The Barbed Crown: An Ethan Gage Adventure

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Overview

Ethan Gage's alliance with Napoleon Bonaparte has gone sour, and now he wants to make Napoleon pay for kidnapping his son and nearly killing his wife.

Gage is determined to thwart Bonaparte's ambitions to take Europe. He devises a mad plan to sabotage Napoleon's coronation by replacing the power-hungry emperor's crown of golden laurel with a religious relic— the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Christ at his crucifixion. But when the scheme ...

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The Barbed Crown: An Ethan Gage Adventure

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Overview

Ethan Gage's alliance with Napoleon Bonaparte has gone sour, and now he wants to make Napoleon pay for kidnapping his son and nearly killing his wife.

Gage is determined to thwart Bonaparte's ambitions to take Europe. He devises a mad plan to sabotage Napoleon's coronation by replacing the power-hungry emperor's crown of golden laurel with a religious relic— the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Christ at his crucifixion. But when the scheme goes awry, Gage is soon on the run . . .

In England, he joins a circle of brilliant renegades, including Robert Fulton, designer of the first submarine; rocket artillery pioneer Sir William Congreve; and smuggler Tom Johnstone. As two empires face off at sea, Gage is plunged into the decisive and lethal Battle of Trafalgar, trapped on board a French ship as Nelson's Victory bears down on him . . . and the fate of the modern world is at stake.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Dugoni
“Brilliantly conceived and crafted from the first word. Dietrich puts great characters in seemingly impossible scenarios on every page. A fun, fast, exhilarating read. I haven’t read a historical novel this good since Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth.”
Phillip Margolin
“I am a big fan of William Dietrich’s Ethan Gage novels and The Barbed Crown is a great addition to the series. Gage is a rascal and he’s in trouble again. . . . An exciting, funny, and educational read.”
Garth Stein
“What a blast! The Barbed Crown is as funny as it is smart. . . . It is impossible not to love Ethan Gage. It is impossible not to love this book!”
Diana Gabaldon
“Ethan Gage is not a man to let the grass grow under his feet. A non-stop page-turning adventure of wit, entertaining history, and characters who roll with the punches of fate.”
Booklist
“Utilizing his trademark combination of wit, wile, and homespun American common sense, Ethan successfully integrates himself into the sophisticated intrigue of the Old World.”
Seattle Times
“Gage’s roguish charm is in full bloom, and The Barbed Crown is still a page-turning delight.”
Examiner.com
“Those looking for historical romances for summer reading need look no further. Dietrich manages to turn what is normally a maudlin or mediocre genre into a tight, suspenseful joy ride. Here’s to the further adventures of the Gages and to what will surely be a movie hero.”
Historical Novel Society Review
“If you like your swordplay spiced with a dash of witty repartee, a la The Three Musketeers, then Gage is the hero for you…The battles, plots and counterplots make this a delightful read, and the depiction of Napoleonic Paris is excellent. Recommended.”
Iron Mountain Daily News
“William Dietrich’s prose is so vivid in his description of early nineteenth century naval tactics that the reader may experience a touch of mal de mer. But through the carnage and rolling waves, Dietrich’s fans will not stop cheering on the lovable gambler.”
San Antonio Express-News
“A swashbuckling adventure novel. . . . Description of war on the high seas is rarely better than in this novel.”
Bellingham Herald
“Bill Dietrich offers another gem in The Barbed Crown. . . . Dietrich delivers with style, zest, and cliffhanger endings.”
Publishers Weekly
Set in 1804, Dietrich’s exuberant sixth Ethan Gage adventure finds Gage back in Europe, after his frantic search for Montezuma’s treasure in 2012’s The Emerald Storm, spying for the British on his sometime friend and usual nemesis, Napoleon Bonaparte, on the eve of the French leader’s coronation. The plot twists one way then another, in wildly uproarious fashion, as Gage—assisted by his Greek-Egyptian wife, Astiza—works his way out of several tight spots and does his best to foil Napoleon’s ambitions to invade England. As usual, the action builds to a dramatic climax, this one set during the Battle of Trafalgar, which Gage observes from the crow’s nest of a French warship. Along the way, readers will be treated to Dietrich’s fascinating touches of historical detail and Gage’s infectious personality, one part humble global servant and two parts self-directed opportunist who simply has to be where the action is. Agent: Andrew Stuart, the Stuart Agency. (May)
Library Journal
When last we left our intrepid hero (in The Emerald Storm), Ethan Gage was on a Haitian beach, disconsolate because his wife had been swept away by a hurricane. He still had their son, but prospects were dire. Because Napoléon Bonaparte created this tragedy, Ethan returns to London and then Paris to exact revenge against the French ruler. But a surprise awaits him in France that changes his plans to sabotage Napoléon's coronation as emperor. VERDICT Dietrich's novels are always rich in historical detail, and his latest is no exception. The battle of Trafalgar is narrated magnificently. There are also plots, twists, and counterplots along with searches for religious relics as the amoral but cunning and deadly Gage tries to settle accounts with Napoléon while protecting himself and those he loves. Historical fiction fans will relish this over-the-top romp as they wallow in the color and the history. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]—Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
Kirkus Reviews
Dietrich's creation Ethan Gage (The Emerald Storm, 2012, etc.) is no typical action hero. Gage is an American who finds himself in the middle of key moments in 19th-century European history, and one whose loyalties shift. Gage is strictly in it for the adventure, never really doing anything heroic. The sixth adventure in the Gage series finds him recovering from the death of his wife, Astiza, which he blames on the rise of Napoleon. Seeking revenge, he enlists as a spy for the British, and his spirits are boosted considerably by his partner Catherine Marceau, a seductive French renegade whose past is a well-guarded secret. Eventually, Astiza is revealed to have survived, and Gage works as a double agent. Everyone knows how Napoleon's career will wind up; less clear is whether Gage will survive his spy career and whether his marriage will survive the intrusions of Catherine. Dietrich has the Gage series down to a formula, blending history with entertaining tall tales and a good deal of irreverence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062194091
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Series: Ethan Gage Adventures , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 197,337
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

William Dietrich is the author of twelve 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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