Book Review: Sharpe’s Assassin by Bernard Cornwell (four stars)

Book Review: Sharpe’s Assassin (Sharpe #22) by Bernard Cornwell (four stars)

“He’s a remarkable-looking fellow, don’t you think?” “To quote you, Your Grace, I don’t know what he does to the enemy, but by God he frightens me.” 

The battle of Waterloo ended yesterday. Sharpe is again thrust into the breach. The trick is, this time he’s trying to keep a war he hoped over from re-igniting. Deeply immersive combat action in early nineteenth century France.

“We are doing our utmost to keep Parisians calm. So try very hard not to start a war, Sharpe. Break some heads if you must, but I don’t want the streets of Paris running with blood.” 

Cornwell does pulse-pounding historical fiction well. Approaching two dozen editions, the Sharpe chronicles may strike some as formulaic. Fans just want their addiction fed. This story will pump their adrenaline. For now

“I’ve seen you in a fight, Charlie, and you don’t fight. You look for somewhere to hide.” 

Despite being toward the end of a long series, this book is accessible to new readers. Cornwell fills in backstory as needed and only as much as needed. Good job.

‘There had been a time when he welcomed a fight, but this night’s madness had made him apprehensive. It would be such a stupid time to die.’ 

Book Review: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow (Four Stars)

Book Review: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

Four Stars

“Instead of glorying in his might, he feared its terrible weight’s potential misuse.”

An encyclopedic survey of the life of George Washington. Well done, but Chernow was so heavily engaged in selling his theories of Washington’s personality and style that parts felt like the 2016 election campaign. “The most interior of the founders.” Pages of pithy epigrams by and about Washington. At 900 pages, it’s hardly “crisply paced”

“Things seldom happened accidentally to George Washington, but he managed them with consummate skill that they often seemed to happen accidentally.”

Modern availability and cataloguing of founder correspondence allows Chernow to explore both sides of many conversations, facilitating greater understanding of the bonds and divisions between Washington and Continue reading