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The Rosetta Key (Ethan Gage Adventures Book 2) Kindle Edition

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Length: 371 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Last seen in Dietrich's Napoleon's Pyramids, fleeing the forces of evil in a runaway hot-air balloon over Egypt, Ethan Gage undergoes further life-threatening adventures in this rollicking sequel. Nine months before the balloon incident, Gage arrived in the Holy Land with his benefactor, Napoleon Bonaparte. After various misunderstandings involving the secrets of the Great Pyramid, Bonaparte became his implacable enemy. Now, accused of treason by Napoleon's minions, Pierre Najac and Najac's boss, the French-Italian count and sorcerer Alessandro Silano, Gage flees to Jerusalem, where he searches for his former lover, Astiza, who he fears has fallen into Silano's hands. Gage is also hunting clues that may lead him to the fabled Book of Toth, an ancient tome that promises to reveal the secrets of the universe. Ever the incorrigible gambler and all-around scamp, Gage makes an irresistible antihero. The ending promises more volumes in what one hopes will be a long series. 8-city author tour. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The sequel to Napoleon’s Pyramids (2007)picks up pretty much where that book left off. Ethan Gage, the American adventurer, having barely escaped death during his time in Egypt with Napoleon, is looking for a little peace and quiet, but when he’s approached with another can’t-miss Indiana Jones–like treasure hunt, he’s off again, this time to find the fabled Book of Thoth, the possibly apocryphal ancient Egyptian scroll with supposedly magical properties. Much capering about late-eighteenth-century Egypt results, with Gage dodging all variety of assailants while attempting to get his hands on yet another elusive artifact with the power to both entrance and corrupt all who seek it. Like Napoleon’s Pyramids, this is a fast-paced, lively historical-adventure yarn that combines entertaining characters, an intriguing story, and lots of derring-do. Dietrich has a real knack for these slightly over-the-top thrillers, and readers familiar with the work of, say, James Rollins or Matthew Reilly (7 Deadly Wonders, 2006, for example) need only be told that this fine novel is right up their alley. --David Pitt

Product Details

  • File Size: 933 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (March 17, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 17, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0013TX7BG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,217 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I'm a novelist and non-fiction author of twenty-one books, the latest of which is "Napoleon's Rules: Life and Career Lessons from Bonaparte." (March, 2015.) This nonfiction examination of Napoleon's life and maxims is an inspiring and cautionary tale for leaders, entrepreneurs, officers, or anyone with ambition and curiosity.

I published two books in the fall of 2014. One is my first young adult/adult thriller, "The Murder of Adam and Eve." This time-travel tale set in prehistoric Africa has two 16-year-olds, Nick Brynner and Eleanor Terrell, trying to save our genetic ancestors from annihilation by an alien race. It's a coming of age story, survival story, love story, and environmental fable.

The other is a nonfiction coffee table-type book called "The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the Wild Nearby." The Mountaineers Books publication has more than 200 photos and illustrations and is a gorgeous read.

Meanwhile, my bestselling HarperCollins series continues to feature American adventurer Ethan Gage in the Napoleonic era, and has sold into 28languages. The latest is "The Three Emperors." 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" is out now.

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, 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, 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In 1799 he was fortunate to survive the evil of NAPOLEON'S PYRAMIDS thanks to a hot air balloon ride across the Sahara but now expatriate Ethan Gage is in danger again in the Holy Land as Napoleon's army march towards Jerusalem. Gage and Bonaparte had gotten into a dispute over the Great Pyramid power leading to the French dictator proclaiming him an enemy of the state.

Napoleon's followers Count Alessandro Silano and his aide Pierre Najac declare Gage a dangerous traitor to France placing a price for his head. Knowing the peril he faces, Gage fears more for his former lover Astiza as a pawn if the lethal sorcerer Silano captures her. Thus he rushes to Jerusalem to keep her safe, which fits with his other quest perfectly as he follows clues in search of the revered legendary Book of Thoth, an ancient tome that allegedly knows the magical underlying secrets of the universe.

Using real persona, sites and events (not just Napoleon), William Dietrich writes a terrific historical thriller starring a late eighteenth century Hans Solo impish rogue. The story line is fast-paced but also brings alive the Holy Land. This is one series worth reading as Mr. Dietrich provides THE ROSETTA KEY to how Napoleon consolidated his power.

