Captain Alatriste returns in a swashbuckling tale of intrigue, romance and regicide.
Captain Alatriste's affair with the beautiful actress Maria de Castro is rankling not only his long-term mistress but also the King of Spain. With loyal companion Inigo distracted by the affections of Angelica, Alatriste becomes embroiled in a series of tussles outside his lover's house. Ambushed by arch-nemesis Malatesta, a skirmish ensues that leads to the death of Maria's other lover - the monarch himself.
But behind this tale of sexual jealousy lurks a darker truth. As it becomes clear that both Alatriste and Inigo have been cunningly honey trapped - and that the dead man was an impostor. With a puppet king waiting dutifully in the wings, Alatriste must use all his cunning and swordsmanly guile to prevent the murder of the real king - and his implication in a crime for which he has been perfectly framed.
Arturo Perez-Reverte is one of the foremost living Spanish novelists. He began life as a reporter and has covered conflicts such as the wars in Eritrea, Sudan, Mozambique and the first Gulf War. But he is also an internationally bestselling author, best known outside Spain for books such as The Dumas Club, The Fencing Master and The Flanders Panel.