Sequel to The Purity of Blood.
Captain Alatriste has rejoined the Spanish army in Flanders, besieging Breda in 1625. Íñigo, his follower and later biographer, is still too young to bear arms, and serves as a forager for Alatriste’s squad.
There’s no glory in this war—Pérez-Reverte is a former war correspondent. The Spanish empire is on the decline. Spain has been fighting in the Spanish Netherlands for sixty years to suppress the Protestant heretics. The Spanish troops are mutinous and close to starving; they haven’t been paid in a long time. All they have is their honor and that, they guard zealously.
A grim tale of privation and battle, well told.