Purity of Blood (Adventures of Captain Alatriste #2)
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Purity of Blood (Adventures of Captain Alatriste #2)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  2,576 ratings  ·  139 reviews
The second swashbuckling adventure in the internationally acclaimed Captain Alatriste series Captain Alatriste, Madrid’s most charismatic swashbuckler, returns in Perez-Reverte’s acclaimed international bestseller. The fearless Alatriste is hired to infiltrate a convent and rescue a young girl forced to serve as a powerful priest’s concubine. The girl’s father is barred fr...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Plume (first published 1997)
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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Guardian of Secrets and Her Deathly Pact by Jana PetkenDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes SaavedraThe Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz ZafónFor Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Spain
25th out of 183 books — 141 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Subtle Knife by Philip PullmanInto Thin Air by Jon KrakauerGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Best Books of 1997
74th out of 199 books — 105 voters


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Terry
3.5 stars

I have to admit to having been disappointed by the eponymous first book in Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s ‘Captain Alatriste’ series of swashbuckling romances. It may have been due to unfair, or incorrect, expectations, but I remember being fairly nonplussed by my reaction. I love me a good swashbuckler, but despite this fact I have to admit that I find myself disappointed more often than not in the ones I pick up. Sabatini has one truly great entry in the genre that I have read (the superlativ...more
Dan
A well-told tale of heroism and pride. I like the fact that this author has found a new niche in historical fiction in Counter-Reformation Spain (roughly contemporary with Dumas' Musketeers) and I enjoy his writing style, which I wasn't sure about at first, but which grew on me (and I have found myself exclaiming "S'blood!" in the past day or so). Like Dumas, he enjoys linking his fiction to real figures from history and weaving in snatches of poetry and references to various artists, poets and...more
Grace Tjan
Solid prose with just the right amount of swagger and poetry, a bit thin on the plot, but with enough swirling capes and flashing daggers (plus a riveting account of an Inquisition auto-da-fe from the victim’s p.o.v.) to provide the requisite chills and thrills ala Dumas, pere. The swashbuckling adventure is set in Perez-Reverte’s version of Spain’s 17th century golden age, when it had “Europe and the world by their tender testicles.” A Spain that boasted Cervantes and Velazquez among its citize...more
Richard Harden
Calling one of Arturo Pérez Reverte's books "fun" or "interesting" completely misses the genius of this author. The action is, without a doubt, exciting. But a book that includes Francisco de Quevedo as one of the primary supporting characters, and that does so well, weaving his beliefs and his poetry into the action deserves to be considered on a much higher scale than the average book. Having a main character whose second last name is "Tenorio" and whose "uncle"'s exploits were immortalized by...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Arturo Perez-Reverte is a brilliant writer. I commented on his relaxed style when reviewing "Captain Alatriste"; how he makes you feel as if you're sat at a table in the Tavern of the Turk, dust motes glinting in the hot sunlight streaming through the window, the heady aroma of rich wine and the smell of sweat assaulting your nostrils, listening to Inigo Balboa tell his tale. At times he digresses, sometimes there is wit and humour... always he keeps you riveted.
I read this book in a matter of h...more
Ed
Jul 11, 2008 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction, Dumas fans,
Perez-Reverte wrote many of the Captain Alatriste novels before he became widely read in English. His other books, "The Queen of the South" in particular, are, to my mind, much better written. The Alatriste series of books are just now being translated, I suspect because of the success of his other efforts.

This volume recreates, not only the atmosphere but also the rhythm of the stylized discourse of the time, early 17th century Spain. I congratulate the translator for doing a great job, not onl...more
Isi

Review in Spanish

Review in English

En este episodio Alatriste está pensando en salir de Madrid y volver a servir en los ejércitos de Su Majestad, llevándose con él a Íñigo, nuestro joven narrador. Pero los planes se trastocan cuando don Francisco de Quevedo le pide ayuda para solventar un lance en beneficio de un amigo del poeta: su hija es una novicia y parece ser que en el convento, el capellán intima demasiado con las monjas, así que planean sacarla de allí a golpe de acero, con tal mala suert...more
Evan
Favorite new word from this novel: "desencuadernada" (the book without a binding), a euphemism for a deck of cards; ironically juxtaposed to the "men who read just one book" (the men of the Inquisition who constituted the novel's primary nemeses).

