Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet (Capitan Alatriste Series #5) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The fifth novel in the adventures of Captain Alatriste, a seventeenth-century swashbuckler and "a twenty-first-century literary phenomenon." (Entertainment Weekly)

In the cosmopolitan world of seventeenth-century Madrid, captain Alatriste and his protégé Íñigo are fish out of water. But the king is determined to keep Alatriste on retainer-regardless of whether his "employment" brings the captain uncomfortably close to old enemies. Alatriste ...
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Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet (Capitan Alatriste Series #5)

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Overview

The fifth novel in the adventures of Captain Alatriste, a seventeenth-century swashbuckler and "a twenty-first-century literary phenomenon." (Entertainment Weekly)

In the cosmopolitan world of seventeenth-century Madrid, captain Alatriste and his protégé Íñigo are fish out of water. But the king is determined to keep Alatriste on retainer-regardless of whether his "employment" brings the captain uncomfortably close to old enemies. Alatriste begins an affair with the famous and beautiful actress, María Castro, but soon discovers that the cost of her favors may be more than he bargained for-especially when he and Íñigo become unwilling participants in a court conspiracy that could lead them both to the gallows . . .
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The swashbuckling spirit of Rafael Sabatini lives on in Perez-Reverte's fifth installment to the adventures of the 17th-century Spanish swordsman, Capt. Diego Alariste. The novel finds Diego back in Madrid, where even the slightest personal affront can lead to a clash of blades. Accompanied, as usual, by his loyal young servant, Iñigo Balboa Aguirre, and his friend, the poet and playwright Francisco de Quevedo, Diego learns that both he and King Philip IV are rivals for the attentions of the married actress Maria de Costa, who has many other suitors lined up at her dressing room door. Not even a death threat can scare off the ardent captain, who becomes a pawn in an old enemy's dastardly plot to assassinate the king. Richly atmospheric and alive with the sights, sounds and smells of old Madrid, this tale of derring-do is old-fashioned fun. It's elegantly written and filled with thrilling swordplay and hairbreadth escapes-escapist books don't get much better than this. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Perez-Reverte (The King's Gold, 2008, etc.) returns to familiar territory in 17th-century Spain, dispatching Captain Diego Alatriste for a fifth round of swordplay, gamesmanship and swashbuckling romance. Introduced in Captain Alatriste (2005), our hero is battle-hardened but tender-hearted, skilled with swords both literal and (ahem) metaphorical. In fact, his tenderness for women, in this case for the beautiful actress Mar'a de Castro, tends naturally to lead to complications with their husbands. Alatriste is accompanied by a young servant, I-igo Balboa Aguirre, whose innocence leads him to folly and to some questionable decisions that endanger his master. I-igo's narration (though the author also uses an omniscient third-person voice) unfolds from the perspective of an old man who knows how the story is going to end; he gives us occasional flash-forwards to the fate of some of the characters, including the death of Alatriste, as well as to the decline of Spanish culture later in the century. The novel is set during the reign of Philip IV, and political intrigue both foreign and domestic stirs men to occasional acts of violence and attempts at assassination. It's also a golden age of Spanish literature, and writers such as Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina play roles on the periphery of the action. The lubricious villains try to implicate Alatriste in nefarious plots against the king, but our intrepid gallant of course manages to escape every shackle imposed on him. Although I-igo's fascination with one of the ladies of the court almost gets both master and servant killed, this is a world in which the good guys ultimately, and predictably, triumph. Lightweight, pleasant andunobjectionable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101140208
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/3/2009
  • Series: Capitan Alatriste Series , #5
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 247,868
  • File size: 309 KB

Meet the Author

Arturo Perez-Reverte lives near Madrid. Originally a war correspondent, he now writes fiction full-time. His novels include The Flanders Panel, The Club Dumas, The Fencing Master, The Seville Communion, The Nautical Chart, and The Queen of the South. In 2002, he was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy.
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Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

In 17th–century Madrid, Captain Diego Alatriste and his apprentice, Íñigo Balboa, are attempting to enjoy the tenuous peacetime Spain has gained after the Hundred Years War. They occupy themselves with literature and theatre, spending time with their old friend and celebrated poet Francisco de Quevedo. Instead of exchanging gunfire with the French, they exchange witty repartee about the latest plays and the authors who wrote them. The most popular dramas of the day, however, reflect the lives its citizens, and all of their romance, scandals and violence, and so it isn't long before the Captain and Íñigo find themselves entangled in another intrigue—this time a plot against King Philip himself.

Their romantic lives have much to do with the mess they find themselves in. The Captain has entered into a dalliance with Madrid's most famous, and famously beautiful, actress—Maria de Castro, and both her actor husband and several members of the king's court have reason to object to their love affair. Meanwhile, Íñigo finds himself led right into harm's way by the angelic–looking and dangerously seductive Angelica de Alquézar, the niece of Captain Alatriste's powerful enemy, Luis de Alquézar, and a member of the queen's court. Soon, Alatriste and his loyal apprentice are in more danger of losing their liberty, and even their lives, on their home soil than they ever were in foreign lands during times of war.

The latest in the Arturo Pérez–Reverte's series of novels about the adventures of Captain Alatriste, The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet continues the tale of this captivating swashbuckler.

Filled with suspense and action, as well as minute historical detail, The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet depicts 17th–century Spain and all of the corruption, deception and betrayal that ran through its royal court at the height of its wealth and opulence.

