Yes, I've finally got 'round to reading, and have finished, the Arturo Pérez-Reverte's fourth Captain Alatriste novel, The King's Gold. Like the previous three titles in the series (Captain Alatriste, Purity of Blood, and The Sun Over Breda), it's a marvelous tale to read ... this time the good Captain has been commissioned to hijack a shipment of smuggled gold from a ship of the newly returned Plate Fleet on behalf of the King himself (a perfectly reasonable request ... he only wants back what was stolen in the first place). Along the way, old enemies and friends are re-encountered: Angélica de Alquézar, lady-in-waiting to the Queen, and Malatesta, the lethal Italian sword-for-hire, are both just as deadly as ever and up to their eyebrows in the plot, as are the Conde de Guadalmedina and the poet Quevedo, currently back in favour at Court.
Very little of narrator Íñigo's philosophizings in this particular volume, but for once we get to experience Alatriste himself from the inside ... to feel what he feels and see what he sees. The read is treated to some most intriguing tidbits of insight into this deep and dark character.
And of course there is swordplay ... such magnificent swordplay, lovingly described. Plus a cast of villains, ruffians, accountants, and the usual fun of learning familiar history from the Spanish side.
In other words, this fourth volume is just as good a read as its previous companions! ☺☺☺☺☺