A story with depth.,
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This review is from: Captain Alatriste: The Adventures of Captain Alatriste (Adventures of Capt Alatriste 1) (Paperback)
I very much loved this book. It's quite different from most of the historical fiction around. The pace isn't fast, but the detail is terrific, and in some ways I'm reminded of the Patrick O'Brien novels. You get more characterisation in this book than in whole trilogies by other very well known historical fiction writers.
Diego Alatriste is a world weary soldier of fortune in 17th century Madrid. He's returned from Spains Imperial wars abroad disillusioned, and is only able to make a living by being a sword for hire. Swashes do get buckled, but crucially there is also great depth and many layers to this book and you can taste, touch and smell the city streets and its people through the pages.
Diego has considerable martial skill, but being a sword for hire at a time when the streets are packed with similar men makes earning a living very difficult and risky, and although Diego is a man with his own soldiers code of honour and scruples he has to eat. These are the dilemmas facing him in a city showing signs of Imperial decline and unrest; if you ask too many questions you may not get hired, but if you don't always know the motives of those who hire you in a city riven by conflict and intrigue then the dangers increase.
I can't read Spanish so I can't compare this translation to the original, but I thought it read beautifully well and I recommend this book.