Similar to the first, but darker. Which in a novel set in 1620s Spain means more realistic. When I say dark, there's nothing here that would shock a Harry Potter fan. That's impressive, considering that our narrator spends much of the novel a prisoner o...more
rinabeana
Though the High Inquisitor was in the first book, the practices of the Spanish Inquisition were more clearly depicted in this story. Their tactics as described by poor Íñigo are utterly appalling. I also have to say that I liked Íñigo in the first book, but I grew even more enamored of him in this book, despite his helpless infatuation with Angelica de Alquezar. For a thirteen-year-old, he's certainly opinionated about the state of Spain and he uses very strong language. I love how Pérez-Reverte...more
Isabelle
Captain Altratriste is a Spanish war veteran turned "blade for hire", always dueling, mostly silent, with powerful friends in the royal entourage but also powerful enemies in the Holy Inquisition. The plot was a little thin, but the characters are so incredibly wicked and literate. The story is told by Altatriste's young apprentice, an adolescent in love with a Spanish Lilith and already in the grips of the inquisitors. Of course, this all has to do with the Jews having converted to Catholicism...more
Jo
This is the second in a series of books I have read by Arturo Perez-Reverte that feature Captain Alatriste, a 17th century Spanish soldier who lives as a swordman for hire. These books take place in Madrid and are very pleasant entertaining reads. For some reason the NY Times gives Perez-Reverte great reviews. A good airplane or train read but noting spectacular.
Vivienne
Another highly literary historical novel that continues the adventures of Captain Alatriste and his friends. I would say it is a series where it is important to read in order as events here follow on from Book 1, including the motives of the baddies.

Dave
I undoubtedly give myself a problem when I read the second book of a series first. However, having previously read two other Arturo Pérez-Reverte novels, 'The Dumas Club' and 'The Flanders Panel', both 5-star stories, I at least have something to compare 'Purity of Blood' with.

As with the other stories, the plot moves briskly with vivid and explicit action sequences while the main intrigues are simmering away in the background. The first person narrative, coming from a 13 year old boy, is quite...more
Ensiform
Translated by Margaret Peden. A bit after the “incident of the two Englishmen” of Captain Alatriste, the captain is approached by a man whose daughter, it appears, is a prisoner of a convent which is used more or less as a brothel by its immoral head. Alatraiste, the poet de Quevedo, and the man’s two sons begin a rescue, but the group is attacked. It’s clearly a trap; Alatriste’s ward Inigo is caught by the Spanish Inquisition (and faces a tribunal led by Alatriste’s old enemy, Bocanegra). Ther...more
Ronald Roseborough
This is a good old fashioned swashbuckler. Speaking for one who hasn't bucked their swash in a long time, I really enjoyed this book. Steeped in the ambiente of Spain in the merciless grip of the Inquisition, the book takes us back to an age when a few misspoken words could result in death from the edge of a fine Castilian blade. Captain Alatriste is the hero of this fast paced tale. He is as quick with his wits as he is with his sword. Captain Alariste is a veteran of many battles under the ban...more
Aywen
It started with a murdered woman - Awesome, a detective!!
It had something to do with a hired killer - How exciting!!
But the murder was never solved and the other murder was never done. So I had some wrong expectations. It can still be a good book, right? Not this one, at least not for me. The way things are told is very annoying.
"I have told you this before, but blablabla.." (No you haven't!! And if you had, why tell it again? Aargh!) "But now I am confusing things, I should tell things in th...more
Robyn
As a fan of historical fiction, I really appreciated the opportunity to learn something about the period in which this story takes place. The manners and mores of Spain during the Inquisition came alive for me in this book, which was a blessing, because the plot itself left me underwhelmed.

Captain Alatriste is hired to rescue a young woman from a seraglio masquerading as a convent, but he never gets closer that trying to break in, because his enemies in the Inquisition and the government use the...more
Tyler
I must say, I didn't really have any expectations when I started reading this novel. After all, I picked it up in a bargain bin at my local Hastings, mainly because--lord help me--I liked the cover, and as I mentioned, the price was right. But once I dared to look between the pretty red, simulated canvas cover with the gilded lettering, I found a novel worth reading. The story itself is engrossing, the narrator distinct in voice, and the cast of characters, well developed and emotionally three-d...more
Enrique
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
JohnR
I didn't take to the first book in this series but decided to have a crack at the second anyway to see if it better caught my imagination. At first it did, it felt like a much more rounded read, a better story, stronger characters, and a charming sense of atmosphere even though the period of Spanish history it covers is not a favourite of mine (I'm not a big fan of the Spanish Inquisition).

