Genre: Historical Fiction, Military Fiction
Setting: India, 1803
Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Sharpe novel series. These novels follow the career of Sergeant Richard Sharpe in the British army. Sharpe's Triumph is the second novel of the series.
In this novel Sharpe is the only survivor of a massacre. The attack is lead by the ruthless Major Dodd. Dodd is a traitorous British officer who has sold his services to a local Indian prince.
Sharpe teams with Colonel McCandless to pursue Dodd. In the pursuit of Dodd, Sharpe and McCandless join the army of Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. (Wellington will be the victorious general at the Battle of Waterloo.)
Sharpe himself is pursued by the evil Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill. Hakeswill hates Sharpe because of the events in the first novel. Hakeswill has falsely obtained a warrant for the arrest of Sharpe. His plan is to arrest Sharpe and then kill him.
Sharpe is not a perfect hero. He can be gallant and heroic. But he can also be ruthless and cruel. Although he is only a sergeant, Sharpe dreams of returning to England as an officer - an impossible dream in British army of the early 1800s.
The British army in the early nineteenth century was a hard, cruel, deadly experience. Cornwell's novel gives us a glimpse into the gritty reality of that era.
The first book of the series, Sharpe's Tiger