The King's Gold (Capitan Alatriste Series #4)

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Overview

From the international bestselling author, the fourth adventure of Captain Alatriste

With The King?s Gold, bestselling author Arturo Pérez-Reverte continues to enthrall readers and critics with his heroic seventeenth-century mercenary, Captain Alatriste. The fourth adventure picks up in Seville in 1626. After serving with honor at the bloody siege of Breda, Alatriste and his protégé, Iñigo Balboa, accept a risky job involving a dozen swordsmen and mercenaries at their command, a...

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The King's Gold (Capitan Alatriste Series #4)

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Overview

From the international bestselling author, the fourth adventure of Captain Alatriste

With The King?s Gold, bestselling author Arturo Pérez-Reverte continues to enthrall readers and critics with his heroic seventeenth-century mercenary, Captain Alatriste. The fourth adventure picks up in Seville in 1626. After serving with honor at the bloody siege of Breda, Alatriste and his protégé, Iñigo Balboa, accept a risky job involving a dozen swordsmen and mercenaries at their command, a dazzling amount of contraband gold, and a heavily guarded Spanish galleon returning from the West Indies. The job offer comes from the king himself, for at stake is nothing less than the Spanish Crown, and its dominion over the wealth of the Americas. But for Alatriste, a very personal surprise awaits him on that galleon.

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Editorial Reviews

Anna Mundow
Alatriste, his young protege Inigo and his battered comrades are tired of adventures. But they need another one that pays well. An air of cynical resignation pervades The King's Gold. Perez-Reverte, even as he stages exhilarating scenes, darkens the mood, making this novel one of his finest…Even stock scenes of romantic assignation, swordplay, torture and execution appear fresh and profound in these pages, tinged as they are with longing for a time that never was as glorious as other swashbucklers would have us believe.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Pérez-Reverte, a former war correspondent, continues his popular Captain Alatriste series with a fourth swashbuckling volume (following The Sun over Breda). Diego Alatriste, a wily veteran of many 17th-century military campaigns, and his sidekick, Inigo Balboa-who narrates-have returned to Seville after fighting in the siege of Breda. With funds short, Alatriste accepts a dangerous mission to intercept a load of smuggled gold and deposit it in the royal coffers. Trolling the criminal underworld of Seville, Alatriste recruits a band of ruffians, and disguised as pirates, they prepare to slip aboard the ship transporting the gold, surprise and subdue the crew and beach the vessel. What Alatriste doesn't expect to find on board is his old adversary Gualterio Malatesta and a large contingent of mercenaries. Fans of the series have come to expect historical authenticity, crisp prose, complex characters, exotic settings and plenty of sanguinary action. They won't be disappointed. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
The fourth in Perez-Reverte's series of five historicals about the Spanish Captain Alatriste (The Sun Over Breda, 2007, etc.) is long on ambiance but short on plot. It's 1626 and Captain Alatriste and I-igo Balboa are arriving back in Spain after fighting in Flanders. Alatriste is now middle-aged, still laconic and increasingly world-weary, but as deadly as ever in battle. Balboa has come of age and is a practiced swordsman himself, thanks to Alatriste's tutelage. The Captain has been his surrogate father since his own father died on the battlefield. On reaching Seville, Alatriste receives a new assignment. The treasure fleet, bringing riches from the New World, is expected very soon. One galleon is carrying gold ingots in secret; the property of the Treasury is being unlawfully diverted. The court has gotten wind of the scheme, however; Alatriste must recruit a band of ruffians to retrieve the loot. That assault on the rogue galleon does not come until the end. In the interim the author shows us a corrupt society, awash in money, on "a slow road to nowhere." Spain, heedless of its soldiers' sacrifices, is "rarely a mother and more often a wicked stepmother." Yet Alatriste and his young disciple are themselves incorruptible, believing in honor and unwavering allegiance to the king, a tension at the heart of the story. Balboa is also in love, bewitched by his contemporary Angelica, maid of honor to the Queen, a love which almost costs him his life during a dangerous nocturnal tryst. That scene, and another in which Alatriste scares a corrupt merchant half to death, constitute the only action before the climax, and it's not enough. Just as disappointing is the author's refusal to penetratethe "personal wilderness" of the brooding Alatriste, a failure that is not disguised by the quirky charm of the interpolated snatches of verse, some of them from the celebrated playwright Lope de Vega. For all the author's customary elegance, this is one of the weaker novels in the series.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452295421
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/25/2009
  • Series: Capitan Alatriste Series , #4
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 818,493
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent seventeenth century swashbuckler

    In 1626 Seville, everyone who is anyone waits for the annual treasure ships to begin to arrive at the port. Although a festive feel hangs all over the city as the vessels represent how powerful Spain is and how proud the Spaniards are of their nation, some of the royal inner sanction will steal for their personal use others will challenge their actions trying to insure the booty makes it into the treasury. --- In that gala atmosphere, a bone weary Captain Diego Alatriste and his associate Inigo Balboa arrive exhausted from a recent siege (see THE SUN OVER BREDA). Exhausted they need money as living in the city when the treasure ships arrive is exorbitant the merchants and shop owners charge two arms and two legs for everything. However when King Phillip IV, concerned with looting when the nation needs the treasury to finance its world domination especially in the Americas, orders Alatriste to seize a cache of gold to place in the royal coffers. Hiring street thugs, Alatriste and his dirty dozen or so masquerade as pirates as they invade the gold ship. There they find waiting is Alatriste's long time enemy Gualterio Malatesta and a horde of mercenaries who beat them to the vessel. --- This seventeenth century swashbuckler is an excellent action-packed thriller in which the escapades keep on coming yet the Captain, his prime antagonist and several other key players come across as fully developed. The story line is fast-paced yet provides a fascinating look at Spain at the height of its power as this is the country¿s Golden Age and for us fans of this superb series a rebirth of the Dumas golden age. --- Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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