If you are looking for a mix of swashbuckling adventure and thoughtful explorations of the demands of honor and friendship, you should try Perez-Reverte’s Captain Alatriste series. The series begins with Captain Alatriste, and recounts the life of Diego Alatriste, former soldier in the Spanish military, now forced to make his living as a hired swordsman. When Alatriste chooses to spare the lives of two men that he has been hired to kill, it sets in motion a train of events that involves the Inquisition and the Spanish and English courts of the 17th century. Perez-Reverte is a master of the literary thriller, and has a great feel for the atmosphere of 17th century Spain.
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