This book in the Captain Alatriste adventures series is a return to form, in that it's more about a swashbuckling adventure than about war or politics (although both of those things are present one way or the other in the story). At this point I have to wonder what our narrator sees in his beloved, because I see nothing but a snake who causes trouble for no reason - so obviously I am missing something - ?
An interesting thing about reading this book so soon after reading the Inspector Chen book is how both of these books quote poetry a lot in the course of the story. Despite the difference in setting (1600s Spain vs 1990s Shanghai), there is a cultural similarity that I find fascinating. Just like some cultures are what I call "singing cultures" or "wine cultures" others value poetry. American society doesn't, really, but it's nice to see poetry quotation as a feature in books as diverse as these two, as well as the Arabian Nights, etc.
But back to the topic at hand - the adventure part of the latest installment in Captain Alatriste's story is well done and fast paced. And the next book in this series is sitting on my TBR pile - hooray!