This 1997 novel by Spanish author Arturo Perez-Reverte is the first in a series of swashbucklers. While it never leaves the shores of Spain Western fans with a soft-spot for Zorro will find much to admire and enjoy here.
The derring-do, the élan, the swords flash fast and fierce. The intrigue and courageous bon mots in the midst of battle perfectly capture the feeling of Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power, or Antonio Banderas as the Spanish don who fights for justice.
To be honest, Captain Alatriste is far better written than Johnston McCulley’s Zorro, but I am grateful to McCulley all the same, for if he had not written Zorro I’m not sure I would have picked up the exploits of Captain Alatriste.
I am glad I did.