The sixth novel in the adventures of Captain Alatriste, set in a time when the only thing needed to summon hell on earth (or sea) was a Spaniard and his sword.
Accompanied by his faithful foster son, Íñigo, Captain Alatriste accepts a job as a mercenary aboard a Spanish galleon. The ship sets sail from Naples on a journey that will take them to some of the most remote-and wretched- outposts of the empire: Morocco, Algeria, and finally to Malta for a stunning and bloody battle on the high seas that will challenge even the battle-hardened Alatriste's resolve.
Now seventeen, Íñigo is almost ready to leave Alatriste, his foster father and fellow soldier. But will age and experience bring wisdom, or is he likely to repeat many of his mentor's mistakes?