* Following on from The Battle, this is the second book in Rambaud's Napoleonic trilogy - In this second novel of the trilogy, Rambaud breathes new life into the story of Napoleon's 1812 Moscow Campaign, and his subsequent retreat to Beresina. The story is told through the eyes of some of those involved, from the Emperor himself to a young servant ...
* Following on from The Battle, this is the second book in Rambaud's Napoleonic trilogy - In this second novel of the trilogy, Rambaud breathes new life into the story of Napoleon's 1812 Moscow Campaign, and his subsequent retreat to Beresina. The story is told through the eyes of some of those involved, from the Emperor himself to a young servant boy. As with The Battle, the historical detail is impeccable. The reader is immersed in a vivid and bustling military world, one thwarted by crippling famine and illness. At the same time Rambaud weaves his delicate and remarkable pyschological profiles, opening imaginative doors into the psyches of those involved, from the great leader himself, to the common soldier shivering under fire in the freezing Russian winter.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-10-11 Second in Rambaud's Napoleonic trilogy, this installment chronicles the emperor's disastrous Russian campaign of 1812. The book opens as the imperial army, having lost three-quarters of its men on the icy, disease-ravaged march from France, approaches the gates of Moscow, where Napoleon imagines he will rest for the winter, hosted by the conquered czar. Instead, he finds a city emptied of people, food and soldiers-a cold and desolate hell. As in his previous novel, The Battle, Rambaud chooses a few characters to tell the story. Young Sebastian Roque sees nothing romantic about warfare; Captain d'Herbigny, on the other hand, adores military pomp and wishes only for a heroic return to Normandy. Napoleon himself has lost sight of reality, and declares, "This winter we will levy fresh contingents to reinforce us and then we will march on St. Petersburg... or India." But there are no fresh contingents coming nor any food to feed the men who remain. They have no choice but to return to France, facing cold, starvation and disease. Rambaud has a knack for wry pathos that keeps the book from bogging down in horror-a hungry d'Herbigny ties his loose pants up with strings of looted pearls. As one of the most famous military debacles in history, Napoleon's awful march to and from Moscow is riveting, and Rambaud brings a keen immediacy to the harrowing events. Agent, Grasset & Fasquelle (Paris). (Nov.) Forecast: The Battle won the Prix Goncourt, and The Retreat is a worthy sequel. Fans of literary fiction as well as classic military fiction will recognize the quality of Rambaud's elegant storytelling. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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