Lt. Richard Sharpe has been stuck working as quartermaster for the 95th Rifles. Now he finds himself in command of a lost remnant of the regiment, cut off from the army during the disastrous retreat to Corunna.
The men don't trust him. They believe that only a gentleman can be an officer and Richard Sharpe is many things, but a gentleman is not one of them.
In order to escape, Sharpe must lead his men across the cold, bitter mountains of Galacia. He joins forces with a Spanish Major and his command. But that involves him in the Major's slightly mad scheme to produce a miracle to rally Spain.
Although this is the first Sharpe novel Cornwell wrote, I have been reading them in their chronological order, so I found the bitter and unsure Sharpe of this book a bit of a surprise.
But Cornwell and Sharpe are always dependable, blending accurate historical detail with swashbuckling adventure. Like every Sharpe book I have read, this an exciting and absorbing trip.