Captain Alatriste is a former soldier-turned hired swordsman down on his luck. He receives a job from two mysterious masked men who want him to attack two English travelers and give them a fright. However, another individual comes in and changes the job: Alatriste and his cohort are to kill the English travelers. The attack catapults Alatriste into a world full of secrets and intrigue.
I really enjoyed this book! I have read a few other books by Arturo Perez-Reverte, and he always delivers an exciting and intriguing story. Captain Alatriste was no different; the book is written in a clear, swift style that makes it a quick read.. I liked how well Perez-Reverte situated the story in the historical context–the story was the perfect blend of swashbuckling high adventure and historical realism. Perez-Reverte does a good job of helping us understand Captain Alatriste’s character and situation based on the difficult circumstances he and the narrator–a young boy named Inigo–find themselves in. I could see some people being annoyed with the historical asides, but, as a student of history, I enjoyed them because I thought they added to my understanding of the situation. Overall, the story was greatly enjoyable, and I would recommend it if you are into history and/or swordplay.