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The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage Series #4)
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The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage Series #4)

3.9 34
by William Dietrich

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As dazzling and action packed as the best novels of James Rollins, George MacDonald Fraser, and Steve Berry, The Barbary Pirates will have readers cheering for William Dietrich and his dashing hero, Ethan Gage!

Swashbuckling American explorer and ladies' man Ethan Gage has seen his fair share of danger, having braved the sands of Egypt, the perils of the


As dazzling and action packed as the best novels of James Rollins, George MacDonald Fraser, and Steve Berry, The Barbary Pirates will have readers cheering for William Dietrich and his dashing hero, Ethan Gage!

Swashbuckling American explorer and ladies' man Ethan Gage has seen his fair share of danger, having braved the sands of Egypt, the perils of the Atlantic Ocean, and the harsh wilderness of early America. Once more, he finds himself in a desperate race—this time with the Barbary Pirates, a powerful band of Muslim outlaws from North Africa. Also after Ethan is his nemesis—and former lover—Aurora Somerset, member of a dangerous sect called the Egyptian Rite. The prize is the Mirror of Archimedes, an ancient superweapon that, according to legend, once burned a Roman fleet with its power. In 1802, this death ray could tip the balance of power in the Mediterranean, and Ethan must stop the pirates from using it against the American, English, and French fleets.

From the salons and brothels of the Palais Royal of Paris, where the quest for information about his lost love Astiza involves real-life scientists and engineers—including inventor Robert Fulton—Ethan must travel at Napoleon's behest to the canals of Venice, the caves of Santorini, the dungeons of Tripoli, and finally to treachery on the high seas in the Mediterranean.

Can Ethan rescue Astiza without betraying the cause of his own United States? Can he save the two-year-old son he only recently discovered he had without allowing the Egyptian Rite to finally dominate the world? And when the sun rises on the Mirror of Archimedes, will everything Ethan cares about be set afire?

Delivering the fast-paced adventure, uncanny wit, and page-turning historical excitement that readers have come to expect from the masterful William Dietrich, The Barbary Pirates is Ethan Gage at his winningest, most hilarious, and most death defying.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dietrich's fourth entry in the Ethan Gage series (after The Dakota Cipher) continues the high-octane saga of the intrepid diplomat during the reign of Napoleon. Our hero is in Paris with his three “savant” friends, British geologist William Smith, French zoologist George Cuvier, and fellow American, inventor Robert Fulton. Napoleon dispatches the quartet to chase down the rumor of the fabled mirror of Archimedes, a fantastical prop straight out of science fiction that can emit a death ray. Things turn sticky when Gage's old arch nemesis, the Egyptian Rite, a ruthless cabal out to rule the world, joins the race to grab the death ray for their own evil designs. On his perilous journey from Paris east across the Mediterranean Sea, Gage meets up with British femme fatale Lady Aurora Somerset, Egyptian lover Astiza, and, of course, the savage Barbary Pirates. His quest takes him aboard Fulton's submarine, steaming into the exotic port of Tripoli to a violent, if far-fetched climax. A heart-stomping pulpy yarn, Gage's narrow escapes, hardboiled banter, and unexpected surprises ensure Dietrich's imaginative page-turner will enjoy a long and lively run. (Apr.)
“Dietrich works real characters and historical events into the mix, expertly blending fact and fiction. Fans of the earlier Gage novels will definitely want to read this one, but the book should be heartily recommended to all action-adventure lovers.”
Daily News
“Attention to those of you who like thrillers to be high-concept, historical and swash-buckling!”
USA Today
“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.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“[Dietrich’s] most successful novel yet — a puzzle-laden page turner.”
Sacramento Bee
“Gage has many of the same moves as the late George MacDonald Fraser’s irresistible anti-hero, Sir Harry Flashman.”
Sporatic Book Reviews
“What a surprisingly fun book! . . . I normally don’t read historical fiction . . . but The Barbary Pirates has shown me what I’m missing and has me wanting to go back and read the previous Ethan Gage novels!”
Sacramento Bee
“Gage has many of the same moves as the late George MacDonald Fraser’s irresistible anti-hero, Sir Harry Flashman.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Ethan Gage Series , #4
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

The Turnaround Kid

Chapter One

Family, Values, Maggie, And Me

The sky was overcast and fog hung over the harbor, so even though it was ten o'clock on an August morning, the air was cool and the light was soft. Add the salty smell of the sea and the groan of the foghorn at the end of the nearby jetty, and this place—the small city of Bandon on the southern coast of Oregon—felt like home. I hadn't lived here in decades, but the connection was strong and I sensed it right down to my bones as I stood in front of the little house where I had spent many of my happiest days.