Harriet Klausner
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on May 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
At the end of his first adventure, "Napoleon's Pyramids," American adventurer Ethan Gage was fleeing Egypt in a hot air balloon when his lover Astiza tumbled over the side and into the Nile with the evil sorcerer Silano. (Trust me, this will not spoil the reading for those who haven't got there yet.)

At the beginning of Gage's second adventure he is again in the Holy Land, now facing a Napoleonic firing squad. And just before the guns blaze, he digresses, falling back to describe what has happened since readers last saw him.

Determined to find Astiza, he had agreed to do a little spying for the British who set him down in Palestine with the names of some allies in Jerusalem, Jericho and his lovely sister Miriam. While there, Gage figured he might as well continue his search for the Book of Thoth, an ancient scroll said to contain the secrets of the universe. The French are determined to beat him to this prize.

Pursuing leads in Jerusalem, he discovered a secret passage under Jerusalem's most sacred mosque. A step ahead of the French, he managed to bring the fury and alarm of Jerusalem's Muslims down on his little group, along with the French, who captured him. And that's how he ends up in front of the firing squad.

Suffice to say, he survives and continues his adventures, romances and intrigues with nary a dull moment from first page to last. Reminiscent of George MacDonald Fraser's Sir Harry Flashman - though not quite as outrageous or hilarious - Gage schemes and blunders his way through pivotal moments of history, roused to heroism despite his baser ambitions.

While greater character development could make the narrative more compelling, the series is entertaining and witty and sure to acquire new fans with every book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on May 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Catapulted into Jerusalem in dogged pursuit of an ancient Egyptian scroll reputed to have magical properties, American adventurer Ethan Gage is forced to apply all his wits and archaeological prowess to prevent dark powers from falling into the wrong hands. BT.
This is a good follow up from William Dietrich's previous Ethan Gage novel. There's something very likeable about Gage that helps make this story so entertaining. With good characters and a suspenseful and mystery solving plot, this is fiction you're sure to enjoy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on June 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There are basically two kinds of novels. One is the literary sort that all the intelligentsia consider to be the only ones worthy of reading--and which, as any publisher can tell you, rarely are.

Then there are the ones that do get read--and this is a prime example. It's not that there's anything terribly original about it, but then, there rarely is in a picaresque novel. It's the very familiarity of the form that allows us to settle down with a nice cold beverage and a bag of something crunchy and just have one whale of a good time.

I missed Mr. Dietrich's first book in this series but no matter--he does an excellent job of providing the necessary backstory without allowing it to be intrusive or repetitive. Which is a good thing because pacing is vital to the success of action-adventure. Be prepared to have a hard time getting anything else done, because just when you think you'll have time to catch your breath the next disaster hits and you're off again.

This book is precisely what it needs to be: superb entertainment with a character of both flaws and virtues, the latter sometimes in spite of himself. No cliches here, except for the ones that fans expect--and howl loudly if they don't get them.

Read it. It's fun.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte set forth to invade and conquer the Holy Land following his successful conquest of Egypt the year before. The difference in this attack is that Napoleon is set apart from his own navy, which had gone down to defeat at the hands of the British Commander, Admiral Nelson. Bonaparte gambled on the premise that a relatively small group of dedicated fighters would be enough to overthrow the Ottoman Empire. If successful in this endeavor, Napoleon would have had the power to change the face of world history and permanently affect the balance of power in the European empire. He did not expect that an unlikely alliance of British, Muslim and French royalists in the city of Acre were preparing to make a stand to stop his siege. This event is the centerpiece of THE ROSETTA KEY.

William Dietrich returns to the familiar genre of historical fiction as the background of this engaging and fast-moving novel. Even though THE ROSETTA KEY is a sequel to NAPOLEON'S PYRAMIDS, it may be enjoyed as a stand-alone tale. The hero this time is American adventurer Ethan Gage, who is sort of like a cross between Indiana Jones and Jack Sparrow --- including all the wisecracks and sarcasm. Gage finds himself torn in allegiance between following Napoleon's French forces and supporting the British military that is opposing Bonaparte.

The bottom line for Gage is that he is involved in this saga due to his own pursuit of adventure and treasure --- and switches allegiances so many times that you begin to lose count. In addition to reclaiming his lost love, Astiza (who was taken from him at the end of NAPOLEON'S PYRAMIDS), Gage is on the trail of the ancient Book of Thoth - which may hold the key to immortality.
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