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Napoleon's Pyramids (An Ethan Gage Adventure) [Paperback]

William Dietrich
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Jan 2011 An Ethan Gage Adventure
What mystical secrets lie beneath the Great Pyramids? Traveling with Napoleon's great expedition, American adventurer Ethan Gage solves a 6,000 year old riddle with the help of a mysterious medallion.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (10 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749009365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749009366
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm an American novelist and non-fiction author, with a bestselling HarperCollins series on American adventurer Ethan Gage in the Napoleonic era that has sold into 31 languages. My newest novel, another Ethan, is "The Three Emperors," available May 6, 2014. It is the seventh book in the Ethan Gage series, and follows "The Barbed Crown," published in May of 2013. The paperback version of "The Barbed Crown" will be available in May of 2014.

My nonfiction works centers on the Pacific Northwest. An upcoming nonfiction book is "The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal In the Wild Nearby," a coffee table book from Mountaineers Press. It will appear September 15, 2014.

I began my writing career as a newspaper reporter in 1973,sharing a Pulitzer at the Seattle Times for coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. I also taught for five years at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment.

I published my first non-fiction book, "The Final Forest," in 1992. It was updated in 2010 to "The Final Forest: Big Trees, Forks, and the Pacific Northwest." It won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Governor Writers Award.

I followed that with "Northwest Passage: The Great Columbia River," still in print.

My first novel, "Ice Reich," came in 1998 and is a World War II thriller based on a real-life Nazi expedition to Antarctica. This bestseller is still available as an ebook.

My other novels:

"Getting Back." An eco-thriller set in the Australian Outback in the near future.

"Dark Winter." A killer is on the loose among the personnel at America's South Pole base. Creepy!

"Hadrian's Wall." Love, war, and conspiracy during the late Roman Empire.

"The Scourge of God." A young couple must survive the invasion of the empire by Attila the Hun.

"Blood of the Reich." A contemporary Seattle woman sees her car blown up and learns of her horrific connection to a 70-year-old Nazi conspiracy that will take her to Tibet and Germany.

And the Ethan Gage novels:

"Napoleon's Pyramids." Our American hero accompanies Napoleon's 1798 invasion of Egypt and grapples with pyramid mysteries.

"The Rosetta Key." Ethan and his companion Astiza are caught up in Bonaparte's 1799 invasion of the Holy Land and his ascension to power in France.

"The Dakota Cipher." Norse mysteries play a role in a struggle for power on the Great Lakes frontier.

"The Barbary Pirates." Ethan and his scientist friends find an ancient super-weapon coveted by pirates who are at war with America.

"The Emerald Storm." A stolen emerald leads Ethan and his new family into peril in Haiti and the lush, perilous isles of the Caribbean.

"The Barbed Crown." Ethan finds himself a spy as Napoleon prepares to crown himself emperor and France challenges England at the naval showdown of Trafalgar.

"The Three Emperors." Seeking to reunited with Astiza and his son Harry in 1805, Ethan must survive the battle of Austerlitz and hunt down a medieval machine that can foretell the future.

Additional nonfiction includes:

"On Puget Sound." With Art Wolfe photos.

"Natural Grace." Essays on plants and animals in my native Pacific Northwest.

"Green Fire: A History of Huxley College." The nation's first dedicated environmental college.

As you can see, I'm curious about many things. I also enjoy research.

Travel for my novels has taken me to the Arctic, Antarctic, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Australia, Sicily, Greece, Paris, Britain, Hungary, Tibet...hey, someone's got to do it. I've traveled on a sailboat in the South Pacific, landed on an aircraft carrier, flown in a B-52, visited the South Pole, and been terrified flying with the Blue Angels.

As a journalist, I was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, won National Science Foundation fellowships to Antarctica, and speak frequently on environmental issues. I've covered Congress, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, the environment, science, social issues - even the military. I've traveled frequently for my writing, but live in the Pacific Northwest where I was born. I'm married, with two grown children.

I live in a house looking out at the San Juan Islands, between Vancouver and Seattle, surrounded by fir, cedar, and hemlock, and sometimes get to watch bald eagles while I'm writing. Connecting with readers is one of life's biggest thrills.

My website is

Product Description


'A magnificent adventure, shot through with mystery. A marvellous tale!' BERNARD CORNWELL 'Superb historical thriller ... Riveting battle scenes, scantily clad women, mathematical puzzles, mysteries of the pharaohs, reckless heroism, hairsbreadth escapes, and undaunted courage add up to an unbeatable adventure' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY(*Starred Review*)

About the Author

William Dietrich is a novelist, Pulitzer-winning journalist, historian and naturalist.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking adventure 13 Jan 2011
The title suggests there may be a "for fans of the Da Vinci Code" motto somewhere amongst the blurb and it's a relief to report that there isn't. Bernard Cornwell has given this book his approval though so that's got to be good, and indeed any fans of Cornwell's will not be disappointed with this. Sure there are the almost statutory links to the freemasons and cliche follows cliche with lots of derring-do and unlikely escapes and coincidences, but somehow, for me, it hangs together well and complies with all that is required for a light-hearted page turning adventure.
It's a bit like Flashman meets Sharpe to be honest; there is more light hearted japery in this book than in Cornwell's books and more blood and guts action than in Flashman though, so it straddles the divide nicely. I can't vouch for the historical accuracy or not and the story veers off into some more "fanciful" areas in any case, but it stands up well against Dan Brown and his ilk as you don't have to suspend disbelief too much.
It would appear that this book came out in the States three years ago so hopefully the follow ups will come out pretty soon as I for one am waiting eagerly for the next installment. This book won't win any literary prizes but is a good and engaging thriller, just right for dark winter nights or for the beach if you want to wait for summer to enjoy it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller 25 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a really great surprise, i like the odd trashy thriller, something to give the old brain a rest between some of the more challenging reads, an a good thriller is usually the way to go.

