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Publisher's Summary

Captain Alatriste is the story of a fictional 17th-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 denied.
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.
Captain Alatriste is translated from Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden.
©2005 Arturo Perez-Reverte (P)2005 Penguin Audio and Books on Tape, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"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." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Adina R. Montgomery on 07-26-05

Good story...reader could be better.

The story is wonderful but I didn't care for the reader all that much. I prefer a narrator who makes the story flow a bit better.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By mosselyn on 08-07-05

Almost a good book, but not quite

When the story is in motion, this is a pretty good book. Unfortunately, there are many excursions into philosophy, politics, and history which bog the story down. Sometimes, these little side trips occur in the midst of otherwise tense scenes, which I found jarring. The commentary adds nice color to the story, but takes the swash out of the buckle. A word on the narrator: He reads feelingly, but in a way that makes every sentence sound like a profound pronouncement.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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