The Barbary Pirates by William Dietrich

The fourth book in the Ethan Gage adventure series by William Dietrich is entitled The Barbary Pirates (as you may recall, I reviewed the fifth book earlier).  The fourth book is just as exciting (maybe even more so) as the fifth book.

Here is a description of the book from the publisher:

… [Ethan] finds himself in a desperate race with a powerful band of North African Muslim outlaws. The prize is the Mirror of Archimedes, an ancient superweapon that now, in 1802, could tip the balance of power in the Mediterranean.

Can Ethan rescue his lost love, Astiza, without betraying the cause of his own United States? Can he save the two-year-old son he only recently learned of without allowing the fiendish Egyptian Rite to dominate the world? And when the sun rises on the Mirror of Archimedes, will everything Ethan cares about go up in flames? Racing from the brothels of Paris to the canals of Venice to the dungeons of Tripoli, Gage will face his ultimate reckoning on the high seas—as he battles to prevent the destruction of the American, English, and French fleets at the ruthless hands of . . . The Barbary Pirates!

As with Dietrich’s other books in the series, this book is filled with interesting facts about science, geography, and historical figures. Dietrich brings to life such historical figures as American inventor Robert Fulton. Fulton is among a group of scientists that are flung together with Gage in order to solve Gage’s latest problem. The interaction between Gage and the scientists is quite engaging.

The heroine, Gage, finds himself in more adventures, or misadventures, than he can keep straight.  One minute he is in Paris hobnobbing with Napoleon and the next he is running away (or more like paddling) from the Egyptian Rite in Venice.  His travels take him all over the Mediterranean.

I enjoy Dietrich’s ability to sew together Gage’s quest to find Templar treasure with historical events.  Although the Templar treasure is a myth, Dietrich is able to make it almost seem real. His story line does not make the Templar treasure be so far fetched. Dietrich juxtaposes Ethan’s conflict with the Barbary Pirates and the American conflict with those pirates.  At one point, Ethan is assisted by the American Navy.

The Barbary Pirates will keep you interested through to the end.

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