Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Review: The Sun Over Breda

The Sun Over Breda
by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Format: Paperback, 273 pages
Publisher: PlumeCover Design: Chin-Yee Lai, Thomas J. Abercrombie/Getty Images
Release Date: April 5, 2007
ISBN-10: 0-452289741
ISBN-13: 978-0452289741

In the third installment in the Captain Alatriste series, the story moves to the battlefields of the Netherlands. The Dutch lands are in revolt against the Spanish-Austrian monarchy and the crown is determined to hold onto the land. Diedo Alatriste has re-enlisted in his old tercio, both to avoid political troubles at home, but also to settle his restless nature. Inigo, as always, accompanies him as his servant.

The story opens with the capture of a Dutch military fort as part of an operation by Alatriste’s tercio to put the squeeze on the city of Breda. The siege of the city takes up a fair amount of the plot as well as two major battles between Spanish and Dutch forces. Full of fighting and action, this tale is a somewhat different book in the series.

The Sun Over Breda marks a slight shift in the series storytelling. The previous two books focused more on politics and intrigue on the streets and in the court of Madrid. The latest novel is an almost straight-up military tale from the point of view of 17th Century soldier. The reader gets a very in-depth look of the Spanish army as the empire’s power begins to wane.

I was surprised to learn with this book that the author is basing the series on an actual manuscript written none other than the books’ narrator. I look forward to seeing where the series goes from here.

The Sun over Breda is another good edition to the Arturo Perez-Reverte’s popular historical fiction series. Recommended for all fans.

Rating: 8/10

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