Sharpe’s Fortress (book)

Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Gawilghur, December 1803

Here is our cast of characters for Sharpe’s Fortress:

  • Ensign Richard Sharpe – British Army Ensign, protagonist
  • General Sir Arthur Wellesley – commander of British and Indian Allied Forces in South Central India
  • Sgt. Obadiah Hakeswill – Sharpe’s former sergeant and ongoing nemesis
  • Major William Dodd – the traitorous British East India Company lieutenant now serving Scindia, he commands a specialize Sepoy company known as Dodd’s Cobras
  • Ahmed – Sharpe’s trusty Arab helper
  • Syud Sevajee – commander of allied Mahratta forces and Sharpe’s ally and old friend

Sharpe’s Fortress, chronologically, is the third book in Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe series. It is also the last book set soley in India. Sharpe is now an Ensign and is trying to forge his path in the Army.

1803, Richard Sharpe is still chasing Major William Dodd and the retreating Mahrattas through western India. Not fitting in well as an officer (not one of them and not one of the guys anymore), Richard is wishing he stayed a regular enlisted man. His new regiment hates him and his commanding officer is trying to transfer him to another unit. His lover, Simone, is in Seringapatam and has a fortune of Richard’s jewels in her possession (jewels taken as a prize when Richard killed the Tippoo Sultan in Sharpe’s Tiger. His only companion is an Arab boy named Ahmed who is loyal to the fearsome, yet kind, Sharpe.

Assigned to the army baggage train, Sharpe encounters an old enemy, Sergeant Hakeswill and Hakeswill tries to have Sharpe killed again by outsourcing the job to some goons who kidnapped Sharpe and tried to kill him. He is saved by the intervention of Ahmed and Syud Sevajee. Sharpe joins Sevajee’s men and hunts down the men that tried to kill him. He misses Hakeswill who joins Major William Dodd.

After defeat in battle the Mahratta army has withdrawn to the impregnable mountain top fortress of Gawilghur, led by Major William Dodd. It is said, whoever rules Gawilghur rules India, and Dodd is not planning on being defeated. His sits happily with Hakeswill behind two walls separated by a bridge over a pit. Wellesley was not swayed by the fortress and attacked. “In the end the fortress fell to the extraordinary gallantry of some Scottish soldiers and I fear Sharpe muscles in on their achievement.” – Bernard

The Dragon


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