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The Three Emperors

de William Dietrich

Séries: Ethan Gage (7)

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724288,175 (3.42)1
Having quick-wittedly survived the battle of Trafalgar, Ethan is rushing to rescue 'Egyptian priestess' Astiza and son Harry from imprisonment by a ruthless mystic who seeks revenge for disfigurement, and an evil dwarf alchemist who experiments with the occult on Prague's Golden Lane.

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Exibindo 4 de 4
Ethan Gage is an adventurer and a bit of a comic scoundrel, though with a good heart. Separated from his family in a previous adventure, and fleeing Napoleonic defeat at Trafalgar, he makes his way to Vienna and then Prague in search of his lost wife and young son. Along the way he gambles, gets embroiled in war at Napoleon's side, and is enmeshed in a scheme to find a lost automaton which can tell the future. He desperately tries to avoid war, French spies and secret societies, yet falls victim to all.

When I read the first few pages with Ethan Gage's voice, I was delighted. He was rascally, glib and fun, full of witty charm. I enjoyed the character and hoped that the book would turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

However, while Gage continues to be a charming character throughout, and I loved his witty nature and some of the insightful comments made, for some reason the book itself did not grab me and hold me throughout. I had no interest in his wife's chapters, with her vague spiritualism. I suppose it was meant to instil a sense of mysticism in the story, but I didn't find it terribly interesting. I thought that her character had potential, but that the book lacked depth in failing to explore and deliver that potential.

There were some comical discrepencies. Gage is shot while in war, and that part seems quite realistically done. But then, only a few days later he's already swinging a sword around for exercise and his left shoulder and arm aren't just recovered, they're the strongest they've ever been in his life, even eclipsing his right. Wow! Superhuman.

Then, at the end of the novel, they've got a single horse and sleigh and, in a period of less than two weeks in early February, which is the coldest part of the winter, somehow manage to travel from Trosky Castle just outside Prague in northern Czech Republic, all the way through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, past Estonia and all the way up to St Petersburg. Even on modern roads, it's a journey of 1800km. Rather remarkable for a single horse and sled. Even more so, despite the Russians being at war with Napoleon, they don't encounter a single soldier until they are within an hour's horse ride of the capital city. Um...really? lol

I haven't read the rest of the series, but I did like what I saw of the spy, Catherine. I'm a big fan of reformed characters, and while I understand the role she plays in the end, I would have found it more interesting to see her and the policeman change their tune.

Overall, the book moves along at a clipped pace. The Napoleonic war was interesting and the story had a good, 19th century feel. Still, it might have benefited from a little more depth and change of pace. It's an easy, light read, nothing too serious. Good if you haven't got anything better on your reading list. ( )
  TimothyBaril | Jul 24, 2017 |
This book was a genera that I normally don't read. About half way through the book I came to the realization that I was not enjoying it. Life is much to short to continue reading something you are not enjoying. ( )
  JanicsEblen | Jan 18, 2017 |
This is a rollicking adventure series set in 1805 and follows the hero/anti-hero Nathan Gage and his wife, the Egyptian priestess Astiza, as they struggle to find each other and to stay alive. Astiza is imprisoned and forced to use her alchemy skills to turn base metal into gold, with their son Harry’s life forfeit if she doesn’t succeed. Gage is an American adventurer and he is very sorry to be thrust into Napoleon’s presence again. Napoleon is a dangerous man and while he respects Gage, he slows him in his search for Astiza. Gage has many clever thoughts, some of them humorous. Of Napoleon he thought that he is "dangerous as adders, but seductive as succubi." Magic, romance, war and danger on are every page so there is never a dull chapter. This book is number 7 in the series and now I want to read the first book in this series titled “Napoleon’s Pyramids.” ( )
  hangen | Nov 5, 2014 |
Ethan is a man who has more things happen to him, both good and bad, than could ever happen to a normal person. His luck gets him into the worst sorts of trouble and just as often saves him from permanent loses. He seems to be Mr. Magoo crossed with Indiana Jones. Often to hilarious effect.

In this episode of how to find priceless treasure and still be poor, we find Ethan has survived a naval battle between Napoleon's navy and the British with Nelson at the helm. He has hitched rides on boats until he has washed up on the shores of Venice with a little gold to his name and a clue that his wife might be hostage in Bohemia. He needs more money and better clues so he can be reunited with his wife and child. Like most of his plans, they never go quite as smooth as they should.

First, he is cheated out of what little money he has managed to collect gambling with the rich. Then after barely escaping with his life, he runs into an old ‘friend’ who commandeers him back into Napoleon's forces. It is rather inconvenient when trying to find a missing family. He seems to always jump out of the frying pan into the fire.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, which was a bit of a surprise. After reading the Emerald Storm I wasn't real impressed. I did however think it was good enough to give the series at least one more chance, and I am glad I did. This one (in my opinion) was much better and worth a read. ( )
  readafew | Apr 17, 2014 |
Exibindo 4 de 4
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Having quick-wittedly survived the battle of Trafalgar, Ethan is rushing to rescue 'Egyptian priestess' Astiza and son Harry from imprisonment by a ruthless mystic who seeks revenge for disfigurement, and an evil dwarf alchemist who experiments with the occult on Prague's Golden Lane.

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