Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Captain Alatriste (Adventures of Captain Alatriste, #1)” as Want to Read:
Captain Alatriste (Adventures of Captain Alatriste, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Captain Alatriste (Las aventuras del capitán Alatriste #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  9,039 Ratings  ·  587 Reviews
Perez-Reverte wrote the Captain Alatriste seies as a homage to the adventure books that had been his own initiation into the world of reading as a boy - books such as Dumas's The Three Musketeers.

Captain Alatriste is a swordsman for hire in Spain in the 1620s - a time when Court intrigue is high and the decadent young king has dragged the country into a series of disastrou
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 2006 by Phoenix (an Imprint of Orion) (first published January 2nd 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 13, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You're in Madrid. But the adventure here seems like a half adventure. Indeed, has a minor climax & is like very sustained yet brisk foreplay. It's too short to be miraculous, though it will inevitably leave you wanting more!
Feb 28, 2011 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Short and elegant : a worthy addition to the panoply of memorable swashbucklers and a promising start of a long historical epic. The plot is simple, and the action scenes relatively few. The strong points are the recreation of the Madrid society around 1620 and the evocative language. The story alternates between first person narration by the young page Inigo Balboa and third person view. I wish I was fluent in Spanish and could read this in the original , especially the poems.

Captain Diego Ala
Mario Espinosa
No sé si fue por mi condición de madrileño, o porque me gusta la historia, o porque fui afortunado y estudie en aquel Plan educativo que se llamaba EGB, con el que terminabas aprendiendo un montón de cosas (en este caso de nuestro Siglo de Oro), o porque me encanta cómo escribe Pérez Reverte, o porque una historia donde los secundarios son Quevedo o el conde-duque de Olivares recuerda a las novelas de aventuras de Alejandro Dumas, o porque la accion sucede por las calles que tan bien conozco... ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Captain Alatriste, a romantic soldier of fortune of Hapsburg Spain, is the protagonist of this series by Perez-Revertez. Just his luck to get embroiled in a dynasty scheme. Reminds me of the Three Musketeers a bit.
Also, truly book one of a series. This sets the stage
Sep 06, 2009 Liviu marked it as started_finish_later  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mainstream, read_2009
added may 2016 - after visiting Spain (Andalusia - Granada, Seville, Cordoba and a few other places and Madrid) and being impressed much more than I expected (probably due to the fact that in most of my childhood and even later books, the Spanish were generally the villains as those books were either English or French, but overall after visiting the three main Latin countries, Italy, France and Spain, i think I liked Spain the most overall), have to reread this as maybe now it will tell me more

Jul 09, 2007 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: swashbuckling, adventure story fans
Swashbuckling. Seriously. That's all this book is about. If that's not enough of a point for you? Well. You just don't know how to have fun.
Clif Hostetler
The story in this novel takes place in the 17th Century Spain during the reign of Philip IV, the golden age of Spanish power. The plot is based upon an actual historic occurrence in 1623 when the Prince of Wales (Charles Stuart) and George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, traveled incognito to Spain to try to reach agreement on the long-pending match between Charles and Infanta Maria Anna of Spain, the younger sister of King Philip IV. The fictional action of this book starts with its main char ...more
Another one I need to re-read sooner rather than later.
Jan 15, 2009 Evan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I'm teaching the second in a three course sequence on world theatre history, and we've just been covering Spanish Siglo de Oro theatre (Lope de Vega, Calderon de la Barca, Tirso de Molina, etc.). So I was searching around on you-tube for some good recreation footage of a performance in a corral de comedias, and stumbled across a 2006 film called Alatriste with a very charming scene set in such a theatre. (At a certain point, I got a strange inkling of Aragorn rather than Aragon-- sure e ...more
6/7 - 6/8

First off, I can't remember the last time I started and finished a book in one day. Yeesh. Not a lot going on today I guess.

Anyway, I have read and enjoyed several of Perez-Reverte's books and have been looking forward to this series. I was not blown away. The characters were were pretty plain, and I really didn't like the narrator at all; the classic 'I'm old now and I'm gonna tell you some stories from a long time ago' type guy. Also, The profanity he uses throughout the book doesn't
Greg Z
I've just finished Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo" and was curious as to how a modern writer would treat this kind of story. I've read two works by Arturo Perez-Reverte ("The Flanders Panel" and "The Fencing Master" and enjoyed both) and in fact the subject of "fencing", as related in "Monte Cristo/Alatriste" with duels, etc., led me directly to "Captain Alatriste." I believe this book is the first of at least five more in this series, and it serves a prologue to the rest of the story: here w ...more
Jun 10, 2013 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1996, this is the first of a series of novels by Pérez-Reverte, novels set in 17th century Spain and featuring the fictional Captain Diego Alatriste y Tenorio. Iñigo, his squire, narrates the action from his perspective as an old man, although some of the narrative is in the third person. Alatriste is not really a Captain, this title having been taken by him during a brief battle in Flanders when his commanding officer was slain. But he keeps the title in peacetime, during which he ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Darren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this last year and just could not--at all--get into it. Put it down and left it there for about a year. I read it again this year and could not say what I found so disagreeable the last time around.

