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The Three Emperors: An Ethan Gage Adventure

The Three Emperors: An Ethan Gage Adventure

3.3 3
by William Dietrich

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Venice: Ethan Gage has escaped after surviving the naval battle of Trafalgar. His plan: to circumvent the French Empire and rescue his wife, Astiza, and son, Harry, from imprisonment by a ruthless mystic who seeks revenge for disfigurement, and from an evil dwarf alchemist who experiments with the occult on Prague's Golden Lane.

Using death as his


Venice: Ethan Gage has escaped after surviving the naval battle of Trafalgar. His plan: to circumvent the French Empire and rescue his wife, Astiza, and son, Harry, from imprisonment by a ruthless mystic who seeks revenge for disfigurement, and from an evil dwarf alchemist who experiments with the occult on Prague's Golden Lane.

Using death as his ruse, Gage seeks an unlikely ally in the Jewish Napoleonic soldier Gideon Mandel, who saves Ethan's life at Austerlitz, and Gideon's father, Aaron, a rabbi whose knowledge of the legends of the Golem adds another layer to the hunt for the Brazen Head. The three must decipher clues from Durendal, the sword of Roland. Meanwhile, Astiza uses her own research to concoct an explosive escape and find a lost tomb, with their tormentors in relentless pursuit.

William Dietrich skillfully weaves intrigue, magic, romance, and danger in a historical thriller that sprints from the fury of the Napoleonic wars to the mystical puzzles of Central Europe—where a medieval machine promises power over the future.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dietrich's seventh Ethan Gage adventure (after 2013's The Barbed Crown) delivers more of the usual action-packed, at times implausible, intrigue with little character development. In November 1805, Gage, who describes himself as the "American sharpshooter, savant of electricity, treasure hunter, spy, diplomat, and mercenary," is believed dead after the Battle of Trafalgar. In fact, he's in Venice, posing as Hieronymus Franklin, a "distant cousin of Benjamin." Almost a year after last seeing his wife, Astiza, and their four-year-old son, Horus, Gage is understandably preoccupied with finding them, especially after learning that Astiza may be burned as a witch. The narrative switches perspectives between husband and wife; Astiza's sections detail her struggle to stay alive and to locate a "mechanical man, or ‘android,'" built by 13th-century scholar Albertus Magnus and able to predict the future, which she could use as a bargaining chip. Gage's flippancy makes it hard to invest in the battle scenes, and the prose is sometimes labored (e.g., "As with all grand and venerable castles, the agglomeration of architecture at Ceský Krumov is haunted"). Agent: Andrew Stuart, Stuart Agency. (May)
“Another rip-roaring nineteenth-century adventure that combines historical people and events with imaginative fiction.”
“William Dietrich has created a truly unique hero in Ethan Gage.”
Suspense magazine
“Ethan Gage is one character in the suspense world that readers have grown to truly love. . . . This is a very busy tale with family, friends, and bad guys jumping from place to place to solve some pretty amazing puzzles that readers will not soon forget. Yet a new Gage story that will have everyone cheering!”
Kirkus Reviews
An American adventurer and his Egyptian wife join the search for a fabled object. Ethan Gage was once a spy for the British and the French but is now loyal only to his family. After barely escaping the 1805 battle of Trafalgar, he searches for his wife, Astiza, and their son, Harry, who are working their way from France to Prague on the trail of the mythical Brazen Head, an automaton that foretells the future. Arriving in Venice, Ethan tries to raise money for his search by gambling. He runs afoul of Baron Wolfgang Richter, a card sharp who cheats him out of his money. Ethan steals it back, barely escaping the Baron and his minions as he flees to Vienna. Unfortunately, he arrives just as Napoleon's troops take over the city. Napoleon, who knows Ethan's plausible patter well, uses the American's skills to keep the enemy negotiating a truce, giving himself time to gather his troops and put them in the best tactical positions. Hoping to sneak off and continue his search, Ethan steals a uniform in order to lose himself among the troops, but his plan fails, and he ends up fighting in the battle of Austerlitz. Shot in the back by an anti-Semitic French trooper he ran afoul of by defending Gideon Dray, a Jewish soldier, he is saved by Gideon and his peddler father, who take him to Prague's ghetto, where he continues to seek clues to his family's whereabouts. In the meantime, Astiza and Harry have also arrived in Prague and been granted permission to study at the university by Primus Fulcanelli, a Latin scholar who turns out to be Ethan's nemesis Baron Richter, head of a secret society seeking the Brazen Head. The latest rousing adventure from Dietrich (The Barbed Crown, 2013, etc.) shows antihero Ethan Gage, his exotic wife and a varied cast of characters grappling with an especially tumultuous historical period.
Library Journal
Early 19th-century American adventurer Ethan Gage is part con man and part hero. He is also sometimes very deadly, and his adventures have carried him all across Napoleonic Europe and North America. Along the way, he has acquired a wife, Astiza, and a son, Harry. He and his loved ones are constantly in danger and now he is on a quest to rescue them. In his seventh adventure (after The Barbary Pirates), Gage is also tasked to find a demonic device called the Brazen Head, which, in the wrong hands, could change history. At the same time, he has to foil the plots of those who wish to stop him, and that includes Napoleon himself. VERDICT Dietrich's writing style is vivid, lush, and rich. Readers will get the feel of the time period and the places involved. His plots, and his latest is no exception, are fast-paced and filled with derring-do and close escapes. Readers should suspend their disbelief, make popcorn, and enjoy.—Robert Conroy, Warren, MI

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Ethan Gage Adventures
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

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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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The Three Emperors: An Ethan Gage Adventure 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read. Well intertwined and involves the same characters developed in previous books. As expected involvement of a good mix of historical and fictional basis. Starting to get predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just a fun read and can't wait for the next in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago