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Captain Alatriste
Arturo Perez-Reverte
Adult Fiction PEREZ-R

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From Publishers' Weekly:

International bestseller Perez-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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Capt. Diego Alatriste y Tenorio works as a hired sword in 1600s Spain-and a very good swordsman he is, having survived scorching battle in Flanders when most of his fellow soldiers were slaughtered. One casualty was a friend whose young son now serves as the captain's squire and narrates this splendid tale. Two masked men have hired Captain Alatriste to rough up some Englishmen arriving in Madrid; shortly thereafter, the powerful Fray Emilio Bocanegra lends the authority of the Church to his order that these visiting heretics be killed. On the verge of murder in an alley, Captain Alatriste spares his victims when one begs for the life of the other. Thus he gets caught up in some messy affairs of state, as the two Englishmen are very important indeed. In the early works that made him famous, like The Club Dumas, Perez-Reverte presented beautiful if exceedingly complex intellectual puzzles; here he has streamlined his prose to rapier point and strikes home with a dark and moving work. This is as gripping as any swashbuckler, with Spain's Golden Age tellingly resurrected, but it is a much more sobering tale of honor, responsibility, and political machination. Captain Alatriste's powerful personality fairly radiates from the page. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/05.]-Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Hired to be an assassin, but prevents the assassination from happening; finds himself caught between warring factions; sword for hire.

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