Were there issues with the translation? That is unfortunate and all too common for foreign language works. Even this site doesn't list the translator, because I think most people don't realize what an artform translation is. So I did some checking, and Margaret Sayers Peden is highly acclaimed
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Jan 05, 2012 Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk rated it really liked it
It is interesting how we come to read certain books - we like the cover, the bumf on the back sounds interesting, people are talking about it... In this case I saw the film - "The Spanish Musketeer". I thought the film was brilliant with one or two moments (especially the battle of Rocroi) which were an epiphany for me. I looked up Arturo Pérez-Reverte and became interested in the fact that he had decided to write the Captain Alatriste series because he was disgusted at the poor level of knowled ...more
Feb 11, 2008 Jessie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Arturo Perez-Reverte, but this book was a little bit of a disappoint me for me. As usual, Perez-Reverte's writing style manages to mingle in an amazing amount of fascinating history within an otherwise simple plot. The problem this time was too much history and exposition and too little actual plot. I could tell you the whole "story" in about four sentences.
The narrator in the story is recounting tales from his youth - so it's a little like listening to my grandmother ramble o
Angela Bernabeu
Jun 24, 2015 Angela Bernabeu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Para que vean vuestras mercedes lo que son las cosas, y lo que somos España y los españoles, y cómo aquí se abusó siempre de nuestras buenas gentes, y lo fácil que es ganarlas por su impulso generoso, empujándonos al abismo por maldad o por incompetencia, cuando siempre merecimos mejor suerte." Una labor de documentación acerca del Siglo de Oro español indescriptible. Pérez-Reverte es un mago de las palabras.
Dirk Grobbelaar
This wasn't bad. The problem is, once you've read the likes of Captain Blood other adventure tales pale in comparison.
I have been a long-time fan of Arturo Perez-Reverte, for a variety of reasons I will get to in a moment. But before I begin my gushing, I would like to note my minimal disappointment in him for the Captain Alatriste series. I find series, like television series, significantly more difficult to "write correctly". It ends up leading toward quantity over quality, the adage "less is more" coming in handy quite frequently. As opposed to short stories- or short films, to follow the analogy- where cond ...more
Windy Pineda
Concuerdo con las otras reseñas que he leído sobre este libro. Arturo Pérez Reverte tiene talento para escribir; su forma de narrar es entretenida y dan ganas de seguir leyendo la historia. Ahora, con el perdón de todos, debo decir que la historia es en exceso básica y aparte del bueno uso del recurso narrativo, la trama queda en nada. En especial, hay cuatro puntos que me parecieron tan débiles, que me convencieron para darle la puntuación de dos estrellas y, por lo demás, no seguir leyendo las ...more
May 27, 2012 Lau rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me encantan las historias de aventura y espadachines desde que leí Los Tres Mosqueteros cuando era chica. Algo de ese estilo es lo que esperaba con el Capitán Alatriste, aunque realmente no se qué es lo que esperaba. No conocía al personaje hasta que hace unos años salió la película, y a pesar de que tenía en la cabeza la imagen de Viggo Mortensen, al Diego Alatriste del libro lo imaginé bastante diferente y más jóven.
Lo primero que pensé fue "¡qué español es todo!" y a partir de ahí muchas vece
Jun 14, 2010 Ensiform rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Translated by Margaret Peden. Set in the 1620s, this historical novel centers on the titular soldier, a melancholy man wounded in Flanders and now haunting Madrid as a sword for hire. Hired by two masked men, who are clearly powerful officials, with the backing of a much-feared Inquisitor, Alatriste is charged with killing two English travelers. Sensing something wrong, he lets them live, only to find out later it is the Duke of Buckingham and Prince Charles, attempting to secure the prince’s we ...more
"It was an era of quixotic, sterile deeds that determined reason and right at the imperious tip of a sword."

