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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 Spain during the time of the Inquisition, so the author must have done lots of research.
Political intrigue in the highest circles fuels this story, complete with an assassination attempt. However, a little more swashbuckling and a little less poetry would have suited me. Much of the plot focuses on a play critical of the king written by one of the characters, a friend of Alatriste's.
There are hints of what could happen in the sequel. I was left wondering about the little blond girl which the narrator found so irresistible.
All in all, I would recommend Captain Alatriste as an entertaining story about a clever man who prefers to use his head before his sword.
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 works are, but I am tempted to pass up the following books in the series after my experience with this one.