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Extended Audio Sample The Barbed Crown, by William Dietrich Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Dietrich Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Ethan Gage Adventures Release Date:
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Ethan Gage is out to foil Napoleon’s coronation as emperor, play double agent between France and England, and turn the tide of war, while attempting to save his own life and his marriage.

Gage fought beside Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt and was his agent in Italy, America, and Greece. But this relationship, which at the best of times was uneasy, has gone sour, and now Ethan wants to make Napoleon pay for kidnapping his son, Harry, and nearly killing his wife, Astiza.

Smuggled into France with a beautiful royalist agent, Gage is determined to thwart Bonaparte’s ambitions to take Europe. Surprises abound as a conspiracy collapses, Astiza reappears at Gage’s side, and agents on all fronts try to recruit Ethan to their cause. Desperate, he devises a mad plan to sabotage Napoleon’s coronation by replacing the power-hungry emperor’s crown of golden laurel with a religious relic, the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Christ at his crucifixion. It is a scheme that requires a daring theft, perfect timing, and trust among the plotters; when it goes awry, Gage is soon on the run to England.

There Ethan joins a circle of brilliant renegades, including Robert Fulton, designer of the first submarine; rocket artillery pioneer Sir William Congreve; and smuggler Tom Johnstone. As two empires face off at sea, Gage is plunged into the decisive and lethal Battle of Trafalgar, trapped on board a French ship as Nelson’s Victory bears down on him.

Moving from the glittering boulevards and squalid back alleys of Napoleonic France to the high seas of Regency England, filled with romance, danger, intrigue, and glory, The Barbed Crown is a thrilling romp that sees Ethan Gage once again embroiled in European history, and the fate of the modern world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Exuberant…Along the way readers will be treated to Dietrich’s fascinating historical detail and Gage’s infectious personality, one part humble global servant and two parts self-directed opportunist who simply has to be where the action is.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Rich in historical detail…The battle of Trafalgar is narrated magnificently. There are also plots, twists, and counterplots along with searches for religious relics…Historical fiction fans will relish this over-the-top romp as they wallow in the color and the history.”

    Library Journal

  • “Dietrich’s creation Ethan Gage is no typical action hero…Dietrich has the Gage series down to a formula, blending history with entertaining tall tales and a good deal of irreverence.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Utilizing his trademark combination of wit, wile, and homespun American common sense, Ethan successfully integrates himself into the sophisticated intrigue of the Old World.”


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About the Author
Author William Dietrich

William Dietrich is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, historian, and naturalist, as well as the author of numerous novels, including the Ethan Gage adventures, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is a winner of the PNBA Award for nonfiction and lives in Washington State.