Sharpe’s Prey (book)

Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Copenhagen, 1807

  • Richard Sharpe – Second Lieutenant and Quartermaster in the 95th Rifles in the British army.
  • Patrick Harper – Soldier in the 95th Rifles who makes a brief appearance along with Harris and Cooper.
  • General Baird – An aquantance from India, not a friend of Wellesley. Dispatches Sharpe on his mission.
  • Honourable John Lavisser – A turncoat British Guards officer.
  • Barker – A cutthroat servant.
  • Astrid Skovgaard – A Danish widow whom Sharpe has a relationship with.
  • Lord Pumphrey – a Machiavellian Foreign Office employee.
  • Arthur Wellesley– Divisional commander.
  • Joel Chase – Captain of the Pucelle and friend of Sharpe from India
  • Captain Gordon – an aide to General Baird, who is his uncle
  • Captain Dunnett – Sharpe’s superior officer in the 95th Rifles, with whom he enjoys a strained relationship.
  • Captain Murray – A company commander in the 95th Rifles

The fifth novel, chronologically, in Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe series and is one of the first to take place in the Napoleonic Wars. Richard is mourning the loss of his love Lady Grace Hale in childbirth. His child died as well. He also lost all his money he got from the Tippoo Sultan’s jewels when Grace died. The lawyers said it was Grace’s money and not his. As was the house he bought for them, since he placed it in her name. Sharpe, having been made Quartermaster of the 95th Rifles and not fitting in, is contemplating leaving the Army. He heads to a local pub to drown his sorrows and runs into an old friend, General Baird. The original man who was suppose to go on the mission was killed. The mission, very secret, is to escort a Danish nobleman, and lots of money, to the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The neutral Denmark is being threatened by France. They threaten to invade in order to capture the very powerful and well-built Danish fleet, which would replace the ships the French lost at the Battle of Trafalgar.

The British wanting to beat the French to the fleet are offering lots of money to the Danish for their ships. If the Danish says no to their proposal, the British threaten their own invasion in order to stop the French from getting the ships and shifting power in the seas. Sharpe, caught in the middle, thinks his mission is an easy one. Until the man he is escorting, John Lavisser, attacks him and steals the money. Lavisser convinces the leaders of Denmark that Sharpe is a spy and assassin. On the run, Sharpe runs into a woman who becomes his newest love, Astrid Skovgaard. Sharpe not only falls in love with Astrid, but Copenhagen as well. The British bombard Copenhagen and Sharpe gets caught in the middle.

I loved the new location and Astrid. I was really rooting for the two of them. Astrid lost her husband in the war and was lonely. She needed someone. Sharpe looked exactly like her dead husband and she got a glimmer of hope and happiness when he walked through her door. Sharpe, having lost his love and needing some happiness, needed some happiness as well. It doesn’t happen, because he has to report back into his unit. I liked Astrid, because she brought out something in Sharpe that was beautiful to behold. When the bombardment started, he helped her save a group of orphans from a burning building. It was all he could think about was keeping her and the children safe. His character comes a long way.

I also like this book, because it gives us the first glimpse of Patrick Harper, Sharpe’s most loyal friend. We only get a teaser of him, but it was exciting. It showed him before he met Sharpe and Sharpe made him a Seargent. He was funny and witty and a complete scoundrel. I loved it.

Join us next month when we read Sharpe’s Rifle and review the first movie in the Sharpe’s series, Sharpe’s Rifles, starring Sean Bean.

The Dragon


Hello! I am The Dragon, creator of The Dragon’s, Jedite’s wife, Co-Creator of Captain Little Dude, Geek, Gamer, Nerd, fangirl, bookworm, and Pagan. Pastry Chef turned Web Designer. Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Human. Feminist.