"Captain Alatriste is a mercenary in 17th-century Spain, offering his skills as a swordsman (and, let's face it, an assassin) to the highest bidder. In this swashbuckling series opener, a group of mysterious masked men have hired Alatriste to kill a pair of visiting Englishmen. However, when Alatriste elects not to go through with the assassination, his decision angers his employers and soon the sellsword finds himself fending off threats from all sides. Full of action and adventure as well as rich historical detail, Captain Alatriste is a "pleasure of swash, buckle and atmosphere" (Kirkus Reviews)."
Historical Fiction newsletter, April 2015.
Captain Alatriste is a soldier for a country that?s down on its luck. Spain?s unbeatable Armada has been beaten, and the Spanish Inquisition is under way. So Alatriste makes his living hiring out his hand and his sword. One such employment?coming just when it?s needed most, as Alatriste has just gotten out of debtor?s prison?has Alatriste and a fellow assassin quietly snuffing out the lives of two English travelers late one night. But something about the Englishmen, something noble and worthy, stays Alatriste?s hand. His sense of honor now re-awoken, Alatriste finds himself smack in the middle of a political intrigue involving the most powerful political forces in seventeenth century Spain and England. Narrated with acute observation by Alatriste?s young squire Iñigo and chock-full of rich historical detail, Captain Alatriste is an ideal swashbuckler. This is cloak-and-dagger action that highlights a thoughtful, elegant plot with a dashing hero who is worth following into any adventure. Captain Alatriste is the introductory title in a series about the heroic swordsman; every title has been a bestseller in author Arturo Pérez-Reverte?s Spanish homeland. Elegant new translations ensure that Alatriste will win hearts on this side of the ocean just as easily. The sequels, in order, are Purity of Blood, The Sun Over Breda, and The King?s Gold. Pérez-Reverte is a master of these literary historical thrillers; for more of his swashbuckling style, try The Fencing Master as well.
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