Saturday, March 10, 2007

Napoleon's Pyramids by William Dietrich

Ethan Gage is an American living in Paris during the French Revolution, late 1700's. He has studied under Ben Franklin and knows a little about the masons. He is also a gambler and a good shot with his rifle.
Ethan wins a medallion in a card game. It brings him nothing but bad luck...including framing him for murder. He joins the savants who are going with Napoleon and the french army to Egypt. It is rumored that his medallion will uncover some long buried secrets of the Egypt's. Gage must find this secret before others do - especially those trying to kill him for it.
He witnesses battles, joins the french army in fighting the Mamaluke's in Egypt, he studies with the other savants and learns some of the mathematical wonders of the pyramids, he is able to climb and investigate the pyramids themselves. However will Gage be able to find the meaning of his medallion before Napoleon puts him in prison for murder, before Count Silano kills him and the women he has grown fond of, and before the Arab Bin Sadr does unthinkable things to him.
I took this from the author's website because it sums up the book pretty well: This is a novel of huge battles, mathematical pyramid mysteries, a smoldering love story, perilous escapes, and the first great modern clash of West and East. It is all based on real history. Napoleon’s expedition - his attempt to carve out an empire in Asia - gave birth to the science of Egyptology.
This book took me awhile to read - well - longer than usual anyway. I enjoyed the book and thought it was really good - it just took longer because there is so much information to digest. The author gives a lot of detail to the battle and the military style of Napoleon, as well going in depth on the mathematical pyramid mysteries as stated above, he was very descriptive with the cities in Egypt and the dress, etc. I don't read a lot of historical novels so I don't' know how this one compares but I thought it was good because it was an interesting story that was also a history lesson. I have recently visited Napoleon's tomb in Paris and even though I'm sure I learned about him in school - it has been so long that I didn't know that much about him - so this story was fun for me because I got to learn more about the man. I also have a dream of visiting Egypt and a pyramid one of these days so it was fun to also read about the cities and investigating the pyramid and this secrets of the pyramids. I'm sure the cities would be different now - but it was fun to learn about what they were like. I liked the main characters. I thought the American was funny at times and I liked his attitude, I liked Astiza and Ashraf who both help him but also remain mysteries and you aren't totally sure who they are loyal to throughout the story.
new author/fiction/370 pgs


Lover of Books said...

This one sounds really good. I'll add it to my ever growing list of books. :)

booklogged said...

I think I'd like to read this one in the same time frame as the Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

To-Be-Read Box said...

Just finished this myself this weekend, and enjoyed it although the ending was not exactly satisfying.

Anonymous said...

The ending left me wanting more, an there going to be another book