The problem is that as well as it built the tension and caught the main characters up in seemingly impenetr...more
Daniel
What a wonderful book! The novel is a fantastic snapshot of 17th century Spain, and since it is narrated in character by one of the characters, it really puts you there as a reader. Alatriste is a compelling and complex swashbuckling hero, heroic as he is dark. I absolutely love the use of poetry in the book, both real verses from Spanish authors of the era, as well as those written by characters from the Alatriste universe. For the longest time I have loved this style of story, but all my examp...more
Mark
This won't win any literary awards, but it was a very engaging page-turner, and, assuming Perez-Reverte was fairly faithful to history, it taught me a lot about the Spanish Inquisition in the 1600s.

One of a series of novels featuring Captain Alatriste, a soldier and sometime paid assassin, this one revolves around a scheme to rescue a young woman being held in a convent that actually operates as a bordello of sorts.

The raid goes horribly wrong, and the narrator, a young man who is the captain's...more
Algernon
[9/10] a slight improvement over Captain Alatriste, the first book in the series. There are slightly less diversions here dealing with Madrid cultural scene, less time spent establishing characters and the novel gains in tempo. It is still not a non-stop action swashbuckling adventure, and there still are disertations on the early 17 century Spain, but I thought Reverte struck a fine balance between historical background and action scenes. Inigo Balboa (I almost wrote Montoys) takes a more centr...more
Mady
On the second part of Capitán Alatriste's adventures a woman shows up dead with a pack of coins and a note that mentions that the money should be used on messes for her soul. At the same time a friend of Alatriste's asks for his help on a dangerous enterprise. Not all goes well and Inigo, the son of his dead companion, gets caught on the net of the Holly Inquisition.

This takes place in Madrid on 17th century, while King Philip IV (III of Portugal) is reigning, in a time of intrigue, sword fighti...more
Mimicha
Of course I liked it. I loved the first one. I wasn't as enthusiastic about this one because the historical art reference weren't as abundant. The language was still beautiful, but the story fell a little flat for my taste this time. Don't get me wrong, I will read the next one but depending on that I may be done with the Capitan series, I am still very fond of this author.
Christophe
Peut-on refuser de l'aide à un ami, surtout lorsque celui-ci n'est autre que le poète Francisco deQuevedo, et qu'il s'agit de libérer une jeune femme d'un couvent visiblement dangereux? Ce n'est pas le genre de l'aventureux capitaine Diego Alatriste, toujours prêt à croiser le fer dans cette Espagne de PhilippeIV qui sombre à la fois dans la décadence et l'intégrisme religieux. Le capitaine devra encore tenter de sauver le fidèle page Iñigo Balboa avant qu'il ne périsse sur le bûcher et déjouer
...more
Mike
A very quick read that was better than the first book in the Alatriste chronicles. This book is a very short story that follows the adventures of a former soldier and now sword for hire Captain Alatriste. As a history teacher, I very much enjoyed the historical background of 16th century Spain. The Inquisition, class system, and social tensions are very well done in this book. The reason I don't rate it higher than a 3/5 is that the actual plot of the book could have been done in 100 pages. The...more
Jesse
Set in Colonial Spain, this novel had all the action of the Count of Monte Cristo minus the treasure hunt. What do you get when you cross restless swordsmen, the Inquisition and a city full of 'honorable' power-seekers? A zorro-like tale. This was the second in the Captain Alatriste series and Arturo did not disappoint. Short enough for those with minimal attention spans but with enough action to keep the most avid reader intrigued. There are times when you feel as if you are walking down an all...more
Sarah
Swift, poetic and romantic, this second book of the Alatriste series is just as good as the first, stringing together several little adventures to an overarching theme . Íñigo’s voice, reminiscent of a grandfather telling tales of his youth, is energetic and reliable as narrator. Alatriste and his friends are all distinguished and distinct. Even the enemies are just shy of caricature, allowing just enough layers to their characters for there to be sympathy. The only character which is somewhat n...more
Georgia
Αυτό που μου άρεσει σε αυτό το βιβλίο είναι κάποια σημεία που σε ταξιδεύουν στο χρόνο και ζείς σε εκείνη την ατμόσφαιρα. Παρ' όλα αυτά σαν σύνολο δεν με συγκίνησε και το βρήκα αρκετά κουραστικό μέχρι να φτάσει σε ενα σημείο που το βρήκα ενδιαφέρον και με αρκετή δράση.
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Spanish novelist and journalist. He worked as war reporter for twenty-one years (1973 - 1994). He started his journalistic career writing for the now-defunct newspaper Pueblo.

More about Arturo Pérez-Reverte...
The Club Dumas The Flanders Panel Captain Alatriste (Adventures of Captain Alatriste #1) Queen of the South The Fencing Master

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