This is the 6th book in the Captain Alatriste series written by Spanish Author Arturo Pérez-Reverte. He wrote the first one back in 1996. This was written in 2006 but just recently translated. The story is always told by Inigo Blaboa who is the young son of Alatriste's best friend who was killed in battle. Pérez-Reverte has a wandering style of writing through each novel and spend much of the first half of the book flashing back through time or hinting at what is coming in thiet futures after this particular story is told.
The second half of each novel always settles down to a good story. This story is the weakest of the series as Captain Alatriste is usually a sword for hire or a soldier and the story has a purpose. This is a rambling tale of Alatriste and Inigo adventures aboard a Spanish galleon wandering the Mediterranean. The author has always done an excellent job in describing battle or sword fights and the battle at the end of this story is excellent. It's worth a read if you are a fan of the series. If not, you may wish to start with the first one Captain Alatriste.