Movel of the Month
Zorro meets Don Quixote in this historical action/adventure. Sixteen year old Iñigo Balboa recounts his story to us about living under the protection of skilled swordsman, Captain Alatriste who was good friends with the boy’s late father (hence the promise to take him under his wing if anything happened to his comrade). Being the trusty soldier that he is, Alatriste is called upon to team up with an Italian soldier and stealthily assassinate two Englishmen (who, incidentally are very important people). When the Captain realizes that something is off kilter with the plan, he hesitates to carry it through, not realizing that he is going against the ruthless powerhouses of the Spanish Inquisition. His decision to avoid the task asked of him will put him in grave danger and will leave him and the boy in perilous conditions, which they must find a way out of. The writing style will keep you interested and the conspiracy will send chills down your spine. Everyone likes to think of themselves as a hero sometimes—Captain Alatriste is Spain’s version, equipped solely with the power of a blade.
HisLit title read-alikes:
If you enjoyed the book, here are other titles that share similar themes or time period:
The Coffee Trader by David Liss
The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva
For a Sack of Bones by Lluís-Anton Baulenas
HisLit author read-alikes:
Perez-Reverte can present an engaging plot with witty characters and great vocabulary in his writing. The authors below can be compared to him for various reasons:
-Orhan Pamuk (In his fiction, Orhan Pamuk offers unusual, extensive background frames in his blends of mystery and literary thrillers: complex, layered, atmospheric tales which may also please Perez-Reverte’s readers. Art history often plays a role in the stories, as well. Start with Snow.)
-Ian Caldwell (Ian Caldwell and Arturo Perez-Reverte write richly-detailed suspense stories featuring a blend of the past and present. They feature literary mysteries with clues contained in manuscripts and rare books. Start with The Rule of Four.)
-Nicholas Shakespeare (Although the story lines have less in common with Perez-Reverte, Nicholas Shakespeare shares many similarities in writing style, tone, characterization, and plot structure. Shakespeare’s elegant style, intellectual and psychological tone, bleak atmosphere, measured pacing, and intricate, layered plots filled with twists and betrayals will please Perez-Reverte’s readers. Start with The Vision of Elena Silves.)
Any man will appreciate reading about the adventures of Captain Alatriste because it will bring back memories of their childhood, when they pretended to be superheroes and lived the thrill of being invincible. Similarly, the books and authors mentioned above will bring that sense of intrigue and/or puzzle solving in dangerous situations—which always gets the heart pounding.