El sol de Breda means the sun over Breda and is the third novel in the Captain Alatriste series of books. It follows the Limpieza de sangre. See more about it.
In the book, Inigo Balboa the narrator has attained the age of 15 years. He exercises his expertise in narrating the adventures of his master’s battles and swordsmanship, wartime recognition, and resistance when he goes back to the battlefield in Cartagena in the quest to besiege Breda. Back in Spain, Lui de Alquezar who happens to be Alatriste’s adversary becomes dynamic every day if what the narrators’ mystical friend Angelica says is anything to believe.
Rejoining The Army
El sol de Breda is founded in Spain during the 17th century. Then Alatriste has decided to abandon his wayward practices and go back to the army with the sole aim of participating in the Flanders war. In this rather sensational novel, Alatriste is tasked with leading the soldiers under the command of Spain’s King Philip the VI against the Dutch in the war. During the war, he is faced with uncertainty and opposition from his colleagues. They are no longer happy with their king, something that seems to kill their morale and motivation for the fight.
Their laxity seems to affect their performance and the road to victory is obviously becoming harder with every Spanish blood spilled. With the continued silence from the king concerning their payment, the soldiers cannot hold their anger and disappointment anymore. This leaves Alatriste to contemplate between giving in to the troop’s demands and maintaining his covenant towards a crown that he is yet to adore.
The novel is filled with adventure which the reader can only compare to excerpts from Rafael Sabatini and Alexandre Dumas’ books. The author incorporates his signature unique style in order to grab the reader’s attention and keep them glued to the end.
According to the narrator, the battle field is intense and can only be appropriately described by watching Alatriste and his colleagues in action. They perform their responsibilities with loyalty with their eyes set upon victory. In his trademark narration expertise, Inigo involves and grabs the reader’s attention by describing the battle scenes in relation to the times Alatriste had to execute moves as an individual.
Readers are likely to imagine a state where Alatriste and Inigo had a one on one conversation of such happenings. While in the battle field, Quevedo, a poet who is also Alatriste’s friend keeps both master and narrator updated with what is happening in Madrid through letters. The mystical character Angelica also keeps Inigo up to date. The author describes Angelica as a pretty lady. Inigo has got a combination of feelings towards her. While he may feel deeply attracted to her, he fears and hates her for obvious reasons.
Unlike Perez’s previous novels, El sol de Breda contains no humor. It stimulates a recollection of the flash man complete with an overcast tone. Reading this book instills in the reader a feeling of realization that in order to achieve honor, there comes a time when the alternate is the use of a dagger or a sword, and once one is declared a hero, they remain heroes forever.
The author includes excerpts from plays and poems in the novel, not forgetting the editor’s note that the reader will find irresistible. This book is a combination of literal finesse and adventure which took place during the decline of the Spanish golden age, a war that lasted a record thirty years, and the resilience, bravery, and devotion of Alatriste in his quest for victory. He would finally be declared an all time hero.