James's Reviews > The Fencing Master

The Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
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Mar 23, 12

Read from March 06 to 23, 2012

This is Perez-Reverte's second novel. It is a tale possessed of Perez-Reverte's typically meticulous attention to detail, and some might argue that it is the blueprint of the Alatriste novels, particularly when it touches upon the main character's (Jaime Astarloa) archaic sense of honour and the friends that he meet in the tavern. However I think that it is a novel which stands squarely on its own two feet, possessed of a gallery of distinctly original characters.
The novel's background is early 18th century Madrid, a city overwhelmed by intense political upheaval involving players like Juan Prim, amongst others. It starts off very brightly, introducing the reader to the character and world of Jaime Astarloa, although it sags a bit towards the middle, especially when compared to the Alatriste novels. The novel does however pick up dramatically towards the last two chapters, and upon reaching them I could not put the book down until I finished it.
A classic romantic novel and well worth the read.
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