21 December 2005

Best of 2005 -- First Book in a Series

The 2005 "Best of's" continues.
More drumrolling please and another envelope.

The winner for the category "Best First Book in a Series" goes to Captain Alatriste, by Arturo Perez-Reverte.

Swashbuckling. Intrique. Dangerous men. Dangerous women. With elements like that, it's no wonder Alatriste caught Word Nerd's attention. It also had the added plus of being written by former Spanish-journalist-turned-novelist Perez-Reverte, an author who has impressed Word Nerd in the past.

Capt. Diego Alatriste is a dangerous sword-for-hire in 17th century Spain. He is hired to murder two Englishmen who come to Spain. When the moment comes to complete the deed, Alatriste changes his mind, impressed by the fight the English duo puts up. Suddenly, Alatriste finds himself caught up between those who hired him and those he spared. The whole story is narrated by Alatriste's young page, Inigo Balboa, who gives the reader the historical context to understand the politics and culture of Spain at the time. Word Nerd is unsure if some of the praise for Alatriste should really go to Margaret Sayers Peden, who translated the book from Spanish.

Since we're on this side of the Atlantic, readers have to wait until sometime in 2006 to get the next Alatriste book, "Purity of Blood."

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