Sicilian Avengers: Book Two


Stephen Riggio

The Beati Paoli’s unrelenting campaign to restore justice is compromised by an act of betrayal and a plot that threatens its very existence.
Set against the backdrop of the island’s increasing disillusionment with its new rulers from Savoy and a yearning for the return of the formerly detested Spanish monarchy, book two of Sicilian Avengers continues as the future of the House of Albamonte hangs in the balance and the survival of the Beati Paoli is threatened.

Shifting allegiances, brutal reprisals, tortures, and kidnappings occur as the Beati Paoli’s efforts to restore a usurped patrimony to its rightful owner is compromised by an act of betrayal. As they race to complete their mission, they must also thwart the diabolical plans of the villainous Don Raimondo and the evil Matteo Lo Vecchio, and deal with the wavering loyalty of one of the sect’s newest recruits.

Blasco de Castiglione finally discovers his true identity, which tests his sense of justice, honor, and fidelity to the people he knows, trusts, and loves: Duke Don Raimondo, whom he has pledged to protect; the beautiful and alluring Donna Gabriella, who has captured his heart; his friend and protector, the enigmatic Coriolano della Floresta; and the young and naïve Violante, whose love is within reach yet out of bounds.

Translated into English for the first time by Stephen Riggio, Luigi Natoli’s saga brings early eighteenth-century Palermo into vivid relief, where Sicilian aristocrats enjoy their soirees and luxuries while the poor and destitute scrounge for food in the dark and filthy streets. Nowhere is the contrast more shocking and wrenching than in the scrupulous depiction of the auto-da-fé.

Readers will become immersed in a Sicily that is long gone but whose glorious and troubled past echoes in these pages. As French critic Jean Noël Schifano said, Natoli’s novel is “the fifth historical monument of contemporary Italian literature.”

Book 2 of 2 includes an afterword by Umberto Eco.

sicilian avengers book 2 (1) (1)