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A King's Ransom

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This article is associated with Series 2 of the 39 CluesThis article is associated with A King's Ransom
A King's Ransom
A King's Ransom
Author:Jude Watson
Publication Date:December 6, 2011
Pages:190
Setting:Florence, Italy; Lucerne, Switzerland; Basel, Switzerland; Kutná Hora, Czech Republic; Prague, Czech Republic
Preceded By:The Medusa Plot
Followed By:The Dead Of Night

A King's Ransom, written by Jude Watson, is the second book in the Cahills vs. Vespers series.

Plot

In the beginning of the book, Amy and Dan are wandering in Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence when they come across a girl named Vanessa Mallory, who is actually Cheyenne Wyoming in disguise and use her as a distraction in order to get into the train for Lucerne, Switzerland where Vesper One is sending them for their next mission: find the de Virga map. Once they're on the train, they realized that they were tricked, and an Interpol agent named Milos Vanek, tried to hunt them down. But, they manage to escape the train by hiding inside other people's luggage bags, into Enderberg.

Their first shot to find the map is the auction house in Lucerne, and they have to be disguised as rich people to succeed. Inside the house, they sneak in to the office and get the de Virga Map archives written in German. Ian translates it, revealing that these 4 people, Otto Hummer the professor, Jane Sperling the socialite, Marcel Maubert the art dealer, and Reginald Tawnley the person who owned a private library, have something to do with the map. Unfortunately, the report about Amy and Dan's criminal heists have reached the auction house, and they have to sneak out by creating diversions.

Later, William McIntyre meets Amy and Dan Cahill but Dan pushes him in to the river. After that they were inside a Blue Sedan, Then William gives Any and Dan a GPS wrist watch, and dropped them off at a Safe House in Basel. Then Sinead and Evan shares the information they have gathered of the four listed people. Maubert and Tawnley died in war, Hummel worked in the Nazi party, and Jane is a Jew who is thought to have tried to protect the de Virga map, which was owned by a Jewish family.

Meanwhile, Dan is making progress of gathering ingredients to create the Master Serum, which seems to be a backup if anything goes not according to plan. Amy has pieced all the informations she and the center gathered, and concludes that they have to search Neuschwanstein Castle.

After calling for backup, Jonah and Hamilton both come to Munich on their way to the castle but they accidentally pick up Cheyenne Wyoming and are nearly killed. Meanwhile, Amy and Dan find a black notebook owned by Sparrow, a.k.a. Jane Sperling at the castle. Inside is a note that probably will lead them to the location of the de Virga map. By another stroke of bad luck, Casper bumps into them, and almost kills them, but Jonah and Hamilton came to the rescue.

Analysis comes from the command center about the notes: they are about a Johannes Kepler book that was recovered from the castle to the Library of Philosophy and Cosmology in Prague, Czech Republic. They head there to investigate the book, but can't without a reference paper. They try to use Mark Rosenbloom, but it's still not a success. At the hotel, they again escape from Milos Vanek.

After going to Sedlec Ossuary on a hunch from the Command Center, they discover a flash drive file about a Vesper One report and the initials AJT, Arthur Josiah Trent, carved on the wall, which shocks Dan because it proves that Arthur was a Vesper. They then call Erasmus, who answers all their questions about Arthur. He explains how Arthur was initiated into the Vespers but later cut off all ties with them. Afterwards, Ian calls to tell Amy that a Lucian professor has agreed to help Dan and Amy enter the Library of Philosophy.

After going to the library, they bump into Jake and Atticus outside. Although Jake is originally inclined to call the Interpol, Atticus urges him to wait upon seeing the picture of Jane Sperling, who is his great grandmother. Atticus and Jake both decide to help the siblings. Inside, Katja Mavel, the director of the library, gives them what they want. Jake succeed in luring her away, and that leaves Dan, Amy, and Atticus. They finally find the map inside the book itself.
Google Map Journey of Amy and Dan Journey Kings Ransom

Amy and Dan's Journey in google maps

Later, the Cahill siblings are trapped inside the room (Atticus managed to get out), and Casper activated the HALON Gas (which remove the oxygen in the room) but with Dan's and Evan's hacking skills combined, the siblings make it out alive.

