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Captain Alatristeby Arturo Perez-Reverte
Is the literary adventure novel coming back into vogue? While Pérez-Reverte has always been an advocate of the form (not to mention one of its finest practitioners), the double whammy of Isabel Allende's thrilling Zorro and the U.S. edition of Captain Alatriste bodes well for a long-dormant genre pioneered by the likes of Dumas and Stevenson. This swashbuckling style has made Pérez-Reverte a superstar in his native Spain — and with his potent mix of intrigue, adventure, and unforgettable characters, he has the potential to be just as popular in the States.
Synopses & Reviews
The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte have captivated readers around the world and earned him a reputation as “the master of the intellectual thriller” (Chicago Tribune). His books have been published in fifty countries. Now, beginning with Captain Alatriste, comes Pérez-Reverte’s most stunning creation to date: a riveting series featuring the adventures of an iconic hero.
Captain Alatriste is the story of a fictional seventeenth-century Spanish soldier who lives as a swordsman-for-hire in Madrid. Needing gold to pay off his debts, Alatriste and another hired blade are paid to ambush two travelers, stage a robbery, and give the travelers a fright. “No blood,” they are told.
Then a mysterious stranger enters to clarify the job: he increases the pay, and tells Alatriste that, instead, he must murder the two travelers. When the attack unfolds, Alatriste realizes that these aren’t ordinary travelers, and what happens next is only the first in a riveting series of twists and turns, with implications that will reverberate throughout the courts of Europe.
"International bestseller Prez-Reverte (The Club Dumas) offers a winning swashbuckler set in 17th-century Spain. Hooded figures, apparently acting on the behalf of Fray Emilio Bocanegra, 'president of the Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition,' hire famed soldier Capt. Diego Alatriste to murder two Englishmen who have come to Madrid. One of the hooded figures, however, begs Alatriste (out of earshot of the others) only to wound the pair. When Alatriste and his fellow assassin, an ill-humored Italian, surprise the British, the captain is impressed by the fighting spirit they show, and he prevents the assassination from taking place. (The Italian, infuriated, swears eternal revenge.) When the Englishmen turn out to be on an important mission, Alatriste suddenly finds himself caught between a number of warring factions, Spanish and otherwise. 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. Agent, Howard Morhaim. (May 5)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Equipped with a quick-witted, charismatic hero and much to provoke and goad him, Mr. Pérez-Reverte has the makings of a flamboyantly entertaining series. Captain Alatriste ends with a wicked flourish, an evil laugh and a strong likelihood that the best is yet to come." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"From first word to last, this novel, sure to be a hit in this country as well, fairly drips adventure off every page." Booklist
"[I]ntroduces a charismatic, complicated leading man who surrounds himself with equally volatile types, both fictional and historical....The clash and dash are thrilling; the swordplay is a bonus. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
"Pérez-Reverte's pacing is swift and suspenseful....The tale is a feast of dark historical detail and believable danger....Captain Alatriste serves up the goods and whets the appetite for the rest of the five-book series to come." Denver Post
"How our brave and weary captain, kind of a spiritual forefather of the noble gumshoe celebrated in the noir thrillers of Hammett and Chandler, navigates such choppy moral seas is the fascination of this deceptively complex, captivating book." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Though there is plenty of action and intrigue in Pérez-Reverte's novel, it's more than just a swashbuckler. One reads on in large part because the scenes are so vividly — no, lovingly — portrayed." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Pérez-Reverte is a master of the thriller....Though Pérez-Reverte weaves in a few cliffhangers and fills the swashbuckling story with nonstop action, Captain Alatriste is also a contemplation of life and death, which adds depth to the good, unclean fun." Miami Herald
A fictional 17th-century Spanish swordsman's instruction to frighten two travelers becomes a murder-for-hire. 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.
About the Author
Arturo Pérez-Reverte lives in Madrid, Spain. Originally a war correspondent, he now writes fiction full-time. His five books, The Flanders Panel, The Club Dumas, The Fencing Master, The Seville Communion, and The Nautical Chart, have been translated into nineteen languages in thirty countries and have sold millions of copies. In 2002, he was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy.
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