Vango - Between Sky and Earth / A Prince Without a Kingdom
Timothée de Fombele
Treat the Vango books as one glorious Chandleresque thriller, to be digested in one summer and you will be mightily rewarded. Follow the many threads of deception, betrayal, subterfuge and
murder that weave around the world like RKO radio waves. A pebble
dropped by a character can send ripples across the globe; the repercussions are felt years later.
Beginning above the rooftops of Paris in 1934 the enigmatic Vango is on the run from taking holy orders and a crime he did not commit. Aided and chased by (in no particular order) an heiress, an assassin, the police, the Order of Violette, an elusive feline, a Zeppelin and the ghosts of his past, to name but a few, Vango is headed for all points of the compass to clear his name and right the wrongs perpetrated many years before in the Tyrrhenian waters off Sicily.
The second volume mercifully includes a cast of characters to help
keep track of the many fictional and historical figures. It lends
authenticity and the reader will be rewarded seeing how
effortlessly the author threads his characters into the warp and
weft of the vast canvas on which he writes. I enjoyed the cameo
appearance by Prokoviev (in volume one).
This complex and rewarding fusion of thriller and picaresque
historical, free-running romance has been lovingly translated by
Sarah Ardizzone who has won numerous awards in her field.
Confident readers 13+
Author's other books in translation are Toby Alone & Toby and the
Secrets of the Tree