It is the late summer of the Spanish Empire: Spain is at the height of its power. Treasure ships arriving regularly from the New World, fueling the court scene in Madrid. The defeat of the Invincible Armada has cast the first pall of mortality, and the indeterminable war in Flanders drains the country. The Empire will not last, but meanwhile the court dances to the art of the theater, poet
Fletcher Vredenburgh
Terrific swashbuckling adventure set in Madrid during the Spanish Empire's Golden Age. Even more than the titular hero Captain Alatriste, the city of Madrid is the star of the book. Poets duel with vicious verse, the hand of the Inquisition reaches from the shadows to work its will, and out-of-work soldiers fill the streets. Perez-Reverte brings a too little known (in America) age back to life and tells an exciting tale as well.
Víctor Blanco
Dec 06, 2015 Víctor Blanco rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Recordaba este libro con mucho cariño. Lo he pasado bien leyéndolo, pero la parte de Iñigo se me ha hecho muy pesada. También los exabruptos de Reverte sobre el carácter de España y los españoles que, si bien me parecen muy acertados, en mi opinión pecan de presentismo y se reiteran demasiado.
¡Voy a por Limpieza de Sangre!
Adrian Fix
una lectura ligera y entretenida con grandes personajes ademas es un excelente libro para comprender mejor el siglo de oro.
Era da tempo che volevo leggere questa serie e ci sono finalmente riuscita! Avevo già avuto modo di familiarizzare con Pérez-Reverte leggendo il suo primo romanzo, El húsar, che consiglio vivamente, ma l'obiettivo era poi arrivare a quelli che credo essere i suoi libri più celebri per potermi avventurare nella Spagna dei Siglos de Oro.

Il romanzo si apre nella Madrid di inizio anni '20 del Seicento, un periodo di grande fervore letterario e, al tempo stesso, di grandi problemi interni. Diego Alat
Laura TvdB
Hacía mucho que quería leer a Pérez-Reverte. Y la verdad es que ha sido más o menos como pensaba.

El capitán Alatriste es una novela histórica cuya intención didáctica se ve desde la primera página. Tiene un lenguaje correcto, que ayuda mucho a la ambientación barroca con un vocabulario bien escogido, rico, lo justo como para que no llegue a chirriar en un lector contemporáneo, y lo justo como para adentrarse en el Madrid de Felipe IV. Y eso tiene mérito. Las descripciones son atinadas, los diálo
Jack Massa
Enjoyable if rather slow and melancholy historical adventure.

Set in Madrid in the 1600s, with Spain still ruler of a world Empire and still in the grip of the Inquisition, but decadent and slowly loosing power. The hero is an out-of-work solider, a war hero who must earn his living as a hired sword.

What action there is centers around interesting political intrigue and exciting sword fights. But what action there is interrupted (alas) by longwinded scenes of men talking in taverns and drunkenly
Dec 26, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like adventure stories and historical fiction
I have read all of Perez-Reverte's other books and this was the first time I had looked into his Capt. Alatriste series. The books he is most famous are sophisticated, modern thrillers and, it is clear, that these books are meant to be an escape for Perez-Reverte and his readers from too much hard work. They are simple (I don't mean stupid just uncomplicated) adventure stories which take place in 1620's Spain. They are fun and amusing although I have learned that seventeenth century poetry doesn ...more
Sixto Ortiz
Jun 27, 2015 Sixto Ortiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excelente. Me encantó de principio a fin, no sé si es que me encanta la ficción histórica y por eso estoy fascinado con este mundo, pero, verdaderamente me gustó mucho como Pérez-Reverte escribe. Me encanta como mezcla elementos históricos con su toque de ficción. La creación llega a tal punto que uno mismo se empieza adentrar en este universo que en su esencia es ficticio. Sentía que con este primer libro, poco a poco ya conocía a los personajes y me adentré a la España de Felipe Cuarto. Aquell ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Manga Bible: From Genesis to Revelation
  • Trafalgar
  • Los santos inocentes
  • Venganza en Sevilla (Martín Ojo de Plata, #2)
  • La verdad sobre el caso Savolta
  • La leyenda del ladrón
  • The Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte Summary  Study Guide
  • Inês de Portugal
  • Éste que ves
  • En busca del unicornio
  • No Way Home
  • Esteiros
  • The Inquisitor
  • Africanus: el hijo del Cónsul (Publio Cornelio Escipión, #1)
  • Contos Da Montanha
  • Gentleman Captain
  • El sombrero de tres picos
  • The Reavers
Spanish novelist and ex-journalist. He worked as a war reporter for twenty-one years (1973 - 1994). He started his journalistic career writing for the now-defunct newspaper Pueblo. Then, he jumped to news reporter for TVE, Spanish national channel. As a war journalist he traveled to several countries, covering many conflicts. He put this experience into his book 'Territorio Comanche', focusing on ...more
More about Arturo Pérez-Reverte...

Other Books in the Series

Las aventuras del capitán Alatriste (8 books)
  • Purity of Blood (Adventures of Captain Alatriste, #2)
  • The Sun Over Breda (Adventures of Captain Alatriste, #3)
  • El oro del rey (Las aventuras del capitán Alatriste, #4)
  • El caballero del jubón amarillo (Las aventuras del capitán Alatriste, #5)
  • Corsarios de Levante (Las aventuras del capitán Alatriste, #6)
  • El puente de los asesinos (Las aventuras del capitán Alatriste, #7)
  • Alatriste (Abenteuer des Capitán Alatriste, #1-3)

Share This Book

“No era el hombre más honesto ni el más piadoso, pero era un hombre valiente.” 19 likes
“It was one of Diego Alatriste's virtues that he could make friends in Hell.” 6 likes
More quotes…