Painted gray with red trim, the two-bedroom cottage has been abandoned for years. Dust coated the siding. Dirt streaked the windows. I opened the door and saw the faded floral wallpaper that had been there since the 1940s. Inside I found a familiar green sofa. All the fixtures, from the kitchen sink to the ceiling lights and bathtub, were just as they were when I was six years old. The frame from my bed sat in the corner of the tiny room where I slept as a child.

In the stillness I recalled the sounds that greeted me from outside when I awakened on summer mornings. The sharpest of them all was the grinding whine of a huge band saw making the first cuts on a Douglas fir. It blended with steam whistles, the shouts of men, and the rumble of passing trucks to create a kind of industrial music. I also recalled certain scents—grease, sawdust, smoke, even exhaust fumes—that filled the air every day but Sunday.

All these sensations and images washed over me because this house, where I had gone to touch my roots and renew my confidence inthe midst of crisis, once sat in the middle of a relentlessly busy industrial complex. Built atop a long wooden pier that jutted into the harbor, it included a huge sawmill circa 1910, shops and outbuildings, and a dock where coastal steamships were loaded with shipments for delivery to distant ports. It was called the Moore Mill & Lumber Company, and my grandfather, the manager and eventual owner, lived right in the center of it all.

Scenes from an old Oregon sawmill are not what most ¬people find when they search their childhood memories, but I spent most of my preschool youth, my summers, and many school vacation days at the house on the pier in Bandon. As the first grandson of David and Emma Miller, I came in for extra attention (this was probably not fair to my siblings, David, Randy, and Barbara) and quickly came to love being with them. I took my first steps in their home and immediately began following my grandfather's lead.

"Let's go out to the mill and see if they're workin' or shootin' the breeze," he'd say to me in the morning. I'd scramble to get dressed—usually I wore a plaid lumberjack shirt, dungarees, and work shoes—and then tramp after Grampa as he made his rounds. I was fascinated by it all, but the sawyer who could turn a massive log into a stack of neat boards made an especially big impression. I could watch him for hours.

When I was old enough to avoid most of the dangers, I was allowed to roam free. I played in the corners of the mill complex and watched the endless parade of men, trucks, ships, and lumber. On one occasion, Grampa caught me riding the conveyor that hauled scrap wood and sawdust to the incinerator andgave me a stern lecture on safety. Sometimes I'd even clamber aboard the ships at the mill dock, and the crew would give me lunch. Without knowing it, in every moment I was absorbing vital lessons about the dignity of work and the rewards of honest enterprise.

In late summer 2006, as I walked to the little office building next to my grandfather's house, I felt the presence of the ¬people of Moore Mill. Inside the abandoned office a half dozen swallows flitted around the ceiling lights in the rooms where bookkeepers, clerks, and sales¬people once worked. Antiquated business forms filled the shelves in a back room. A mechanical adding machine gathered dust on the floor. Where Grampa's desk had stood, scraps of wood were piled three feet high. On a wall near the entrance, grime marked the place where the time clock and time cards were kept as workers checked in at the start of each shift.

Here, for generations, hundreds of men had started each workday. Management and labor formed a team to make not just two-by-fours but good lives for themselves and their families. The mill was the source of the money they needed to buy homes, feed and clothe their children, and save for the future. As an industry it was not an abstraction but rather the heart of the local economy. It turned the region's most valuable natural resource into a source of prosperity and pride. The mill's payroll fueled commerce. It paid taxes that kept the city going. It even sponsored the semipro baseball team, the Bandon Millers, who were the pride of the city every season.

