Of Swords and Plumes 005: William Dietrich’s “Ethan Gage Adventures”
Napoleon’s Pyramids and The Rosetta Key, by by William Dietrich. HarperCollins, 2007 and 2008; reviewed in the Kindle editions.
Well, this is embarrassing: I call myself a swashbuckler aficionado, and yet till now I’ve somehow managed to overlook a successful new historical action series, the “Ethan Gage Adventures,” by American author William Dietrich. I just read the first two books, and liked them. Here’s why:
The series is set in the Napoleonic era, and is clearly modeled, at least in part, on George MacDonald Fraser’s “Flashman” novels. Like Flashman, the hero is a self-described amoral rogue who gets drawn into every major fracas of his time. But Dietrich’s books are no mere homage to Fraser, as they have their own distinctive tone; Dietrich is pulpier than Fraser, and has fewer qualms about embroidering on history in the pursuit of outlandish action scenes or occult overtones.