2006 1st edition; Delacorte Press publishers, New York; hardbound in tangerine and black boards with gilt stamp lettering on cover and along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
Opening in Lithuania during 1941, Hannibal Lecter is eight years old and living in a castle with his parents and sister, Mischa. With the castle located near the eastern front of World War II, the Lecter family escapes to their lodge to elude the advancing German troops. With the castle abandoned, it is soon raided by Germans and civilians aiding them, their hidden art collection among the stolen loot. Three years later, an advancing Soviet tank stops at the Lecter family's lodge looking for water, only to be bombed by a German Stuka, the explosion killing all but the children. Surviving in the lodge, Hannibal and Mischa are captured when six deserters appear: Vladis Grutas, Zigmas Milko, Bronys Grentz, Enrikas Dortlich, Petras Kolnas and Kazys Porvik. Storming and looting the lodge, they lock the Lecters in the barn. Running low on supplies, the soldiers soon take Mischa; realizing they intend to cannibalize her, Hannibal tries to stop them, only to have his arm broken before he blacks out.
Hannibal is later spotted by a Soviet tank crew, wearing shackles and rendered mute. Returned to Lecter Castle, now a Soviet orphanage, Hannibal is found to be irreparably traumatized by the ordeal. Removed from the orphanage by his uncle Robert Lecter, Hannibal goes to live with him in France with his aunt, Lady Murasaki. Visiting a marketplace with his aunt, Lecter assaults butcher Paul Momund when he insults Murasaki. Count Lecter, learning of the slight against his wife, violently confronts the butcher and collapses and subsequently dies from a heart attack. Losing most of the Count's estate to death duties, Lecter and Murasaki move across France, and Lecter flourishes as a medical student, assisting by preparing cadavers for lessons...