Sharpe, a Private in His Majesty’s Army at the siege of Seringapatam.

Five years after the Battle of Waterloo, Sharpe’s peaceful retirement in Normandy is shattered. An old friend, Don Blas Vivar, is missing in Chile, reported dead at rebel hands – a report his wife refuses to believe. She appeals to Sharpe to find out the truth.

Sharpe, along with Patrick Harper, find themselves bound for Chile via St. Helena, where they have a fateful meeting with the fallen Emperor Napoleon. Convinced that they are on their way to collect a corpse, neither man can imagine that dangers that await them in Chile…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060932299
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/19/2013
Series: Sharpe Series , #21
Edition description: 1 HARPER
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 75,744
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

BERNARD CORNWELL is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling Saxon Tales series, which includes The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord, and, most recently, The Empty Throne and Warriors of the Storm, and which serves as the basis for the hit television series The Last Kingdom. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Capitan-General Blas Vivar's wife, the Countess of Mouromorto, had been born and raised in England, but Sharpe had first met Miss Louisa Parker when, in 1809 and with thousands of other refugees, she was fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of northern Spain. The Parker family, oblivious to the chaos that was engulfing a continent, could grieve only for their lost Protestant Bibles with which they had forlornly hoped to convert Papist Spain. Somehow, in the weltering chaos, Miss Louisa Parker had met Don Blas Vivar who, later that same year, became the Count of Mouromorto. Miss Parker had meanwhile become a Papist, and thereafter Blas Vivar's wife. Sharpe saw neither of them again till, in the late summer of 1819, Doña Louisa Vivar, Countess of Mouromorto, arrived unannounced and unexpected in the Normandy village where Sharpe farmed.

At first Sharpe did not recognize the tall, black-dressed woman whose carriage, attended by postilions and outriders, drew up under the chateau's crumbling arch. He had supposed the lavish carriage to belong to some rich person who, traveling about Normandy, had become lost in the region's green tangle of lanes and, it being late on a hot summer's afternoon, had sought out the largest farmhouse of the village for directions and, doubtless, refreshments as well. Sharpe, his face sour and unwelcoming, had been prepared to turn the visitors away by directing them to the inn at Seleglise, but then a dignified woman had stepped down from the carriage and pushed a veil back from her face. "Mister Sharpe?" she had said after a few awkward seconds, and suddenly Sharpe hadrecognized her, but even then he had found it hard to reconcile this woman's reserved and stately appearance with his memories of an adventurous English girl who had impulsively abandoned both her Protestant religion and the approval of her family to marry Don Blas Vivar, Count of Mouromorto, devout Catholic, and soldier of Spain.

Who, Doña Louisa now informed Sharpe, had disappeared. Blas Vivar had vanished.

Sharpe, overwhelmed by the suddenness of the information and by Louisa's arrival, gaped like a village idiot. Lucille insisted that Doña Louisa must stay for supper, which meant staying for the night, and Sharpe was peremptorily sent about making preparations. There was no spare stabling for Doña Louisa's valuable carriage horses, so Sharpe ordered a boy to unstall the plough horses and take them to a meadow while Lucille organized beds for Doña Louisa and her maids, and rugs for Doña Louisa's coachmen. Luggage had to be unstrapped from the varnished carriage and carried upstairs where the chateau's two maids laid new sheets on the beds. Wine was brought up from the damp Cellar, and a fine cheese, which Lucille would otherwise have sent to the market in Caen, was taken from its nettle-leaf wrapping and pronounced fit for the visitor's supper. That supper would not be much different from any of the other peasant meals being eaten in the village for the chateau was pretentious only in its name. The building had once been a nobleman's fortified manor, but was now little more than an overgrown and moated farmhouse.

Doña Louisa, her mind too full of her troubles to notice the fuss her arrival had prompted, explained to Sharpe the immediate cause of her unexpected visit. "I have been in England and I insisted the Horse Guards tell me where I might find you. I am sorry not to have sent you warning of my coming, but I need help." She spoke peremptorily, her voice that of a woman who was not used to deferring the gratification of her wishes.

She was nevertheless forced to wait while Sharpe's two children were introduced to her. Patrick, age five, offered her ladyship a sturdy bow while Dominique, age three, was more interested in the ducklings that splashed at the moat's edge. "Dominique looks like your wife," Louisa said.

