The first in a magnificent series of five historical novels from the
acclaimed, bestselling author of The Club Dumas and The Queen of the
Captain Alatriste is the story of a fictional seventeenth-century
Spanish soldier who, after being wounded in battle during the Thirty
Years' War, is forced to retire from the army. Now he lives the
comparatively tame - though hardly quiet - life of a swordsman-for-hire in
Madrid. Approached with an offer of work, Alatriste is told to go with
another hired blade to an unfamiliar part of the city at midnight and
wait. They are received by men who explain that they want Alatriste and
his companion to ambush two travelers the following evening, stage a
robbery, and give the men a fright. "No blood," they are told.
But then a third figure enters the room. He says the job requires some
clarification: he increases the pay, and tells them that, instead, they
must murder the two travelers. Then he reveals his identity: Emilio
Bocanegra. It is a name synonymous with the Spanish Inquisition, the
bloodiest name in Europe. This is a man whose requests cannot be
But the following night, with the attack imminent, it becomes clear to
Alatriste that these aren't ordinary travelers. And what happens next
is only the first in a series of riveting twists and turns, with
implications that will reverberate throughout the courts of Europe.
For anyone who loves the work of Arturo Pérez-Reverte-and those who
have not yet discovered the delights of this extraordinary
writer - Captain Alatriste is one of the most stylish, singular pleasures
to come along in years.
First published in Spanish in 1996, published in English in 2005.
The clash and dash are thrilling; the swordplay is a bonus.
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
Equipped with a quick-witted, charismatic hero and much to provoke and goad him, Mr. Perez-Reverte has the makings of a flamboyantly entertaining series. Captain Alatriste ends with a wicked flourish, an evil laugh and a strong likelihood that the best is yet to come.
Splendidly paced and filled with a breathtaking but not overwhelming sense of the history and spirit of the age, this is popular entertainment at its best: the characters have weight and depth, the dialogue illuminates the action as it furthers the story and the film-worthy plot is believable throughout.
That master of the international thriller here reinvents a hero of Spain's 16th-century imperial warfare. The basis of a forthcoming film starring Viggo Mortensen.
Booklist - Brad Hooper
From first word to last, this novel, sure to be a hit in this country as well, fairly drips adventure off every page.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by S. McDougald Quiet swashbuckler Captain Alatriste is a mysterious figure who keeps to himself throughout the book. The narrator is also a thirteen-year-old boy, so it's realistic that he can't tell us everything about him. I also had a good sense of what it was like to live in... Read More
Rated of 5
by Kirconnell Letdown? I really wanted to like this book because I have loved all of Reverte's other works, but somehow it just didn't appeal to me like them. It didn't seem as if Captain Alatriste had the same flair and intrigue.. It is informative as all of Reverte's... Read More
For those who are interested in such things,
from piecing together a few words from the
in Spanish it looks to me as if the original series order
1. El capitán Alatriste/Captain Alatriste
2. Limpieza de Sangre/The Purity of Blood (Jan 2006)
3. Patente de Corso/The Sign of The Marque*
4. El Sol de Breda/The Sun of Breda
5. El Oro del Rey/The Gold of the King*
The Purity of Blood and The Sun of Breda are
scheduled for publication in English in 2006. I have
no information on when/if volumes 2 and 5 will be published.
*These are my best guess translations from the Spanish and may not...
Zelikman and Amran are escorting a young prince to reclaim his usurped throne. Getting there along a path paved with warriors and whores, evil emperors and extraordinary elephants, secrets, swordplay, and such stuff as the grandest adventures are made of will be much more than half the fun.
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