First edition cover
|Cover artist||Danilo Ducek|
|Series||Richard Sharpe stories|
|23 April 2001|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback) and audio-CD|
|Pages||260 pp (hardcover edition)
304 pp (paperback edition)
|ISBN||ISBN 0-00-225875-7 (hardcover edition)
ISBN 0-00-651310-7 (paperback edition)
|Preceded by||Sharpe's Trafalgar|
|Followed by||Sharpe's Rifles|
This book tells the story of Second Lieutenant Richard Sharpe, who is sent to Copenhagen in 1807 with the job of protecting a nobleman on an important, but secret, mission. Sharpe soon discovers that his task is not as simple as it seemed and that he must overcome traitors, spies and the bombardment of Copenhagen.
This book is notable as a departure from the traditional style of Sharpe novels (which predominantly are set in India and Spain) as it mostly takes place in Denmark and also because it contains the first (chronological) brief appearance of Patrick Harper, later to become Sharpe's ever faithful companion. Bestselling novelist Bernard Cornwell returns to his popular Richard Sharpe series with this eighteenth installment, which finds his hero in the heart of war-torn Denmark, trying to protect the prized Danish fleet from Napoleon Bonaparte's ambitions.
The year is 1807, and Richard Sharpe is back in England, where his army career is at an end. Without love, destitute, and relegated to the job of quartermaster, Sharpe is on the streets of London, trying to contemplate a new life away from the army.
Then an old friend quite unexpectedly invites him to undertake a secret mission to the Danish capital, Copenhagen. Denmark is officially neutral, but Napoleon is threatening an invasion in order to capture the powerful Danish fleet, which could replace the ships France lost in its defeat at Trafalgar.
The British, fearing such enhancement of French power, threaten their own preemptive invasion. Sharpe, whose errand seemed so simple, is trapped by the treachery that will end only when the city, which thought itself safe, is subjected to a brutal and merciless bombardment.
Characters in "Sharpe's Prey"
- Richard Sharpe – the paid-off ensign, protagonist
- Patrick Harper – makes a brief appearance
- General Baird – Dispatches Sharpe on his mission, along with Harris and Cooper.
- Honourable John Lavisser – A turncoat British Guards officer.
- Barker – A cuthroat servant.
- Lord Pumphrey – a machavellian 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
- 2001, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-225875-7, Pub date 23 April 2001, hardback (First edition)
- 2002, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-651310-7, Pub date 5 June 2002, paperback