My earliest memories of baseball involve Bandon Millers games, where I sometimes served as batboy. Even at the ballpark,Grampa wore his vested suit, tie, and fedora. A gold chain stretched across his belly, connecting the watch he kept in one vest pocket with the little knife hidden in the other. He was over six feet tall, a little bit stout, and his white hair gave him a sort of formal, distinguished look. He had an air about him that suggested a sense of purpose. His competitive spirit, whether it involved getting the best players for his semipro ball team or building his company by acquiring additional mills and timberland, was strong but tempered with the kind of realism expressed by so many ¬people who had lived through the Great Depression.

The Turnaround Kid. Copyright ? by Steve Miller. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

William Dietrich is the author of fourteen novels, including six previous Ethan Gage titles—Napoleon's Pyramids, The Rosetta Key, The Dakota Cipher, The Barbary Pirates, The Emerald Storm, and The Barbed Crown. Dietrich is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, historian, and naturalist. A winner of the PNBA Award for Nonfiction, he lives in Washington State.

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The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage Series #4) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
JackAGK More than 1 year ago
Once again William Dietrich brings us another yarn in the adventures of Ethan Gage. Seamlessly picking up where the Dakota Cipher leaves off, we spin off into a search for the ultimate weapon. Gage once again gets his marching orders from Napoleon as a choice between imprisonment or cooperation in the search. Gage and his companions almost immediately fall prey into a plot run by his old nemesis, the Egyptian Rite. There's plenty of action as usual and I highly recommend this book. It will keep your attention and keep you enjoyably entertained. Dietrich does a great job with this series and I look forward to more from his keyboard.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1802 American diplomat Ethan Gage, accompanied by his brilliant insane scientist companions, British rock hound (geologist) William Smith, French zoologist George Cuvier, and American crackpot inventor Robert Fulton, is back in Paris. Napoleon orders the foursome to investigate whether Archimedes' renowned mirror exists or is a fantasy as rumors of the death ray gizmo abound. The quartet begin the quest from Toulon crossing the Mediterranean towards Tripoli, but quickly run into adversarial conditions caused by the brutal Egyptian Rite cabal still planning to dominate the globe with plans to use the fabled death ray on the opposition. Gage is across the Mediterranean where he is joined by Lady Aurora Somerset and Astiza the Egyptian while the Barbary Pirates see his expedition as plunder while Gage and company sail in Fulton's impractical sub to Tripoli with plans to continue to Malta and beyond. The latest Gage swashbuckling pulp fiction is a great over the top of the Tibesti Massif as the hero and three lunatic savants join him on his latest escapades. The story line is fast-paced throughout as Gage never has a chance for a breather. Fans who relish Indiana Jones in Napoleon Era Mediterranean will relish the Barbary pirates adventures as Gage has left America again (see The Dakota Cipher) to cause havoc in Europe and Africa. Harriet Klausner
Billyt1 More than 1 year ago
Entertaining and Outrageous. Keeps you wanting to see how Gage gets out of the impossible predicaments. How does Astiza continue to get out of harems with her virtue in tact?
rmd270 More than 1 year ago
This was a very fast paced, action packed with excellent character development story in the Ethan Gage series. The Gage storyline is during the early 18th century and weaves the development of the US with European and Middle East history of the era. Lot's of action with lots of period time writing. This story also introduces Ethan's new family and brings back lots of old friends and enemies.
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financeprof More than 1 year ago
We find all the Ethan Gage books witty, well-written, and fun. They are page turners without feeling formulaic, and are set against interesting historical backgrounds. I would (and have) read other books by this author, and we are looking forward to #5. I'm not sure that it would have enough meat for book club discussions, though.
djhoffy More than 1 year ago
If you like Historical and Adventure,then you will want to read William Dietrich!
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SaintAugustine More than 1 year ago
As usual, William Dietrich takes the reader on a wild ride. This was loads of fun, well-crafted and the writing style grabs you and carries you through an implausible-yet-believable, delightful romp. It ended too soon!
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