Sharpe's Prey - Review
Sharpe's Prey is a work of historical fiction which is definitively subtitled, "In Which Lieutenant Richard Sharpe is Sent to Copenhagen to Deliver a Bribe to Stop the Danes Handing Over Possession of Their Battle Fleet to the French." Bernard Cornwell is the weaver of this tale which takes into account the harrowing exploits of English democracy in the 19th Century. The hero, Richard Sharpe, struggles against all odds to complete a helpless mission against betrayal, war, and forlorn love.
The story follows Sharpe's single thread and is full of action and intrigue. The early years of the 19th Century are one of Cornwell's brightest characters and plays a central role in the adventure. Sharpe's character is believable and mostly likable. His melancholy, however, weighs heavily on the reader in a way that is not always enduring.
The melancholy of the protagonist is less than enduring.
I would not recommend reading this book. It was simple and enjoyable but lacked complexity. The tale was straightforward as to be plain. Richard Sharpe is not likable enough a character to carry the interest of the whole story. Scenes of action were rewarding as was the historical setting. But the central story limped along on the single crutch that was an encumbered protagonist.