The Rosetta Key
by William Dietrich
Harper Collins April 2008
William Dietrich's Website
This is an ARC copy that was sent to me at the end of February. I have read and reviewed the first book in the series. This is the second book.
The year is 1798 and Napoleon has invaded and conquered Eygpt. His soldiers have dug up a large black stone in the town of Rosetta. This tablet has 4 languages on it. An unknown language, Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphs. At some point the block is damaged and the top section is broken off leaving the main piece with 3 languages. It is Ethan Gage's job to translate the unknown language and discover what power it holds, so that Napoleon can conquer the world.
Ethan Gage has survived the absolute defeat of Napoleons navy at the Battle of Abukir Bay (aka Battle of the Nile) by Lord Nelson, and Napoleon's successful invasion of Cairo. Gage had also discovered the location of the famous Book of Thoth. The medallion (see the first book) leads to a clue to the next location of the Book. Gage believes that Moses took the Book of Thoth with him when the Hebrews left Egypt and wandered for 40 years in the desert on their way to Caanan (What is now Palestine). Which means that Jerusalem is the next place to search.
At the end of Naploeon's Pyramids, we left Ethan Gage escaping from Egypt by hot air balloon. Eventually Ethan Gage is picked up by a British ship.
In 1799 Napoleon moved on from Egypt to Palestine. There he laid seige to the towns of Acre and Jaffa. Acre he lost and Jaffa he won. Upon which he and his men slughted over 3000 of the locals claiming that they were "dishonest and not respectful to the military honor". Meanwhile Gage heads for Jerusalem and there, along with some friends, he explores the famous tunnels under the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. After Jerusalem, Gage is betrayed to Napoleon again, and sent to Jaffa where he is about to be part of the mass execution, but manages to escape, again. This time Gage flees to Acre, and meets up with his friends again.
Gage eventually travels to the City of Ghosts where he finds the Book of Thoth, and loses it again. This was a very good book. I enjoyed it, for the adventure, the history (Templar history) and for the detailed history of Napoleon's invasion of Palestine.