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Captain Alatriste
By Arturo Pérez-Reverte

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Captain Alatriste
By Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden
ISIS Large Print, 2006
ISBN: 0-7531-7579-7
Genre: Adventure

Reviewed by Herbert White - August 3, 2006

Without reserve, I can say that Captain Alatriste is the best adventure story that I've read in years! Written by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, this is a nonstop, no-holds-bar swashbuckler that will have your strapping on your sword and swinging from the chandeliers. Set in Spain during the reign of King Philip IV (1621-1665), Pérez-Reverte captures not only the language and costumes of the time, but also the sense of intrigue and amour that permeated court life at that period. The hero of this story is the dashing and intelligent Diego Alatriste y Tenorio, former soldier turned mercenary who will hire his sword out to anyone with money to pay.

Willing to work for almost anyone, Alatriste is hired by agents of the dreaded Inquisition, or at least that is who he thinks he is working for. He is given the task of attacking and killing two British agents who are expected to try to sneak into Madrid during the dead of night. Working with another assassin, Alatriste sets his trap for his would be victims. However, in the thick of the fight, he decides that they should live. By doing so, he sets off a chain of events that draws Alatriste into a web of intrigue of unfathomable depth. It will take all of his cunning and skill to extricate himself from the myriad of plots and conspiracies that he soon finds swirling around him.

Written in Spanish, Captain Alatriste has been expertly translated into English by Margaret Sayers Peden. Her translation is fluid and it captures the essence and cadence of the original Spanish. This is the first book that I've read by Pérez-Reverte, and after reading it I can truly appreciate why he is such a best-selling author in Spain. I'm sure that it will not be long before he becomes a best-selling author in English markets as well. In short, this is a fun and exciting book to read, with well-wrought characters, a thrilling plot, and a story set against an exotic background. If you want to add a little swashbuckling adventure to life - read this book, you'll not be disappointed!

Captain Alatriste can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft, the parent company of ISIS Large Print.

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