Read A Prince Without a Kingdom Online

Authors: Timothee de Fombelle

A Prince Without a Kingdom

PART ONE

AN ENCOUNTER IN THE SKY: VANGO AND ETHEL

1. THE CORPSE IN THE BLUE COMET

2. STORMY WEATHER ON THE TRACKS

3. TWO TRAMPS IN THE SKY

4. THE TROUBLE WITH DEER

5. ON THE RIDGE OF A GLACIER

6. LAST WORDS ON DEATH ROW

7. SILVER GHOST

8. A PRINCESS IN EXILE

9. LA BOHÈME

10. A GHOSTLY BEDROOM

11. “THIS NOTEBOOK BELONGS TO LAURA VIAGGI”

PART TWO

12. THE CONSTELLATIONS

13. GUARDIAN ANGELS

14. THE RUINED GARDEN

15. THE CITADEL OF WOMEN

16. BACK TO EVERLAND

17. BLOOD AND HONOR

18. FOUR WORDS IN A TELEGRAM

19. “WRITE TO TELL ME HE’S WELL”

20. THE SMOKING ROOM OF THE
HINDENBURG

21. THE WHITE FLAG

22. “WEEP FOR HUMANITY!”

PART THREE

AN ENCOUNTER BY THE SEA: WEEPING WILLOW

STELLA

23. THE CAPITAL OF SILENCE

24. SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST

25. THE LIST

26. BEFORE THE STORM

27. THE SAUCEPANS OF ETERNITY

28. HORSES FOR SLAUGHTER

29. MIDNIGHT

30. BARBARY FIG TREES

Italics denote real historical figures

BORIS PETROVITCH ANTONOV
murderous Soviet agent tasked with killing Vango

EMILIE ATLAS
girl who secretly prowls the rooftops of Paris; resistance name Marie; a.k.a. “the Cat”

LIEUTENANT AUGUSTIN
AVIGNON
Boulard’s ambitious second-in-command

ETHEL B. H.
Scottish heiress and orphan; in love with Vango; lives with her brother, Paul, at Everland Castle

PAUL B. H.
Ethel’s older brother; Scottish heir and orphan; RAF pilot who fights in the Spanish Civil War and for the French Resistance

DOCTOR BASILIO
doctor on the island of Salina; hopes to see Mademoiselle again

NINA BIENVENUE
cabaret singer who achieved fame at La Lune Rousse in Montmartre, Paris

SUPERINTENDENT AUGUSTE BOULARD
eminent police detective at the Quai des Orfèvres (Criminal Investigations, Police HQ, Paris)

MADAME MARIE-ANTOINETTE BOULARD
Boulard’s mother

CAESAR
mysterious resistance leader for the Paradise Network

GIOVANNI CAFARELLO
murderous pirate who left Salina for New York with a stolen fortune; a.k.a. Gio

DORGELES
Voloy Viktor’s right-hand man, and a thug

MADAME BLANCHE DUSSAC
concierge for the Paris apartment block where Boulard lives; friend of Marie-Antoinette Boulard

COMMANDER/DOKTOR HUGO ECKENER
commander of the
Graf Zeppelin;
friend of Vango; member of Project Violette

MOTHER ELISABETH
leader of the Abbey of La Blanche on the island of Noirmoutier, off the coast of western France

DOCTOR ESQUIROL
Max Grund’s personal doctor; member of Project Violette

CASIMIR FERMINI
proprietor of La Belle Étoile restaurant in Paris

MAX GRUND
chief representative of the Gestapo in German-occupied Paris

HEINRICH KUBIS
headwaiter of the
Graf Zeppelin

CAPTAIN ERNST LEHMANN
captain of the
Graf Zeppelin;
Hugo Eckener’s second-in-command

MADEMOISELLE
Vango’s childhood nurse; a.k.a.
Tioten’ka;
a.k.a. “the Bird-seller”

WERNER MANN
German World War I fighter pilot; member of Project Violette

BROTHER MARCO
cook at the invisible monastery on the island of Arkudah

MARY
housekeeper at Everland Castle; guardian of Ethel and Paul

INSPECTOR BAPTISTE MOUCHET
assistant to the superintendent at the Quai des Orfèvres (Criminal Investigations, Police HQ, Paris)

