But then a third figure enters the room. He says the job requires some clarification: he increases the pay, and tells them that, instead, they must murder the two travelers. Then he reveals his identity: Emilio Bocanegra. It is a name synonymous with the Spanish Inquisition, the bloodiest name in Europe. This is a man whose requests cannot be denied.
But the following night, with the attack imminent, it becomes clear to Alatriste that these aren't ordinary travelers. And 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.
For anyone who loves the work of Arturo Pérez-Reverte, and those who have not yet discovered the delights of this extraordinary writer, Captain Alatriste is one of the most stylish, singular pleasures to come along in years.
Captain Alatriste is translated from Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden.
©2005 Arturo Perez-Reverte; (P)2005 Penguin Audio and Books on Tape, Inc.
"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." (Publishers Weekly)
The story is wonderful but I didn't care for the reader all that much. I prefer a narrator who makes the story flow a bit better.
When the story is in motion, this is a pretty good book. Unfortunately, there are many excursions into philosophy, politics, and history which bog the story down. Sometimes, these little side trips occur in the midst of otherwise tense scenes, which I found jarring. The commentary adds nice color to the story, but takes the swash out of the buckle. A word on the narrator: He reads feelingly, but in a way that makes every sentence sound like a profound pronouncement.
I love BOOKS and reading, listening is as good when I can't look at the book. I listen every minute driving.
This is the first book in a series and I found it to be fun and enjoyable. I have read and listened to other books by this author and have both like some and disliked others.
I listened to this book and enjoyed it so much that I bought and read the other two books that have become available.
The Captain Alatriste novels are not in-depth books but adventures that are quick and fun and I can't wait for the next book.
I like to read a book that's fun, but I also like it to have literary merit. The combination is not so easy to find. Captain Alatriste is a romp set in 17th Century Spain, the height of Spain's golden age, that is a fun story to read, but is also satisfying from a literary perspective. It is very well researched, but is not what I would call an historical novel. Although mention is made of some well-know personages such as Velazquez and King Philip IV of Spain, they play only a peripheral role in the plot, the main participants of which are purely fictional, as is the story itself. The protagonist, Captain Alatriste, is a swordsman, a hired gun with principles of a sort, that is when he's not killing someone, who is interesting enough that I wanted him not only to survive (not a problem since without him the series ends), but also to resolve the tension between his ideals and chosen line of work. To me, one of the greatest virtues of the book is its sense of time and place; I felt part of the scene. Also, although this might not sound like an endorsement, I liked the fact that the book was only six hours long. It was beautifully read. Since this is the first book in the series, I eagerly look forward to reading the rest, which are already published. Until I do so, I'm going to read a little about Spanish history of the period, which I haven't approached since college. Finally, one suggestion: I found the long Spanish names difficult to assimilate (e.g., Alvaro Luis Gonzaga de la Marca y Alvarez de Sidonia), so I copied a list of characters from Wikipedia and kept it by my side while I listened to the audio.
Great book. The reader used good tonality, making the story suspenseful. Perez-Reverte is one of the best writers........all of his books are amazing.
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