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The sun over Breda
Arturo Perez-Reverte
Adult Fiction PEREZ-R

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A former war correspondent, Spanish novelist Perez-Reverte continues his internationally acclaimed Captain Alatriste series with a third translated volume (following Purity of Blood), every bit as terse and engaging as previous books. Diego Alatriste, a 17th-century mercenary and wily veteran of campaigns from Italy to Flanders, is part of the army of Spanish King Philip IV-a defender of the Catholic faith-that's trying to suppress the Calvinist heretics of the Low Countries. Narrated is retrospect by OOigo Balboa, who at the time of the action was Alatriste's 14-year-old page, this installment focuses on the Spaniards' siege of the fortified rebel city of Breda. As the stalemate drags on, the battle becomes less "a matter of military interest to Spain but, rather, one of reputation." Its power and influence in decline, Spain's lingering hopes to avoid another embarrassing setback in Flanders rest with stoic warriors like Alatriste. The action is fast, furious, and sanguinary, and Perez-Reverte grimly recreates the universal madness and desperation of combat. He also captures the tedium and misery that is the common soldier's everyday fate and the zealotry with which Christians-Catholic and Protestant alike-once massacred each other. Factually sound and vividly imagined, this latest incarnation of Captain Alatriste will cheer old fans and win new ones. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

After the dark and moody swordplay of Captain Alatriste and Purity of Blood, featuring impeccably ethical mercenary-hero Capt. Diego Alatriste, Porez-Reverte marches us to Flanders for the Siege of Breda in 1624-25. The good captain has rejoined his regiment to help Spain take the city, and his faithful young retainer, I?igo Balboa, again narrates events. Professional to a fault, the Spaniards conduct difficult and dangerous raids without complaint while staging an effective protest over lack of pay. The captain coolly dispatches a fellow soldier who has insulted him after threatening I?igo and just as coolly refuses to be drawn into a sanctioned duel with soldiers on the opposing side. Unfortunately, Alatriste does get a bit lost in the panoramic action-a real pity, given his riveting presence. This is very much a blow-by-blow account of battle, with the one overarching point of contention being whether the captain appears in Velazquez's sprawling Surrender of Breda. Not all readers will find it as engaging as the first two books in the series, though it's intriguing to see this battle from the Spanish perspective, and Porez-Reverte is faultless in his portrayal of war as hell. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/06.]-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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main characters Diego Alatriste
Sword for hire; joins the army of King Philip IV.

Inigo Balboa
Age: 15
Diego's page.

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