“Captain Alatriste“ by Arturo Pérez-Reverte


Pérez-Reverte, Arturo. Captain Alatriste. Trans. Margaret Sayers Peden. New York: Plume, 2005.

Book Review, by Michelle Lyons-McFarland

Captain AlatristePublished in translation in 2005 in the U.S. and U.K., Captain Alatriste is a historical swashbuckling novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte in the tradition of Alexandre Dumas, père. While the work is a quick, entertaining read, Pérez-Reverte does not treat his subject lightly. The novel continually shows how life is measured as a commercial transaction, both Alatriste’s own and the lives he is paid to end. Pérez-Reverte lays questions of the value of life, honor, and service to the state in front of us, but as with any great writer, he refuses to give us easy answers to the problems Alatriste and the reader observe, even as he concludes the plot in a whirlwind of flashing steel.