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The year is 1866 and revolution is brewing in Spain. The corrupt Bourbon queen, Isabella II, is slowly losing her grip on power as equally corrupt exiled politicians vie to be her successor in a new republic. Against this background of political upheaval, Don Jaime goes about his business, teaching a dying art to a dwindling number of students. This is a man who resists changing times; to a friend he explains, "I have spent my whole life trying to preserve a certain idea of myself, and that is all. You have to cling to a set of values that do not depreciate with time. Everything else is the fashion of the moment, fleeting, mutable. In a word, nonsense." But then Adela de Otero--a woman with a mysterious past and an amazing talent for swordplay--comes into his life, and Don Jaime's world is turned upside down. As always, Pérez-Reverte offers literary excellence, a thumping good mystery, and fascinating insight into an arcane practice, in this case, fencing. Though the 19th-century politics in the book may resonate more with a Spanish audience than with English readers, the moral at the heart of The Fencing Master is universal: "to be honest, or at least honorable--anything, indeed, that has its roots in the word honor." In this, Don Jaime and Arturo Pérez-Reverte both succeed. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Good read, but nothing too special. Read in Spain because of setting. Glad I did, but this is not a must read.Published 6 months ago by D. Daugherty
I love Perez-Reverte's novels: they are the thinking person's mysteries, and The Fencing Master lives up to expectations, always in a different era, with meticulous attention to... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jan Roll-Mederos
Once again I must admit I am a fan, even so i do think that this is my favorite of his books to date. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Donald Tilleman