The Fencing Master
By Arturo Perez-Reverte
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151001811, 256pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 1999
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Everyone in Madrid in the torrid fall of 1868 is discussing political plots and revolution except for Don Jaime. He is a fencing master and a man of honor, an anachronism. For years he has been working on a Treatise on the Art of Fencing, the heart of which is his perfection of the unstoppable thrust. He is approached one day by a beautiful and mysterious woman with a scar at the corner of her mouth that hints at dark violence. She asks the maestro to teach her the unstoppable thrust. Even though Do-a Adela de Otero's weapons of charm and elegance are formidable, Don Jaime declines. But he is entirely unprepared for the unhurried, sure, and inexplicable movements that follow. Soon he finds himself involved in a plot that includes seduction, politics, secret documents, and murder. Rich with the historical detail of a decaying world that agonizes-as does the art of fencing-over ideals of honor and chivalry, The Fencing Master is superb literature and an honest-to-goodness page-turner.
Arturo P+rez-Reverte is an internationally acclaimed author and his books have been translated into nineteen languages in thirty countries and sold more than three million copies worldwide. He was born in 1951 in Spain, where he still lives.