The Prince

A Novel

Translated by Anne Milano Appel

About The Book

Based on a true story, The Prince is a “complex, informed, and intelligent saga” (Kirkus Reviews) about the web of love, betrayal, and murder that forged the most powerful criminal organization in history—the Mafia.

In this remarkable novel, author Vito Bruschini brilliantly evokes the charismatic figure of Prince Ferdinando Licata, a wealthy Sicilian landowner who uses his personal power and charm to placate Sicilian peasants and fight off Mussolini’s fascists. As tensions rise in Italy during the 1930s, with increasingly violent consequences, Licata attracts many friends and even more enemies. Eventually implicated in a grisly murder, the prince flees to America, where he ends up navigating a turf war between Irish and Italian gangs of the Lower East Side.

Violence explodes in unexpected ways as Licata gains dominance over New York, with the help of a loyal townsman with blood ties to the prince who is forced to abandon his fiancée in Sicily. The two men return to their native land at the height of World War II in an outrageously bold maneuver engineered by Licata and mobster Lucky Luciano. Both the prince and his kinsman assist US naval intelligence during the invasion of Sicily and, once they are back on their native soil, they proceed to settle unfinished business with their enemies and unravel old secrets in a stunning and sinister finale.

Through a spellbinding story and unforgettable characters, Bruschini depicts in visceral detail the dark intertwining roots of loyalty and betrayal, poverty and privilege, secrets and revelations that contributed to the rise of the Mafia in Sicily and America.

About The Author

Photograph by Salvatore Scirè

Vito Bruschini is a renowned Italian journalist who heads the news agency Globalpress. He lives in Rome, Italy.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (March 10, 2015)
  • Length: 448 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451687217

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Raves and Reviews

“Compelling from start to finish."

– Library Journal

“A complex, informed and intelligent saga."

– Kirkus

"A thoroughly readable book, with three-dimensional characters and a big meaty story full of violence, ambition, battles for power and all that good stuff.”

– Booklist

"A novel filled with pleasures and enjoyment for all lovers of suspense.”

– En Negro Sobre Blanco (Spain)

"A superb, passionate, spellbinding novel, which plunges us into the origins of the Mafia.... All the ingredients one needs to be absolutely swept away.”

– Page (France)

"Red-hot action, but treated with epic mastery.”

– La Repubblica (Italy)

“Now there’s no need to long for our own Mario Puzo.”

– Il Messaggero (Italy)

“Constructed with panache by a formidable writer.”

– Il Giornale (Italy)

"A voyage back and forth from Sicily to America that is made to be adapted for the cinema."

– Io Donna (Italy)

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