Meanwhile, in Rome, William McIntyre is killed by a Vesper dressed like a waiter. He left a secret message in his shoe before he died.

Back in Prague, Amy and Dan reveal their true intention about what they're doing, and Atticus reveals his involvement as a Guardian. The siblings had never heard of the group before. Dan manages to make a connection with Il Milione and the map: it's Samarkand, Uzbekistan - possibly the next stop for the next heist. Vesper One asks them to drop off the package at the Astronomical Tower, near the statue of Jan Hus. They do what has been asked, but it goes wrong. Atticus comes and is kidnapped.

Vesper One now knows Dan and Amy have been hiding Marco Polo's epilogue all this time, and explains that Atticus was the price of keeping it from him. Minutes later, another message goes to Dan's phone, sent from AJT.

In the audiobook, there is an audio extra featuring Arthur Trent's Vesper Oath Ceremony.

Puzzles

  • On the bottom left space of the statue are the words, "Find Stan."
  • If you look on the outside cover, on the bottom of the statue, there is a crack shaped like the country Uzbekistan.
  • The eagle on the inside Cover says "I will move the Earth."
  • The puzzle on the pages says 'Sand reckoner.' You need to answer it as 'Sandreckoner' for it to count as correct. Both of these puzzles are references to Archimedes, who was an ancient Greek scientist.

Description From Amazon.com

Amy and Dan are in a race for their lives . . . and the enemy may be even closer than they think. When seven members of their family were kidnapped by a sinister organization known as the Vespers, thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, vowed they'd stop at nothing to bring the hostages home. But then the ransom comes in and the Vespers demand the impossible. Amy and Dan have just days to track down and steal an ancient map. The only catch? No one has seen the map for half a century.

Now Amy and Dan are on a desperate search that will lead them to the Nazis, spies, a mad king and some of history's dirtiest secrets. It's the race of their lives . . . and one misstep will mean certain death for the hostages.


Vesper Letter

Hello, Cahill Friends,

What good little criminals you are! Up for another caper? I need a stale orb. Yes, you read that right-a stale orb. Can't figure out what that means? Sadly, it's not my problem. Just put what I want directly into my happy hands. Seven of your relatives are still enjoying my hospitality, and it won't be pretty if I get sad. :(

Vesper One

Cards

Card272 Card273 Card274 Card275 Card276 Card277

Trivia

  • The Virga map was made by Albertinus de Virga, a 15th C. Venetian cartographer, between 1411 and 1415. Its wind rose is centered in Central Asia and more specifically--in the observatory of Ulugh Begh in the Mongol city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan.The extension shows a calendar with depictions of the signs of the zodiac and a table to calculate lunar positions. There are hints that the map was retracted from the auction by the auction-house Gilhofer and Ranschburg in Lucerne. The story is not clear. The map later disappeared during WWII with its owners--a Jewish family from Heidelberg, Germany. They were probably abducted and assassinated by Vespers.
  • The Number code (I.E.: 1.24.4) Spells out 'Sand Reckoner', but the website will only accept this answer if typed in as one word, "sandreckoner".
  • It is revealed in the 39 Clues website that one of the locations Amy and Dan will be visiting will be Sedlec Ossuary, a small Roman Catholic chapel in Sedlec, which is a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic.
  • It is also revealed that someone who is thought to be dead is alive. On the last page it is revealed to be Arthur Trent.
  • William McIntyre is killed, possibly by Vesper One or Vesper Five. William knew the killer.
  • It is revealed that there is another group of people called the Gurdians that are protecting something, but what they are protecting is not clear. Atticus Rosenbloom is one of them.
  • It is revealed that Atticus' mother knew Grace, and that she left Atticus a mysterious message right before she died, which Atticus has never been able to understand.
  • Instead of a hostage being released, another one is taken, who is revealed to be Atticus Rosenbloom.
  • Cheyenne Wyoming takes 2 different disguises throughout the book.
  • Amy and Dan meet Casper Wyoming directly for the first time since Vespers Rising. This time he has a knife with him and an urge to kill only one Cahill sibling. Cheyenne also tries to kill the Cahill Siblings in the book.

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