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Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Captain Alatriste (original 1996; edition 2005)

by Arturo Perez-Reverte

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1,991673,382 (3.51)135
Title:Captain Alatriste
Authors:Arturo Perez-Reverte
Info:Putnam Adult (2005), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Captain Alatriste by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (1996)


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English (56)  Spanish (8)  French (3)  All (67)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte is an entertaining escapist story set in 17th century Spain. This historical adventure has plenty of swordplay, a nice amount of history and, since it is the first book in a series, plenty of characters to be introduced to.

The main character is an ex-soldier who now earns his living by selling his dexterity with his sword to the highest bidder. Alatriste with his many scars and melancholy manner has a warrior’s code of honor which gets him in trouble when he accepts a job to assassinate two English strangers and then during the heat of the battle, fails to follow through when one of the victims asks for mercy, not for himself but for his younger companion. The two intended victims turn out to be the English Prince Charles and the Duke of Buckingham come to Spain to hurry along the intended betrothal of the prince with the Spanish Infanta. The mysterious powers that hired him are powerful men that do not want their Catholic princess to go to the English heretics. Although Alatriste is able to escape their planned punishment in this book, he has made a couple of powerful enemies who I am sure will carry their plotting over to the next book in the series.

The author, Arturo Perez-Reverte, is well known for his admiration of Alexandre Dumas and with Captain Alatriste one finds a fun, swash-buckling story with touches of political intrigue that would sit well alongside The Three Musketeers. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Dec 30, 2016 |
Stereotypical adventure novel where the main character is typical aging battle hardened superstar. This is one of those books you get the feeling of already having read dozens of. There are some historical characters but none of them, nor the fictional ones have much depth on them.

BUT I might still continue the series just to see are there any surprises at all in the plot. Plus, this is of course a good snack after some brainworm like Dostoyevsky. ( )
  Kindnist85 | May 25, 2016 |
This was initially published nearly 10 years ago, but has just been released for the first time in an english-language edition.
An intentional homage to Alexandre Dumas, the action takes place in 17th century Spain, centering on the titular 'captain' - a down-on-his luck mercenary swordsman (who may seem slightly familiar to those who've read Perez-Reverte's later novel, The Fencing Master, although he's not the same character.)
A commission goes bad (when do they not?) and the Inquisition and even royalty may be involved...
Told from the perspective of the Captain's young ward, the story sets up the atmosphere and characters well - but it's actually a very very short book - even shorter if one discounts all the lengthy 'asides' from the narrator - which add to the authentic style of the writing, but detract from the progression of events.

There are four sequels to this book, which they are planning on releasing annually, through 2009. As the person who lent me this book said, it would have been much more satisfying if they had published them all together as one big volume! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Good, old-fashioned swashbuckler--shades of Dumas or Sabatini. In 17th century Spain, Alatriste, an ex-soldier now turned sword-for-hire, is hired to do away with two Englishmen. Twists and turns of plot. Satisfactory denouement, leaving room for sequels. Sometimes the voice of Inigo, his page and the tale's narrator, is repetitious. Ambush scene very exciting. The novel was easy, light reading. ( )
  janerawoof | Jan 8, 2016 |
17th century tale involving sword for hire, Captain Alatriste. He agrees to a job involving British travelers. When the job falls apart, the Captain is on the run and in a little bit of trouble. A decent first novel in this series. Reminds me, for some reason, of the Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Westerns where the lead actor is a good guy at heart who kills when it's necessary. ( )
  Carmenere | Jan 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (42 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arturo Pérez-Reverteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Peden, Margaret SayersTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Achille, GinoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Was once a captain,
the story goes,
who led men in battle,
though in death's throes.
Oh, señores! What an apt man
was that brave captain!

E. Marquina
The Sun Has Set in Flanders
For our grandparents Sebastián, Amelia, Pepe and Cala: for life, books and memories.
First words
He was not the most honest or pious of men, but he was courageous.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452287111, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:58 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

It is the height of Spain's celebrated golden century - but beyond the walls of the Royal Palace there is little on the streets of Madrid that glitters. The Invincible Armada has been defeated. The shadow of the Inquisition looms large. And the Thirty Years' War rages on in Flanders. When a courageous soldier of this war, Captain Diego Alatriste, is forced to retire after being wounded in battle, he returns home to live the comparatively tame - though hardly quiet - life of a swordsman-for-hire. In this dangerous city where a thrust of steel settles all matters, there is no stronger blade than Alatriste's.… (more)

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