NICHOLAS
son of Peter, the gardener at Everland Castle; Ethel’s ally

ANDREI IVANOVITCH
OULANOV
violin player from Moscow studying in Paris; blackmailed into spying for Boris Petrovitch Antonov

IVAN IVANOVITCH OULANOV
father of Andrei; lives in Moscow

KONSTANTIN & ZOYA IVANOVITCH
OULANOV
younger siblings of Andrei; they live in Moscow

JOSEPH JACQUES
PUPPET
former soldier turned boxer from the Ivory Coast; now a barber based in Monaco; member of Project Violette; a.k.a. J. J. Puppet

SIMON
the bell ringer at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

JOSEPH STALIN
despotic ruler of the Soviet Union

SVETLANA STALIN
eight-year-old daughter of Stalin; a.k.a. Setanka; a.k.a. Setanotchka

STELLA
a girl from Chakva

GIUSEPPINA TROISI
Pippo Troisi’s abandoned wife; a.k.a. Pina

PIPPO TROISI
once a farmer from the island of Salina; now an “asylum seeker from marriage” at the invisible monastery on the island of Arkudah

VANGO
washed up on the island of Salina as a child; now a young man searching for his identity; a.k.a. Evangelisto; a.k.a. “the Bird”

BARTOLOMEO VIAGGI
pirate from the island of Salina; killed by Giovanni Cafarello

LAURA VIAGGI
daughter of the late Bartolomeo Viaggi; from the island of Salina

VOLOY VIKTOR
nefarious arms dealer; also goes by many other names, including Madame Victoria

VLAD THE VULTURE
Soviet agent; rival of Boris Petrovitch Antonov

WEEPING WILLOW
mysterious, sickly figure who is hidden away in a valley in the Caucasus Mountains

PADRE ZEFIRO
leader of the invisible monastery of Arkudah; mentor of Vango; member of Project Violette

 

1918. At the age of three, Vango is washed up
on a beach in the Aeolian Islands in Sicily, with Mademoiselle, his nurse, who claims to know nothing about their past. He grows up on the island of Salina, sheltered from the world, among the birds and climbing the cliffs.

At the age of ten, he discovers the invisible monastery, which Padre Zefiro founded in order to protect a few dozen monks from the mafias that were after them. Vango is accepted by the community, and lives between his island and the monastery. But, four years later, when he announces to Zefiro that he wants to become a monk, the padre sends him away to find out about the world before making a final commitment.

So Vango spends the year of 1929 as a crew member of the
Graf Zeppelin
airship, by the side of Commander Hugo Eckener. On board he meets an orphan called Ethel, who is traveling with her brother. But Vango is being pursued by unknown forces who want him dead, and three weeks after meeting Ethel, he is forced to leave her.

A few years later, just as he is about to become a priest at the foot of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Vango is accused of a crime he hasn’t committed. The senseless witch hunt continues, and Superintendent Boulard and his men join the ranks of those already pursuing him. From now on, Vango leads the life of a fugitive across Europe, as he tries to discover why such hatred follows him.

Padre Zefiro has now left his monastery and is fighting against the arms dealer Voloy Viktor in order to keep the promise he made to three friends, twenty years earlier, in the trenches of Verdun.

In the middle of this whirlwind, Vango finally learns about his dramatic arrival in Sicily as a child: offshore from the islands, his parents were killed in their boat by three men, led by one Cafarello. Vango and his nurse escaped. Cafarello betrayed his co-pirates, sunk the boat, and disappeared with the lion’s share of the mysterious treasure that was on board.

Vango sets off again into the unknown to find Cafarello and uncover the great secret of his life.

Other books

Waiting for Dusk by Nancy Pennick
Summer Secrets by Jane Green
A Million Shades of Gray by Cynthia Kadohata
Does God Play Dice? by Stephen Hawking
First Flight by Connor Wright
Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
Curse Of Wexkia by Dale Furse