What should you expect, lots of the usual cliches, and yes this book has them, lots of the usual OTT action that any sane person would either avoid or die in, but our hero survives, but that's not the point of these books, the point is to be OTT and to thrill and excite and this book covers that in spades. It also lends a little more credibility that the average thriller which makes it more readable and it does it without taking it out of the adventure thriller market.

Im really looking forward to more Ethan Gage novels, they make for a fun diverting read.



Description (from back of book)
Revolutionary Paris, 1798. Adventurer Ethan Gage - gambler, sharpshooter and pupil of the late Benjamin Franklin - wins a mysterious medallion in a card game. Within hours he is framed for murder and, facing the grim prospect of either prison or death, he barely escapes France with his life, choosing to accompany the ambitious young general Napoleon Bonaparte on his glorious mission to conquer Egypt.

With Horatio Nelson's fleet following close behind, Gage sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. But even as he hurtles into war, Gage is pursued by shadowy enemies who seem determined to lay their hands on the baffling medallion, and the powers it could unlock, at all costs. In a race against time and terrain, he must find the answer to one of history's greatest riddles, before it is too late...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised by a great adventure 23 Feb 2011
By orgap
Pleasantly surprised by what an excellent book this is. I read it at first for the historical setting and was dubious about the mystery/thriller element, but Dietrich proved himself as the story went on to be such a good writer - very witty and self-aware - that I was won over by the mystery element too. Ethan Gage is also a great character as the accidental but very winning hero, at times quite indignant about his plight but always scraping through.

I was pleased also by the attention to historical detail - or rather, how well Dietrich fits his fictional hero and story into real events (Napoleon's invasion of Egypt) - and impressed by how Dietrich's language alters from lively & amusing dialogue to quite evocative descriptions of the beautiful landscapes Ethan Gage travels through.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a well written and new historical, adventure, or thriller novel.

Already looking forward to the next adventure!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Bill Dietrich is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist whose fiction books have thus far taken his readers from the Roman Empire (Hadrian's Wall, The Scourge of God) to futuristic Australia (Getting Back) and Antarctica (Ice Reich).

In his novel, Napoleon's Pyramids, Bill combines Napoleonic history and Egyptology with a fictional American adventurer (and assistant to Ben Franklin) named Ethan Gage. The result of this combination is a fast-paced action and fact filled novel paralleling and involving Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in the 1790's.

I read this novel in three consecutive nights. It is one of those "difficult to put down" reads.

Ethan Gage wins a mysterious medallion in a card game in Paris just after the revolution. Many people covet it, and one thinks it worth murder, as Ethan gets framed for the murder of a call girl. Forcibly enlisted into Napoleon's army of savants heading to Egypt, Ethan and his fellow Mason's embark on a quest to help Napoleon unlock the power of the pyramids, to aid in his quest for global domination. Ethan, who has until this point meandered aimlessly through life, is forced to decide what he believes in, and if he discovered the secrets of the Pyramids (with the help of a mysterious woman, the savants and Egyptian sages), will he hand over the secrets to Napoleon for his uses, or keep them safe from the hands of men?

My favorite parts of this novel are the historical descriptions: the filth and beauty of Paris of that time; the terror of the sea journey with Napoleon across the Mediterranean; the annihilation of the French fleet docked near Alexandria by British Admiral Nelson; and the well written mathematical descriptions of the pyramids and the puzzles surrounding them (Fibonacci number sequences in an action novel?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling historical adventure based on facts
What a great read! Hugely enjoyable and reads like you're watching the movie, with Indiana jones and the Napoleonic savants. Read more
Published 4 months ago by REO
5.0 out of 5 stars A romp through history
This first Ethan Gage novel was a wonderful discovery. Great style, humour, wit, historical detail and a hero I would go out drinking with any time. Read more
Published 5 months ago by J. D. Kilcommons
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read - part of a set of books
Fascinating read, dealing with napoleons strategy linked with an ancient Egyptian artefact and the search for power, that has been hidden for many years.
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Art history, romance and adventure: A delightful find
20% of the way through "Napoleon's Pyramids", I was back on Amazon downloading every book in the series available on Kindle. Read more
Published on 11 Feb 2012 by Elferrara
4.0 out of 5 stars A great historical novel.
After reading this book I ordered the next (the Rosetta key) one in the series. A fairly well written novel with a good story line. A little slow in places but a good read. Read more
Published on 1 Feb 2012 by Chris
4.0 out of 5 stars Raiders of the lost scrolls
For the first 48% or so of this book (according to my Kindle) this was pretty hard work. I didn't like the protagonist particularly, he seemed virtually indestructible - escaping... Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2012 by Kenneth F. Mcara
2.0 out of 5 stars Started well but...
This started off as an interesting Dan Brown-esque chase but soon, for me, deteriorated when it went into great (and dull) historical detail about Napoleon's Egyptian expedition. Read more
Published on 26 Oct 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical Action Adventure
I think someone said this is like Indiana Jones, set with a Napoleonic backdrop, and that would be a fair summing up of the plot. Read more
Published on 10 Sep 2011 by Roger Cave
2.0 out of 5 stars Indianna Jones Again
This was a disappointing read. It is a book for children with a bit of sex thrown in. The plot has so many holes in it that it should have sunk to the bottom of the Nile along... Read more
Published on 30 Aug 2011 by maxdiff
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and such fun
I only just bought my Kindle and chose this amongst my first downloads because I liked the sound of it. Read more
Published on 30 Aug 2011 by Mary
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