The fourth novel in a brilliant Napoleonic series from acclaimed historian Adrian Goldsworthy.
The year is 1809, and the recruiting sergeants are hard at work, as the British army gathers strength for the next phase of the campaign against Bonaparte on the Spanish Peninsula. Captain Billy Pringle of the 106th Foot, however, has a somewhat more urgent reason to leave the country: having become embroiled in an ill-advised duel with a lieutenant in the 14th Light Dragoons, a posting to Spain would avoid any awkwardness for the regiment.
Along with his friend Lieutenant Williams - whose sister Kitty was the cause of the duel - and the doughty veteran Sergeant Dobson, Pringle takes on the task of training Spanish troops to stand alongside their British allies. But what seems at first like easy duty soon turns into a desperate fight for survival as they find themselves besieged in the strategic fortress of Cuidad Rodrigo.
For Bonaparte, taking the fortress will be the first step towards pushing the British back to the sea, and the task is entrusted to one of his most daring and successful generals, Marshal Ney. And Ney in his turn has found the perfect officer to lead the assault, a man not only desperate for advancement but also thirsting for revenge - a man whom Williams knows only too well.
Goldsworthy brilliantly evokes the reality of life - and death - in the early 19th-century British Army - DAILY MAIL
Goldsworthy tells this story with great skill and narrative force - WALL STREET JOURNAL
Compelling - FINANCIAL TIMES
A superb achievement - LITERARY REVIEW
Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including PAX ROMANA, ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.