Sharpe merely grunted a noncommital reply, for he had no wish to explain that he and Lucille were not married, nor how he already had a bitch of a wife in London whom he could not afford to divorce and who would not decently crawl away and die. Nor did Lucille, coming to join Sharpe and their guest at the table in the courtyard, bother to correct Louisa's misapprehension, for Lucille claimed to take more pleasure in being mistaken for Madame Richard Sharpe than in using her ancient title, though Sharpe, much to Lucille's amusement, now insisted on introducing her to Louisa as the Vicomtesse de Seleglise, an honor which duly impressed the Countess of Mouromorto. Lucille, as ever, tried to disown the title by saying that such nonsenses had been abolished in the revolution and, besides, anyone connected to an ancient French family could drag out a title from somewhere. "Half the ploughmen in France are Viscounts," the Viscountess Seleglise said with self-deprecation, then politely asked whether the Countess of Mouromorto had any children.

"Three," Louisa replied, and then went on to explain how an additional two children had died in infancy. Sharpe, supposing that the two women would get down to the interminable and tedious feminine business of making mutual compliments about their respective children, let the conversation become a meaningless drone, but Louisa surprisingly brushed the subject of children aside, only wanting to talk of her missing husband. "He's somewhere in Chile," she said.

Sharpe had to think for a few seconds before he could Place Chile, then he remembered a few scraps of information from the newspapers that he read in the inn beside Caen Abbey where he went for dinner on market days. "There's a war of independence going on in Chile, isn't there?"

"A rebellion!" Louisa corrected him sharply. Indeed, she went on, her husband had been sent to suppress the rebellion, though when Don Blas had reached Chile he had discovered a demoralized Spanish army...

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Sharpe's Devil (Sharpe Series #21) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Neilsantos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very much felt like a last book, a little sad.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
No. 21, the final installment of the Richard Sharpe series.Normally, when a series reaches a planned climax (in this case, the Battle of Waterloo), any books that come after are usually anticlimactic and have nowhere near the story-telling tension. Cornwell, however, true to form, spins a fascinating adventure tale of 5 years after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.It¿s 1820, Napoleon is now ¿in exile¿ on St. Helena, and Sharpe, since the end of the war, has been living with Lucille on her farm in France. They receive an unexpected visitor from Sharpe¿s past in Spain¿Louise Parker, now the wife of one of Sharpe¿s Spanish comrades and friend, Don Blas Vivar, the Count of Matamorto, who is missing in Chile. Don Blas had been sent there as governor to put down the rebels who were fighting for Chile¿s independence from Spain; he disappeared shortly after.Frustrated by what she sees as a lack of cooperation on the part of the Spanish authorities in locating Don Blas, she presses Sharpe to search for him in Chile, cost no object and with a nice, hefty fee for Sharpe. Reluctantly, believing that Don Blas is dead, Sharpe agrees. The money certainly would be useful for badly-needed repairs on the farm. And Don Blas is a friend.Naturally, wherever Sharpe goes, there goes ex-Sgt. Patrick Harper. The two set off in a Spanish warship, the Espiritu Santo. The Espiritu Santu is headed towards Chile in hopes of fighting the admiral of the rebel fleet, the famous English naval captain, Lord Thomas Cochrane. But on their way to Chile, they stop off, as many did, at the island of St. Helena, there to have a somewhat uncommon and puzzling interview with Napoleon himself, who asks Sharpe to carry a framed picture of himself as a memento to an admirer in Chile, an English officer. Captivated by Napoleon despite himself, Sharpe agrees.Upon landing in Chile, Sharpe and Harper set off in what appears to be a dead-end quest for Don Blas¿if not to find him living, then to bring his body back to Spain for burial and for closure for his wife.That is the background for this remarkably good tale. What makes this book even more intriguing is that the naval adventures of Lord Cochrane in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars formed much of the basis of the early books of the highly successful, naval mirror image of Cornwell¿s series, the Aubrey-Maturin series written by Patrick O¿Brian; Jack Aubrey¿s exploits were based directly on Cochrane¿s. In fact, the last book of O¿Brian¿s series more or less covers the same events. However, in the Aubrey-Maturin series, Aubrey again takes Cochrane¿s role in a very fictionalized version of events; Cornwell sticks to history.It¿s a glorious finale to a brilliant series. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The quality of facts mixed with developed characters provides a realistic and entertaining view of the time period as well as the locations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bookwormMC More than 1 year ago
It is only fitting that sharpe should get to meet the Emperor in this finale. The action takes place in a new land with a different enemy. Nice change of pace. Great way to end a great series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Richard Sharpe strikes again in the finale of the series. He rides waves, fights badguys, all with the help of his trusted sidekick Harper. Keep on trucking Sharpe!