The Barbary Pirates by William Dietrich


The Barbary PiratesReviewed by Teri Davis

Ethan Gage is successful in that world leaders seem to seek out his assistance and expertise for unusual requests and adventures. Imagine an Indiana Jones who has political connections throughout the world but who tends to be attracted to trouble like a magnet.

It’s the year 1802 and beginning in Paris visiting Napoleon, Ethan finds himself with three savants: British geologist William Smith, French Zoologist George Cuvier, and the American Robert Fulton who invented the submarine before his steamboat. Napoleon sends the quartet to Greece to search for the mirror of Archimedes, which supposedly was able to concentrate the sunlight by using mirrors to attack ships at sea and destroy them. Napoleon wants the mirror destroyed if it exists.

However, Gage’s group is not the only group looking for the mirror. The Egyptian Rite already has a grudge against Gage from previous encounters. Added to this is Lady Aurora who joins with a group of Barbary pirates and continues to a few scores to settle with Gage. When Gage finds Astiza, his former lover, he is shocked to learn that he has a son who is now two years old. However, using his sense of responsibility and love for both is used against him by all.

The Barbary Pirates is the fourth novel in the Ethan Gage series following Napoleon’s Pyramids, The Rosetta Key, and The Dakota Cipher. The Barbary Pirates works as both a continuation of a series or as a standalone novel. Compared to the previous three novels, I found this one the most enjoyable as it resolved some relationships and problems from the previous ones.

William Dietrich is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and the author of ten novels, many of which have been listed on the New York Times bestselling lists. Daily, he is a professor at Western Washington University teaching journalism.

The Barbary Pirates is a page turner with every page being a swash-buckling adventure. Looking at the world as Ethan Gage means that any plan will not work as expected. Bungling as he attempts to save the world makes the novel humorous, fun, and realistic. Ethan’s devotion to his Egyptian lover and son gives him a more likable personality in that he is finally showing some maturity and caring. Personally, I found The Barbary Pirates as the most enjoyable of the four and a delightful novel.

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