Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte
I read The Club Dumas back in May of 2004. It’s a dense novel of dubious plot complexity. I enjoyed the writing. The ending is less than happy which always wins points from me. Made me want to read more Perez-Reverte. Made me realize that Perez-Reverte would love to read more Dumas. If only Dumas weren’t, well, long dead. So I suspect in the interest of write-what-you-want-to-read, Perez-Reverte started writing the adventures of Captain Alatriste.
It’s more than a Dumas wanna-be. The writing (and the translation) is crisp and clean with lovely characters. The plot is…simple. And that isn’t a bad thing. This is the first in an episodic series, and in an adventure like this, the complexities of politics are the venue of capes and steel. The setting is where Perez-Reverte really shines as our narrator tells us about the glories of Spain. The legacy of painting and poetry is given as much time as the campaigns in Flanders.
I’ll be picking up Purity of Blood, eventually considering my New Year resolution. At the rate I’m going, maybe by 2008.