The Barbed Crown

The Barbed Crown

An Ethan Gage Adventure

Book - 2014
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In The Barbed Crown, the sixth tale of rogue and adventurer Ethan Gage by William Dietrich, our hero returns to Paris and London. Against a background of imperial pomp and the gathering clouds of war, Gage plots revenge on Napoleon Bonaparte for the kidnap of his son.

Paris, the "City of Lights," shines - but alongside its splendor is great squalor. Heroic patriotism rubs against mean ambition, while grand strategy and back-alley conspiracy are never far apart.

While Ethan spies on the French court, his wife, Astiza, works to sabotage Napoleon's coronation using the Crown of Thorns, a legendary relic said to have come from the Crucifixion itself. But when Napoleon is crowned nonetheless, they flee to England.

At Walmer Castle on the English coast, Gage joins a daring campaign by Smith, Fulton, rocket inventor William Congreve and smuggler Tom Johnstone to halt Napoleon's intended invasion of England - a campaign which leads Ethan to take a role in the Battle of Trafalgar itself...

Publisher: New York : Harper, 2014, c2013.
ISBN: 9780062194091
Characteristics: 431 pages :,map ;,18 cm.

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Jun 09, 2013

The Barbed Crown --- by William Dietrich. --- The first is the best. Or so they say. Napoleon’s Pyramids and the Rosetta Stone were my first Dietrich novels: they engaged and hooked me from the start. That rascal Gage seemed to never been caught flat footed even though his misadventures followed one after the other. The two books raced along at breakneck pace with barely enough time to allow one to catch one’s breath. But with this one, his most recent novel pursuing the misadventures of Gage I’m already well into the book wondering when it will start. Lethargy. Most confounding. But Dietrich does eventually hit his stride and Gage resumes his usual adventures, shuttled back and forth between the British spy master Sydney Smith and the long-suffering Napoleon. Our grand finale: Gage as a sharpshooter high aloft in the riggings of Redoubtable, the ship that engaged Nelson’s flagship, the Victory. At the battle’s conclusion we have a picture of Gage, in a lifeboat, small sail rigged to take him back to Cadiz and out of harm’s way, avoiding the hurricane that is about to lash the survivoprs of the Battle of Trafalgar. So Gage’s author redeems himself. Except for one thing. There’s no tupping.

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