240 * 320
Louis XIII’s brother, Gaston d’Orléans, and his friends have come looking for wenches in a sinister madhouse. The Mother Superior has agreed to loan them the girls so long as they don’t knock them around too much, because the next lot won’t want damaged goods… It is in this dismal place that we find Ariane, broken, incapable of speech and almost nine months pregnant with Germain’s baby. No one there is aware of her identity except Gaston d’Orléans, who recognises her and decides to take her with him. By doing so, he hopes to discover what has become of Masquerouge, who mysteriously disappeared at the same time as Ariane. Between interrogations, Ariane gives birth to a baby girl, but the child is immediately taken from her and abandoned in the forest. Fortunately, she is discovered by none other than Lenclos, who, by a lucky twist of fate, had never reported the death of his own little girl, Ninon… Having escaped her persecutors, Ariane returns to Paris, where she learns that the Condor who unknowingly had her “killed” was the Hawk she had known as a girl – and her father. She also finds Taillefer, who has become a hired sword in the pay of Gaston d’Orléans. Instead of killing her, however, he chooses to take her under his wing. United by a shared obsession, “the madwoman” and “the assassin” head for the New World to track down the Hawk: Ariane to forgive him and Taillefer to finally confront him. This is how the new series begins, in this return to form for the creators of Les Sept Vies de l’Epervier… The extraordinarily prolific Cothias masterfully weaves fact and fiction, his suggestive humour and thrillingly tragic overtones ever present, while Juillard perfectly captures the infinite range of human experience: despair, solitude, barbarous cruelty, sensuality, humour, and love.