vatel_yann_bk_tkc vatel_yann_bk_tcg vatel_yann_bk_tdr
Full Name: Yann Vatel
Series Name: Ascalon Circle Series
Nationality: French
Organization: MI6
Occupation Other - Pilot

Creator: Rachel Relat
Time Span: 2020 - 2022


Yann Vatel is a pilot.

In the detail sheet above it is listed that he is associated with British Intelligence and for the recorded adventures we have of him that is true but no further. Vatel is a Frenchman who enjoys flying and has chosen that as his career and has no desire to branch into anything else; certainly there is no interest in the espionage game. That does not mean, though, that others in that Great Game do not have the occasional interest in him.

We first meet him in the year 1938 when he is located at a tiny airstrip hidden in plain sight in the burning Chalbi Desert within site of the interesting Mount Marsabit. When he is not trying to stay out of the brutal heat and dust of that land, he flies airmail trips along the Nairobi route. He has been doing that for nearly three years. Before, he had operated a bit further east in Somalia flying cargo planes until an incident there prompted a move (he does not expand on that and it seems prudent to not pry).

Vatel is a man who definitely gets around. A brief recap of his life before our meeting has him for a time flying mail routes in the Argentine Andes in South America and working out of Portugal just before the start of the Spanish Civil War. There almost certainly were other locales he flew into and over; the point being that Vatel at the time of the first adventure was a well seasoned pilot with a love of the sky and an enjoyment of diversity in terrain.

I had mentioned a lack of interest in Intelligence work, preferring flying over anything else - including any long term personal relationship. There had, though, been a few brushes with such work in the past. This includes two very brief incidents in his past where he was asked to fly quick flights ferrying a man or two, both times on behalf of the British Royal Air Force and both times where Vatel was certain the men were involved in Intelligence work. He had not desire to learn any more.

Those two times, a few years in the past and both one-off's, were what prompted MI6 to seek him out for another ferrying service. That and a previous matter with the beautiful and often enigmatic Elizabeth Kelly, an Irish woman who had tired of Ireland and its IRA problems and had shifted to Istanbul, eventually creating an impressive intelligence network she named Cuchulain after a mythical being. Vatel and Kelly have an interesting relationship.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2020
Last Appearance:2022

There are, as of this writing in March of 2022, 2 books in the series in print. The third one mentioned below is touted on the author's website as coming in 2024.

1 The Dragon Run The Dragon Run
Written by Rachel Relat
Copyright: 2020

"In 1938, French pilot Yann Vatel is recruited by the British Secret Intelligence Service to ferry a scientist from Stockholm to London before his discoveries can be tapped by German intelligence. With hostile forces on their heels and war brewing, will they manage to fly to safety in time?"
buy from Amazon

2 The Kerguelen Cat The Kerguelen Cat
Written by Rachel Relat
Copyright: 2021

"1940. War has consumed Europe. From Bombay, the Ascalon Circle uncovers a plot that puts the entire Allied Forces in peril. Caught between a formidable foe and unlikely alliances, French pilot Yann Vatel embarks on a series of events that will put him on his most dangerous flight."
buy from Amazon

3 The Commodore's Gold The Commodore's Gold
Written by Rachel Relat
Copyright: 2022

COMING IN 2024: "A Consolidated Commodore flying-boat on a cross-country flight has disappeared in the Canadian wilderness. Onboard are secrets vital to the Allied war effort... and $550,000 worth of gold. Yann Vatel and Sir Timothy Lipton, of the British SOE's Ascalon task force, join forces with an enigmatic OSS agent to salvage the precious cargo from its murky grave before others can get their hands on it. But the enemy is well informed, perhaps too well, and Yann is about to realize he signed up for more than a mere treasure hunt."


I really liked reading about Vatel but I especially enjoyed it whenever Elizabeth Kelly came onto the scene. Both characters have a ton of personality and each almost steals the scene from the other.

It is with a great deal of respect and admiration that I state that these adventures have a feel of the old magazine-era adventures common in the 40s. Not in the pulp style where everything was way over the top (though I do love those) but more like the world is finally opening up to one and all. Hard to describe but definitely something I enjoyed a lot.


My Grade: B+


Be the first to leave your own comments about this series.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

SpyGuysAndGals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and links with the Buy from Amazon button are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.