Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet-Arturo Perez-Reverte

The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet
Arturo Perez-Reverte
Putnam, Sep 3 2009, $25.95
ISBN 9780399156038

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