Georgette Heyer did a meticulous amount of research for all of her historical novels but for this book she completely out-did herself. An Infamous Army is widely considered to be one of the most historically accurate accounts of the Battle of Waterloo ever written. It was even on the required reading list at Sandhurst for many years. Unfortunately I wasn't really able to appreciate this book. In fact it bored me to tears. Usually I very much appreciate historical accuracy and attention to detail but Heyer's account of the Battle of Waterloo completely overwhelmed me. I found all of the battle tactics and manoeuvres in it extremely confusing and difficult to keep up with. I guess this might not be much of an issue for military history buffs but as most of my knowledge of Waterloo comes from what I've gleaned from Les Miserables and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell I was pretty lost.
As a romance this book didn't work for me either. I liked the glimpses that I saw of Charles in Regency Buck but he doesn't get a huge amount of character development in this one and Lady Barbara is very unlikeable. She's selfish, flighty and callous and is basically just a female version of her awful grandfather. She's even caused two men to kill themselves by breaking their hearts. Ooh, how lovely! There were a couple of points where the characters discussed Barbara's "good heart" but I couldn't see any actual evidence of this and I couldn't understand why Charles fell in love with her. Judith Taverner is in this book quite a bit too and that was yet another issue that I had with it. Judith really annoyed me in Regency Buck and she wasn't any more likeable in this one.
I think this book is now my least favourite Georgette Heyer novel. I really didn't like it :( There have been other Heyer novels that I've found mediocre but even those books had some characters that I liked and certain scenes that made me smile - and that certainly wasn't the case with this one. I'm pretty disappointed. I truly loved These Old Shades but none of its sequels have lived up to that book for me. I'm glad to put this series behind me.