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Rosetta Key, The (An Ethan Gage Adventure)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Anyone looking for a mixture of Flashman, Sharpe, and Indiana Jones with a hint of Dan Brown style mysticism should check out this series. This second book carries on the tales of derring do and treachery, action packed but with some easily digested historical description thrown in as well. It looks like the publishers are obviously aiming to tap into the Da vinci code et al market going by the title and cover design but if any group of fans is going to be disappointed then it will probably be fans of this ilk as the "mysticism" as I've called it, is lightly spread and is not as outrageous as the DaVinci code and quite frankly pretty believable. Mind you there are some outrageous claims as to what Mr Gage may have "invented" during his exploits but it's all good fun. Fans of the other characters mentioned above will find lots to enjoy in here as our hero clambers from one crisis to another. Yes there are some outrageous coincidences, outlandish escapes and a good old fashioned villain but this is well written and fulfils the brief of "page-turner" nicely. No it's not going to win the Booker but on a cold winter's evening you might welcome the suspension of disbelief and wallow in the thrills and spills herein.
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on 22 July 2012
I read the first of these some months ago and immediately bought the second, although it's taken me some time to get around to it.

The story continues on from the first book and Ethan Gage, who is a little like Indiana Jones, is searching for his lost love as well as working for the British to recover an item I'll let you find out. Of course, he is also dodging the French and Napoleon's army.

There is plenty of action and adventure and the characters are well rounded. In fact it has a great little plot, and sub plot, and Ethan Gage is a lovable rogue.

The books is easy to read and well structured and I would recommend.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
This is the first of the Ethan Gage books that I have read. It is pretty obvious it comes out of the USA as the hero is an American loveable rogue. It is a bit like Indiana Jones set in Napoleonic Times.
The story continues from Napoleons Pyramid, and refers back to what happened in that adventure a lot. So I don't feel you have to have read that book to know what is going on, though by doing so you would have a greater insight to his arch enemy. Historically, what is going on in the story is truthful. Such as Napoleons attack on Jaffa and his attack on Acre. Although a few inclusions have been put in, much like Bernard Cornwell did in the Holy Grail series of books.
Our gambling, womanising hero who can it seems escape from more or less any situation keeps the story going at a fair pace of knots.
I personally am not a great fan of books written in the third person, but this was a really enjoyable easy read. If you like swashbuckling at a fast pace this is the book for you. I do, so I loved it.
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on 8 May 2014
The second book in a series though I haven't read the first. Doesn't take itself seriously, but I found the main character, Gage, shallow, shelfish and pretty unloveable. Unfortunately, Dietrich couldn't even get the date of the Templars' arrest right. The year was 1307, not 1309. It's okay for a lighthearted holiday read, but not worth keeping in your library collection.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
First a warning; if you haven't read the preceding Ethan Gage Adventure, Napoleon's Pyramids (Ethan Gage 1), do so before tackling The Rosetta Key. Much of what happens in this second novel featuring Gage relates directly is a direct continuation of events in the first. In fact this book picks up immediately where its predecessor left off. Much of The Rosetta Key will be meaningless without knowledge of how Gage came to be in the predicament we find him in when the book opens.

Assuming that you are familiar with Napoleon's Pyramids and you enjoyed it then The Rosetta Key not only offers a continuation of the story of Gage, Napoleon, Count Silano and the Book of Thoth. It is also easily on a par in terms of enjoyment and excitement. Once again we find Gage dodging assassins, uncovering ancient mysteries, getting caught up in massed battles and sieges, romancing more than one woman and trying to save his own skin. It all rolls along at a fair pace and remains engaging throughout.

Its by no means a perfect book. It feels a little episodic at times, as Gage gets caught up in one adventure after another. Some ideas also work better than others; for example a hidden Templar burial site near Petra in what is now Jordan feels utterly implausible but a fictional tweak to the history of the Rosetta Stone feels pretty believable. The book also goes on rather too long. Like Napoleon's Pyramids this is partly a consequence of having to hang the story off real events, but Dietrich also spins the tale out a little too far. A final episode which takes Gage back to France, whilst it ties the story up in a satisfying if somewhat abrupt manner, would not have been missed if he'd wrapped everything up in North Africa.

These minor niggles aside, The Rosetta Key is still well worth a read. Gage remains an engaging reluctant-hero. The historical mysteries are interesting and for the most part stay on the right side of plausibility. The historical details are also fascinating but whilst its obvious that Dietrich has done his research into Napoleon's failed invasion of the Holy Land the book wears its learning lightly.

The book is also as action packed as its predecessor, and the various battles, fights and chases are all handled with aplomb. Whilst you never really fear for Gage's life (the fact that he acts as narrator tells you that he's unlikely to die even if the opening few paragraphs call that into question) Dietrich prevents the action from becoming too cartoonish and losing any sense of jeopardy. Although Gage's survival is never really in doubt all bets are off when it comes to other characters he meets along the way.

Ignore the somewhat cheesy title of this book that makes it sound like a Dan Brown or Steve Berry rip off. If you enjoy a good historical adventure in the vein of an 19th Century Indiana Jones I can heartily recommend this and The Napoleon Key and I'm looking forward to tackling the next Ethan Gage adventure, The Dakota Cipher (Ethan Gage 3)
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I found the 3rd book of this series in a pound shop, they are very informative books,
so purchased the two previous books, if you like adventure these books are for you.
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on 4 March 2012
Bought for my husband who read it soon after it arrived and very quickly so he must have enjoyed it. So much so that it has been passed on to a friend.
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on 6 October 2014
Excellent read full of twists and turns right to the end did not want to book down will buy more books by same author loved it
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on 3 August 2014
Excellent book blending history and gripping fiction.
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on 2 December 2014
Very good
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