Review: Captain Alatriste

Arturo Perez-Reverte’s Captain Alatriste is a pretty clear-cut throwback to the classic stories of Dumas.  The Captain (who doesn’t actually hold that rank) is a former solider turned mercenary with some suspect morality but honor to spare.

And it’s that internal conflict which quickly leads him into trouble after taking a job to scare (or possibly murder depending on which boss he obeys) two Englishmen passing through Madrid.  His actions lead him on an adventure that pits him against both law in Madrid, and the power of the Spanish Inquisition.

This is exactly the sort of swashbuckler tale that hasn’t been written since Errol Flynn’s heyday.  Maybe not the most original story, but still the sort of grand adventure that no one else writes anymore but no one should have let go out of style.  And Perez-Reverte tells it in an artful style that only the most gifted of storytellers can achieve.

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