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The King's Gold by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

The King's Gold (2000)

by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: El capitán Alatriste (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6691222,787 (3.61)5
Seville, 1626. After serving with honor at the bloody siege of Breda, Captain Alatriste and his protégé, Inigo Balboa, have returned: battle-weary, short of cash, and with few prospects for honest work. But the Spanish empire is as dangerous as ever, and it's not long before Alatriste receives an intriguing offer of short-term employment. He and Inigo must recruit a dozen swordsmen and mercenaries for a risky job involving a dazzling amount of contraband gold and a heavily guarded Spanish galleon returning from the West Indies. The offer comes from the king himself, for at stake is nothing less than the Spanish Crown, and its dominion over the wealth of the Americas.--From publisher description.… (more)



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English (7)  Spanish (3)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Another quick read in the Captain Alatriste series. This story revolves around our main character being hired to put together a crew to board a ship and steal its gold. I felt the same way about this book as I did about the last couple in the series. The actual plot of the novel is very short and there is no dramatic anticipation whatsoever. The history and the descriptions of the time are great for a person who enjoys history. If I could break it down, I would give the story itself 2 stars because of the lack of excitement, and give the history of the time period 4 stars. The 3 star rating splits the difference. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
The fourth Captain Alatriste adventure, which is essentially a pirate swashbuckler. I get the feeling Pérez Reverte is not trying so hard, he just banks on our considerable love of Iñigo and Alatriste. ( )
  ChrisConway | Dec 13, 2011 |
Fourth in the Captain Alatriste series, set in early 17th century Spain.

Superficially, the series looks like a variation of the swashbuckling action-adventure reminiscent of the pirate scene. Captain Alatriste, the protagonist, is anything but. He is a professional swordsman,an, sometimes soldier of the king of Spain, often a hired sword for whatever dirty work requires violence. He is also a devoté of the theater and friend of poets. An introspective man, he says little but stands fiercely by his friends--and his honor. The stories are narrated by Íñigo Balboa, the young son of a soldier friend killed in one of Spain’s endless wars.

At the time of this installment, 1625, Spain “owns half the world and is at war with the other half.” Because of the ferocity of Spain’s soldiers, “the name of Spaniard made the earth tremble.” But in reality, Spain’s empire, which straddles both the Old and the New Worlds, is in decline. Only the gold from the New World keeps the soldiers paid, the wars going. And corruption, the reluctance of the Spanish to work (everyone wants to be a nobleman), and the lavishness of the court of Philip IV, means that Spain is being drained.

Alatriste and Balboa have returned to Seville after the Battle of Breda in Flanders. Alatriste is approached by an old friend, a confidante of the king, to intercept the theft of one of the treasure ships that is about to make landfall at Seville. It’s a tricky business that will involve nasty fighting with not a great promise of success.

That’s the plot. But what is really the story is that of Spain and its culture--and especially the lives of the soldiers who upheld the empire.

Since Íñigo is now 15 and a true veteran of war, he is starting to grow up, and beginning to understand just what Spain is about. He’s writing as an old man, looking back on his life--but the viewpoint is still that of a young man (they grew up fast in those days), learning about the life he has chosen and the culture to which he belongs.

I find the series fascinating because Perez-Reverte finds the era fascinating and is able to communicate the richness of the times and place. This is one of the shorter and in a way, more straight-forward installments in the series, but absorbing and entertaining. Highly recommended. ( )
  Joycepa | Dec 27, 2010 |
The fourth installment in Arturo Perez-Reverte's Captain Alatriste series is The King's Gold, in which our intrepid narrator and his erstwhile master are assigned the grim task of preserving an illicit shipment of gold from the Indies for the king, lest it fall into the hands of his enemies.

This series gets better with each book, I think. I enjoyed the third more than the second, and this one more than its predecessor (there's a new one out already, which I'm sure I'll read sooner or later). As Perez-Reverte's narrator matures, the books gain depth, and this one kept me intrigued from start to finish (even though the general outcome was never in any doubt).

Aside from Inigo and Diego Alatriste, however, I have to say that the characters in these books remain somewhat sketchily drawn; I don't feel like I know much about them. Even Alatriste's alter ego, the nefarious Italian Gualterio Malatesta, isn't described in any great detail (again, perhaps this is simply a product of having the narrator be the young sidekick).

Overall, another satisfactory effort from Perez-Reverte.

http://philobiblos.blogspot.com/2009/09/book-review-kings-gold.html ( )
  JBD1 | Sep 8, 2009 |
King’s Gold by Arturo Perez-Reverte

The fourth book in the Captain Alatriste series finds the Captain and a rapidly maturing Inigo back from the war in Flanders. Their swords are soon called into action to defend a shipment of the Spanish Empire’s lifeblood – gold arrived from the Americas.

The brief book features, yes, swashbuckling action, a group of nasty characters recruited for the purpose by Alatriste, and Inigo’s continuing love obsession with Angelica Alquezar, a young lady in the Queen’s court, and well above the boy’s pay grade. Gualterio Malatesta reprises his role as their arch nemesis. The well-known poet Francisco de Quevedo plays another prominent role.

Perez-Reverte delivers the trademark historical authenticity and a decent tale of intrigue and clashing steel. The hidalgos’ obsession with finely-honed sense of honor makes any unguarded word or deed a potential matter of life and death.

Two more books in the series have already been published and another three are planned. Whether the story can carry 5 more books is an open question. Fans of Alatriste will enjoy The King’s Gold, but anyone unfamiliar with the story so far will probably be lost. Newcomers should start with the first book, Captain Alatriste. ( )
  dougwood57 | Jan 17, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arturo Pérez-Reverteprimary authorall editionscalculated
D'Achille, GinoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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