This book is the story of Captain Alatriste, a swordsman and bounty hunter in Madrid, Spain in the early 17th-century. The Captain returns from fighting in Flanders to eke out a leaving as a sword for hire. He lives above a pub and takes care of a teenage boy, Inigo, who narrates the story. On an assignment to rough up a couple of travelers, Alatriste finds himself involved in royal plot when it turns out that the travelers are actually the Prince of England and a companion sneaking in to Spain. By refusing to kill the Prince, Alatriste earns himself a few enemies including the masked people who hired him and the Italian assassin he was sent to do the job with.
Alatriste becomes involved in the political intrigues of the Spanish royal court and ends up in major danger several times as the corrupted members of the court and the Italian assassin seek to end his life. He does however have some powerful allies including the prince and a comic and blustering poet named Quevado.
This report prepared by Deidre Woollard