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By Arturo Perez-Reverte

The 5th novel within the adventures of Captain Alatriste, a seventeenth-century swashbuckler and "a twenty-first-century literary phenomenon." (Entertainment Weekly)

within the cosmopolitan international of seventeenth-century Madrid, captain Alatriste and his protégé Íñigo are fish out of water. however the king is decided to maintain Alatriste on retainer-regardless of even if his "employment" brings the captain uncomfortably with regards to previous enemies. Alatriste starts off an affair with the well-known and lovely actress, María Castro, yet quickly discovers that the price of her favors can be greater than he bargained for-especially while he and Íñigo turn into unwilling contributors in a court docket conspiracy that may lead them either to the gallows . . .

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He paused for a second, considering. “They may have killed us,” he additional, “but that isn’t why they got here. ” He eyed the corpse gravely. “They fled once that they had killed him. ” “What was once Malatesta doing right here? ” “Hang me if i do know. ” at the different part of the home, on the street, we heard voices. The hand resting on my shoulder tensed, digging steely palms into me. “They’re here,” acknowledged the captain. “You suggest they’ve come again? ” “No, those are varied males . . . worse. ” He persisted to propel me clear of the sunshine and out of the cloister. “Run, Íñigo. ” i finished. i used to be careworn. We had virtually reached the shadows of the backyard now and that i couldn’t see his face. “Run and continue operating. And take into account, no matter what occurs, you weren’t right here this night. Do you know? You weren’t right here. ” I resisted for a second. “And what approximately you, captain? ” i used to be approximately to invite, yet there has been no time. while i didn't obey instantly, he gave me a shove, sending me numerous paces into the lengthy grass. “Go, rattling it! ” he stated. the doorway to the hall resulting in the cloister was once lit up now with torches, and there has been the sound of clanking guns and folks speaking. “In the identify of the king,” acknowledged voice. “In the identify of the legislation. ” And that cry within the identify of a lifeless king made my scalp creep. “Run! ” And via my existence, I did. operating since you are looking to run isn't the related as having to run. I swear to God that if a precipice had unfolded sooner than me, i might have leapt unhesitatingly over it. Blind with panic, I ran during the undergrowth, earlier timber, throughout fields, leaping fences and partitions, splashing during the circulation and hiking out and up towards town. And in simple terms whilst i used to be secure, faraway from that accursed cloister, did I drop to the floor, part mad with horror and worry, center pounding, lungs burning, and one thousand pins and needles pricking neck and temples. in basic terms then did I cease to ask yourself what could have occurred to Captain Alatriste. He limped over to the wall, trying to find the simplest route to stick with. combating with such a lot of males right now had worn him down; the reduce to his thigh was once now not that deep, however it was once nonetheless bleeding. in addition to, realizing the identification of the corpse mendacity within the cloister used to be adequate to shake anyone’s composure and reduce his spirits. regardless of his wound, fear—had he felt any—might have lent wings to his ft, yet he didn't consider afraid, just a grim feel of desolation on the trick performed on him via destiny. A black, despairing depression. The utter walk in the park that his good fortune had ultimately run out. The lighting have been filling the cloister now. He may possibly see them glinting during the timber and the undergrowth. Voices and shadows in all places. “Tomorrow,” he inspiration, “the complete of Europe and the realm will tremble once they study what has occurred. ” He took a run on the wall, approximately 5 cubits excessive. He attempted two times, yet failed. Christ’s blood! The discomfort from the wound in his leg used to be an excessive amount of. “Here he's! ” cried a voice at the back of him. He grew to become slowly round, resigned, his sword held firmly in his hand. 4 males have been coming towards him during the backyard, lights their manner with torches.

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