The Companions of the Silence 1: The Seven Iron Rings
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THE COMPANIONS OF THE SILENCE 1: THE SEVEN IRON RINGS
by Paul Féval
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Nathalie Lial
Trentacapelli was found on the Cosenza road, with his face in a puddle and the blade of a Calabrian knife sticking out of his back.”
“It was the knife of a companion?”
“It was the knife of the Silence.”
In 1808, the three children of Mario Monteleone, grandmaster of the Iron Knights, a secret society in Southern Italy, are kidnapped by a mysterious enemy. In 1815, Mario himself is arrested and executed. The Iron Knights then morph into the Companions of the Silence, which have sworn to avenge Mario, but eventually turn to crime.
The Companions of the Silence, translated here for the first time, was retroactively linked by Paul Féval to his saga of the Black Coats, functioning as the backstory of that vast criminal conspiracy. The peak of development that he attained in The Companions of the Silence was so splendidly theatrical, that future exercises in a similar vein had no option but to take a step back and find new directions of development.
The Companions of the Silence forms an important bridge between the author’s earlier tales of heroic banditry and the pioneering exercises in crime fiction that began with John Devil and continued with the The Black Coats.
[Les Compagnons du Silence, 1857]
Introduction and Notes by Brian Stableford