I really enjoyed this book, which covers an enormous canvas. If it's swashbuckling you want, as a reader, your swash will be buckled. If it's warfare, there's plenty of that - a shabby, depressing, ugly, particularly futile type of warfare. If it's flawed characters, there are plenty of those. I think what I enjoyed most was the picture of life in Cádiz, which - despite being bombarded and under siege - still managed to seem a proud, fine city.
The finale... Well, the journey was better than the arrival; so much better that the slightly weak ending didn't bother me.
All credit to the translator, Frank Wynne, whose prose is light, elegant and seems effortless… Read more