The Sun Over Breda
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A former war correspondent, Spanish novelist Perez-Reverte continues his internationally acclaimed Captain Alatriste series with a third translated volume (following Purity of Blood), every bit as terse and engaging as previous books. Diego Alatriste, a 17th-century mercenary and wily veteran of campaigns from Italy to Flanders, is part of the army of Spanish King Philip IV-a defender of the Catholic faith-that's trying to suppress the Calvinist heretics of the Low Countries. Narrated is retrospect by Inigo Balboa, who at the time of the action was Alatriste's 14-year-old page, this installment focuses on the Spaniards' siege of the fortified rebel city of Breda. As the stalemate drags on, the battle becomes less a matter of military interest to Spain but, rather, one of reputation. Its power and influence in decline, Spain's lingering hopes to avoid another embarrassing setback in Flanders rest with stoic warriors like Alatriste. The action is fast, furious, and...