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Napoleon's Pyramidsby William Dietrich
Synopses & Reviews
What mystical secrets lie beneath the Great Pyramids?
The world changes for Ethan Gage — one-time assistant to the renowned Ben Franklin — on a night in post-revolutionary Paris, when he wins a mysterious medallion in a card game. Framed soon after for the murder of a prostitute and facing the grim prospect of either prison or death, the young expatriate American barely escapes France with his life — choosing instead to accompany the new emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, on his glorious mission to conquer Egypt. With Lord Nelson's fleet following close behind, Gage sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. And in a land of ancient wonder and mystery, with the help of a beautiful Macedonian slave, he will come to realize that the unusual prize he won at the gaming table may be the key to solving one of history's greatest and most perilous riddles: who built the Great Pyramids...and why?
"At the start of Dietrich's superb historical thriller, his swashbuckling hero, American Ethan Gage, who's living in Paris during the waning days of the French Revolution and was once apprenticed to Benjamin Franklin, wins a curious Egyptian medallion in a card game. Soon after, he's set upon by thieves, chased by the police, attacked by bandits, befriended by Gypsies, saved by a British spy and then packed off to join Napoleon's army as it embarks on its ill-fated Egyptian campaign. There the story really heats up. Once in Egypt, Gage finds himself beset by evildoers bent on stealing the mysterious medallion. As in previous novels like Hadrian's Walland Scourge of God, Dietrich combines a likable hero surrounded by a cast of fascinating historical characters. Riveting battle scenes, scantily clad women, mathematical puzzles, mysteries of the pharaohs, reckless heroism, hairsbreadth escapes and undaunted courage add up to unbeatable adventure rivaling the exploits of George Macdonald Fraser's Harry Flashman. Readers will cheer as the indomitable Gage floats off in a runaway hot-air balloon, hard on the trail of his next exotic undertaking." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] big, exciting romp that will keep high-concept thriller fans on the edge of their seats." Booklist
"This work is rousing, swashbuckling fun and proof that a good writer can make history not only interesting but an exhilarating romp." Library Journal
"Dietrich evokes the beauty and mystery of Egypt....And he doesn't neglect the thriller part of the historical thriller genre....And all the while, Gage wins us over with his American charm and gumption." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)
"Napoleon's Pyramids is escapist fiction at its ultimate, something to read while you're stuck in traffic — or maybe while you're waiting in line for your turn in a stone sarcophagus." Seattle Times
"It has a plot as satisfying as an Indiana Jones film and offers enough historical knowledge to render the reader a fascinating raconteur on the topics of ancient Egypt and Napoleon Bonaparte....History aside, it's the lovable Gage who makes Napoleon's Pyramids a winner." USA Today
"A magnificent adventure, shot through with mystery....A marvelous tale." Bernard Cornwell, author of The Last Kingdom
"Dietrich...is never less than authoritative, but when a storyteller's setting is more interesting than his characters, his novel's in trouble." Kirkus Reviews
"With the recent wave of stories centered on cryptic codes, ancient icons and sacred books thought to be forever lost, Napoleon's Pyramids leaps to the top of the heap with its highly intellectual approach....
An 18th-century explorer travels to Egypt as part of Napoleon's great expedition and stumbles into a deadly 6,000-year-old mystery, in this surprise hit by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Scourge of God and Hadrian's Wall.
“A frothy, swashbuckling tale of high adventure….Escapist fiction at its ultimate.”
“It has a plot as satisfying as an Indiana Jones film and offers enough historical knowledge to render the reader a fascinating raconteur on the topics of ancient Egypt and Napoleon Bonaparte.”
About the Author
William Dietrich is the author of the novels Hadrian's Wall and Scourge of God, and is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, historian, and naturalist. He lives in Washington State.
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