on 14 July 2013
After being the proud owner of the paper version of all the episodes, I am incredibly happy for having received this copy as a birthday present. My favourite Spanish writer offers here a superb depiction of the Spain of the Siglo de Oro, walking us through the streets of Madrid, with the love, bravery and corruption of the period described with a perfect use of the Spanish language. Don Arturo's immense knowledge makes of this book a work of art. Highly recommended.
on 5 September 2006
The author A. Perez Reverte was a journalist and war correspondent for Spanish press. When he speaks on the radio or TV he seems a man with deep knowledge of underworld and has bitter opinions about society. He was also very sadly impressed by the Balkan War, as he didn't conceived that cruel war in modern Europe. For all that and his problems with daily work in newspapers it seems he created the personage of Capitan Alatriste. You will not find great literary quality here, but full action. Yes, Perez Reverte knows troubled history of Spain. Summing up, this novel is similar to best sellers of adventures in English language, westerns, etc. Alatriste is a captain of the Spanish Army from the Tercios of Flandes. He has fought against reformists in Holland. His personality is well defined: "He wasn't the most pious man, even he wasn't a good man, but he was a brave man". Captain Alatriste is simply an ex military that after war, in the declining Spanish empire from XVII century, plenty of corruption, lives in Madrid and must hire his great ability with sword to win his life, and usually he his hired by powerful people and noblesse for criminal purposes. Alatriste is however a lover of letters, and friend of the Francisco de Quevedo, one of the top masters of Spanish literature. He has some dignity he has to forget for living. Perez Reverte warns Spain of today are not far of all that. A film based on the novels of Captain Alatriste has been recently made with big means and money for Spanish cinema standards.