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The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet Hardcover – September 3, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1St Edition edition (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399156038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399156038
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The swashbuckling spirit of Rafael Sabatini lives on in Perez-Reverte's fifth installment to the adventures of the 17th-century Spanish swordsman, Capt. Diego Alariste. The novel finds Diego back in Madrid, where even the slightest personal affront can lead to a clash of blades. Accompanied, as usual, by his loyal young servant, Iñigo Balboa Aguirre, and his friend, the poet and playwright Francisco de Quevedo, Diego learns that both he and King Philip IV are rivals for the attentions of the married actress Maria de Costa, who has many other suitors lined up at her dressing room door. Not even a death threat can scare off the ardent captain, who becomes a pawn in an old enemy's dastardly plot to assassinate the king. Richly atmospheric and alive with the sights, sounds and smells of old Madrid, this tale of derring-do is old-fashioned fun. It's elegantly written and filled with thrilling swordplay and hairbreadth escapes—escapist books don't get much better than this. (Sept.)
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"Few contemporary writers conjure up derring-do as well as Arturo Pérez-Reverte, a Spanish literary maestro evoking Dumas."
-The Christian Science Monitor

"Great fun in the tradition of historical swashbucklers such as The Three Musketeers or The Scarlet Pimpernel."
-The Boston Globe

"Absolutely riveting from beginning to end."
-Entertainment Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
Great book, enjoyed reading it and found it to be very well written.
I was hooked on this series from the beginning, but found the last couple volumes increasingly interesting and satisfying stories.
The plotting is deft and intricate where it has to be, and the action scenes are as sharp and intricate as the Captain's sword.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The terrific Captain Diego Alatriste series continues with "The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet." For me, this was one of the best books in the string. Besides the expected informed commentary on the decline of the Spanish empire, 17th Century court politics and early Spanish literature, this novel has an unusually good plot, with enough uncertainty to keep the reader interested to the last page.

The Inigo Balboa narrator/character grows in voice and interest as his passion for one of Alatriste's arch enemies grows from puppy love to the real, carnal thing; and as he is accepted as a young adult by the rest of the cast of characters.

Author Perez-Reverte's great strength in these books (in my opinion) is his delivery of a range of characters that seem authentic, even in their extremes of heroism or villainy. The good guys are both principled and honorable (by their own standards) men and women, but have no compunction about killing or selling their virtue when duty, honor or upper mobility requires it. The black hats are also just acting according their own ends-justify-means standards.

"The Cavalaier in the Yellow Doublet" has plenty of snap and zing for any reader of action novels, and enough intelligence, wit and interesting social and political history to satisfy readers looking for something more complex. Excellent book. Recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Young VINE VOICE on November 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first met the novels of Arturo Perez-Reverte at a local bookstore. I was looking at a novel by mystery writer Anne Perry, and right next to it was "The Flanders Panel." And reading the back cover pushed me into a whole new world. I read all of Perez-Reverte's works then in English, with "The Queen of the south" just published in hardback. And not too long thereafter came the Captain Alatriste novels.

Critics will likely compare these five novels of 17th century Spain to shoot-em-up westerns. But the rest of us won't care. Diego Alatriste, assisted by his young protégé Inigo Balboa, fights his way to and through survival, love, intrigue and conspiracy in the streets of Madrid and the battlefields of Holland. Along the way, the reader learns about life, literature, culture and politics in 17th century Spain.

In his latest adventure, "The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet," Alatriste discovers that his current paramour, an actress currently wowing Madrid, has also caught the eye of King Philip IV. According to the mores of Spanish society, Alatriste must yield. Of course, Alatriste was never one for the mores of any society. As the tensions rise, Alatriste and Balboa trip over a conspiracy - a plot to assassinate the king.

The novel has all the hallmarks of a Perez-Reverte adventure - well researched history and culture; the sights, sounds and smells of 17th century Madrid; the leaning on playwrights and poets of the age to help tell the story through dialogue and verse; the use of real historical figures; heroes who are all too human; and romantic entanglements immersed in intrigue.

And while there's not really a sword fight one very street corner, it often seems that way. And what great scenes Perez-Reverte paints when the swordsmen clash.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on October 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I probably don't need to admit this here, but I never finished DON QUIXOTE. I started it in high school, I think. I had a tattered paperback copy that I salvaged from the wreck of my grandfather's library. If I remember correctly, it was a scholarly translation with lots of footnotes that would have made sense if I knew anything about the Spanish language in the medieval period. And that may have been why I never finished.

It wasn't because I didn't love Don Quixote or Sancho Panza (I did), and it wasn't because I didn't enjoy their adventures (I think I did at the time). It was more that the richness of the language and the depth of the references were well beyond me --- the weakness was not in Cervantes but in my inability to perceive his genius.

I mention all this because THE CAVALIER IN THE YELLOW DOUBLET comes from the same literary tradition, and Cervantes himself appears (albeit offstage) as a minor character. It is the fifth book to feature Captain Alatriste, a 17th-century Spanish rogue in an era when roguery was as common as japery is today. Alatriste carries a sword and uses it well enough to stay alive in trying circumstances. Unlike Cervantes's Quixote in his self-titled tale, the Captain is no idealistic madman, and the trouble that he gets in is not generated from his own imaginings. But the story is told in much the same manner, complete with the same poetic flourishes and baroque trappings.

And this is by no means a bad thing.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Avellanet VINE VOICE on October 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the title of this review, needless to say, if you were not a big fan of the slower paced Alatriste book that took place during the siege of Breda, I suspect you'll not be overly happy with this one. Significant stretches of description in the first half of the book finally give way to a tight, action paced story in the second half of the book.

There are a lot of reviewers with whom I agree so I will confine my comments to one thing that was continually distracting: the Inigo's ability to know what Alatriste was thinking at any given time in the story; the two are separated so much, I would have preferred more of a "Alatriste told me that at this time, as he was being dragged along by the ruffians, he thought of...." as opposed to "'I must find a way,' he thought." It was distracting and pulled me away from being immersed in the story.

Now, admittedly, it may be due to some discrepancies in the translation that what worked in Spanish was more cumbersome in English, and thus not the fault of Perez-Reverte, but readers should know that there are moments in the book where you will find yourself abruptly pulled away from the fictive reverie.

That aside, if you are enjoying the Alatriste series - and can't wait to buy/rent the Spanish "Alatriste" movie - this is a worthy fifth book in the series, and worth every penny.
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