Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ahoy Buccaneers! Int't Talk like a Pirate Day + Book Review

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  I just finished reading the sixth installment in a favorite book series of mine, the Ethan Gage Adventures by William Dietrich.  These novels contain a lot of historical information about real events in history, though the main character, Ethan Gage, is not a real person (or was he?).  He reminds me a bit of Indiana Jones, crossed with a bit of Captain Jack Sparrow.  He gets himself involved in seemingly impossible to survive situations, and manages to escape with only minor injuries.  He's not actually an archeologist or a pirate, though he has worked with (and against) both.  The novels are exciting and fun to read - I love history, but I think even non-history fans would enjoy these stories, there's a lot of action and adventure!  

My photo for today is of the sixth Ethan Gage novel, The Barbed Crown.  This book is not set in a tropical location, but the previous book, The Emerald Storm, was and the book before that one, The Barbary Pirates, contains pirates.  It seemed like an appropriate connection to International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Here is my review of the book:

The Barbed Crown by William Dietrich is the sixth in a series of novels called The Ethan Gage Adventures.  These books are set in the late 1700s and early 1800s and are based on historical fact, with a fictional twist.  It’s an exciting and fast paced read, full of history, adventure, war and intrigue.  Ethan Gage is an American who would describes himself as a Franklin man, an electrician and a diplomat.  His friends (and sometimes enemies) call him a sabotaging spy, rascal and turncoat.  He’s well known for his involvement in the Battle of the Nile, the sale of the Louisiana Territory and a large slave revolt in St. Domingue.  He’s also well known for his ability to switch sides, a true survivor, Gage always ends up on the winning side of a battle.

In this novel, Gage is caught between two warring nations: England and France.  Believing his wife, Astiza to be dead, Gage leaves their son in the care of an English family and travels to France to avenge her death.  He seeks revenge against Napoleon and partners with English spies and Comtesse Catherine Marceau in a conspiracy to end Napoleons reign.  There are many twists and turns along the way, with Ethan ending up in the middle of the Battle of Trafalgar!  The end of the novel sets the reader up for the seventh installment in the series with Ethan heading deeper into Europe, yet again on a quest for ancient knowledge.  

This book, like all of the others in the series, is very well written and full of fascinating information on the political turmoil of Napoleon's reign.  Gage, while a bit of a scoundrel, is an extremely likable character, as are his intelligent wife, Astiza, and plucky son, Harry (or Horus if you ask Astiza).  Dietrich always includes information at the end of the novel, giving more information about the real events portrayed in the story, which I appreciate.  I never expected to learn so much about early 1800s France and her emperor from a fictional novel!  I can't wait to read the next adventure to see what part of history Gage has gotten himself into next!

To learn more about William Dietrich and the Ethan Gage Adventure series, visit his website.

Check out more of my book reviews on LibraryThing or Amazon.  

LibraryThing is joining in the pirate festivities today by translating much of their site into pirate lingo!  I highly recommend LibraryThing - it's a social media/library site that lets you keep track of your favorite (and not so well loved) books and authors.  They also have a program called Early Reviewers, you can sign up to receive early copies of books to read and review (for free!).  I've been introduced to a lot of new writers this way and it keeps me reading and writing (you are less likely to get more free books if you don't submit reviews).  Check it out!