ABOUT ARTURO PÉREZ–REVERTE

Arturo Pérez–Reverte lives near Madrid. Originally a war correspondent, he now writes fiction full–time. His novels include The Flanders Panel, The Club Dumas, The Fencing Master, The Seville Communion, The Nautical Chart, and The Queen of the South. In 2002, he was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • This novel is told alternately from the third–person point of view of Captain Alatriste and from the first–person point of view of Alatriste's apprentice, Íñigo Balboa, as if written down in his memoirs. Whose point of view did you prefer, and why? What were the benefits and the drawbacks of receiving the story in this way? Would you have preferred to have the entire story delivered in the same voice all the way through?
  • Compare this novel to other works of historical fiction that you may have read. How well does Pérez–Reverte depict 17th–century Spain, and its political and social atmosphere? Also, if you have read other novels in this series about Captain Alatriste, discuss how this installment compares to the others. (And if you haven't—was it easy to follow the story without being familiar with the previous adventures of this particular group of characters?)
  • Also, discuss the effect of the sonnets and lines of poetry that are woven into the book. How did they (or did they not) lend authenticity to the book? How did they contribute to the tone of the novel, and support the novel's development of setting and character? In particular, consider that the most respected playwrights and poets of the time were often engaged in their writing and at least one other career or vocation, such as that of priest or soldier. How is this significant? What does it tell us about the culture of Spain at this time?
  • Balboa, the primary narrator of the story, tells us that the Spain he depicts was a Spain on the brink of decline and destruction—and that even the most prominent and respected men of church and state were often guilty of ethical and moral transgressions. Discuss the effect, then, of following characters that are clearly honorable and loyal, like Íñigo Balboa and Francisco de Quevedo. Would you include (or did you include) Captain Alatriste in this group as you read the book? What makes him a slightly less trustworthy, but perhaps more interesting, character than the rest?
  • What did you think of Angelica de Alquézar? When she professed to love Íñigo at the beginning of the novel, did you believe her? When she began to spy on the "king" with Íñigo at her side, what did you suspect? When she literally stabbed him in the back, were you surprised? Do you think she felt anything for Íñigo at all? Why didn't she kill him immediately, when she had the chance?
  • Similarly, how did you feel about Captain Alatriste's relationship with Maria de Castro, and his refusal to give her up when he knew of the king's intentions? What did you think of her character? Compare her to Angelica de Alquézar, and to Caridad la Lebrijana—who did you find more interesting, and why? Do you think these women are fully–developed characters, or archetypes? Who would you have preferred to see developed further in the story?
  • Compare the political and social intrigues of this court to 21st–century politics and social networking. What do you find are the most striking similarities? What do these characters reveal about the nature of men, and particularly the way men and women use their fellow men and women for physical and social fulfillment and political and economic gain? Do you find the same is true today?
  • Íñigo tells us early in the story that Alatriste will die several years later, not at this particular time in their lives. This happens at several points in the novel, with regards to several characters. Discuss the effect this has on the suspense in the book. For instance, were you ever truly in fear for Captain Alatriste's life? Describe the moments in the book that you found to be most suspenseful, and why.
  • Twice Captain Alatriste engages in swordfights, bests his opponents, and then goes to the trouble of finding the men help and/or medical attention. What did these two duels—one at the novel's opening moments, the other at the end of the book—reveal about his character?
  • What did you think when Rafael Cózar joined Íñigo in his attempt to save Captain Alatriste and King Philip? Why was the comedy he provided during this climax in the story particularly fitting? Discuss, too, where Cózar fits: with the men of honor in this novel, or with the men of muddled morals? Is this battle on the king's behalf enough to redeem him?
  • Similarly, discuss King Philip's gesture at the end of the novel, when he gives Guadalmedina's hat to Captain Alatriste, coupled with his final words. Does this redeem him in anyway, despite his penchant for chasing women, obsessively hunting, and ignoring affairs of state?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    Read this and the rest of the series

    This, the last book of a five book series, brings more intrigue, some romance, sword fights and closure to the series. This series of five books is deligtful. Although my favorite was the first Captain Alatriste, each book brought back favorite characters. The author has a way with words.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The latest CAPTAIN ALARISTE saga is filled with the usual terrific daring do, great sword play (in and out of the boudoir), and over the top of the Pyrenees escapes and escapades

    In the seventh century Captain Diego Alariste, his loyal protégé Inigo Balboa Aguirre and their friend author Francisco de Quevedo are in Madrid, a city known for its duality. On the one hand there are numerous wonderful theaters and exquisite palaces while on the other hand there are duels seemingly over nothing affronts.

    Diego is setting up a tryst with the lovely but married actress Maria de Costa only to learn so is King Philip IV amongst other salivating suitors. The mercenary blades-man walks a line thinner than his sword as the monarch is his only source of revenue since the Hundred Years War ended too soon for him. As he ignores threats to his life and his purse, Inigo pursues Angelica de Alquezar, who maneuvers the young man to do her bidding. However, Diego and Inigo soon find themselves caught in a brilliant scheme to assassinate the king; whether successful or not means the gallows for the mentor and his apprentice; all because they both thought with their wrong blade.

    The latest CAPTAIN ALARISTE saga is filled with the usual terrific daring do, great sword play (in and out of the boudoir), and over the top of the Pyrenees escapes and escapades as the hero and his now ready for prime time apprentice land in one problem after another, because each was led by their respective wrong heard. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action; a trademark of the entire saga as historical Spain comes alive in this tale and previous translations like THE KING'S GOLD and THE SUN OVER BREDA.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews

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