Captain Alatriste : A swashbuckling tale of action and adventure Paperback
Part of the The Adventures of Captain Alatriste series
A swashbuckling new adventure series starring the Spanish D'Artagnan - from international bestseller Arturo Perez-RevertePerez-Reverte wrote the Captain Alatriste series as a homage to the adventure books that had been his own initiation into the world of reading as a boy - books such as Dumas's The Three Musketeers.Captain Alatriste is a swordsman for hire in Spain in the 1620s - a time when Court intrigue is high and the decadent young king has dragged the country into a series of disastrous wars.
As a hired 'blade', Alatriste becomes involved in many political plots and must live by his wits.
He comes face to face with hired assassins, court players, political moles, smugglers, pirates and of course, the infamous Spanish Inquisition...All the stories are told by Inigo Balboa, Alatriste's young page. The cast of characters also includes Quevedo, an irrepressible subversive poet who likes to start fights in the local tavern, the kind-hearted innkeeper and ex-prostitute who shares Alatriste's bed, the elegant Count of Guadalmedina, the beautiful but deadly Angelica de Alquezar, and a whole host of underworld figures.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 272 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 01/05/2006
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9780753820872
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by clfisha
Captain Alatriste is a sword for hire in 1620s Madrid; a time of intrigue and honour, decadence and war. Deeply in debt he accepts a job to stage a robbery, but the job goes wrong and soon very powerful enemies are clamouring for his neck.I think I wanted to like this book more than I actually did, it's certainly a great set-up for a series if not a great self contained book. There is too much repetition for my liking and the technique of reminiscing and getting slightly ahead of themselves was irksome. Still it's got great potential, the action scenes are great and there are some wonderful swashbuckling characters up against some memorable bad guys.All in all I am on the look out for the 2nd book where hopefully it will bed down into a rip roaring adventure.
Review by AHS-Wolfy
This is a starter book for a swashbuckling adventure series that features as the main protagonist Captain Diego Alatriste. A Spanish soldier currently forced to make ends meet as a sell-sword, hiring himself out for jobs where bared steel and the knowledge of how to use it is seen as a useful commodity to his employers. His current contract, to way-lay a couple of English travellers and retrieve whatever documents they are carrying, becomes more complicated when given the additional task of ending the lives of the English pair by none other than Fray Emilio Bocanegra, president of the Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition. When, during the act of ambush and assassination, Diego changes his mind due to the chivalry and nobleness of spirit of the man he is fighting and prevents his partner in crime, an Italian bravo named Gualterio Malatesta, from completing their assignment and saves the lives of the two Englishmen instead. The plot thickens when Alatriste discovers the true identities of the men whom he has just saved and realises the full extent of the trouble he has just found himself in.The tale is narrated by a young page attached to the Captain, Inigo Balboa, the son of a former comrade killed on the field of battle whom Diego had said he would look after when his childhood ended. Because it is told after the event the narrative will wander to other escapades involving the hero of this tale and the narrator himself that occur much later than the current story being told. This can sometimes prove annoying and take the reader out of the moment. What I think I did enjoy most from this book though was the scene setting of early 17th century Madrid life where the arts were flourishing and the purses of officials were bulging though the lot of the common man was not to be envied. It is this rather than the action itself which raises my rating of the book as without it there really isn't that much meat on the bones of the story that will entice me to return to the adventures of Captain Alatriste at some point in the future.
Review by bluepigeon
I read this book in English, because I thought the Spanish of maritime adventures of a captain might be too hard for me to understand. Well, I suppose I learned my lesson to look up the plot a bit more carefully before making such conclusions. Yes, Alatriste is a "captain" of sorts, but not a ship captain. Duh! The plot is a solid, simple intrigue, the characters well-done, the storyline is neither overly adventurous, nor too academic. For me, it was the right balance between action and historical fiction. For some, it may be too little action or plot, and for some too much history (though I cannot imagine how a few pages here and there about the state of Spanish-British-Dutch relations is too much, but hey, to each his own.) The narration from the point of view of the captain's page is a fresh perspective and at times aptly humorous.<br/>With that said, I'll probably put the Captain Alatriste series on the "buy in an airport if in need of an easy, fun, good read" list and try some of the more formidable Reverte works...