Set in the period between October of 1798 and November of 1799‚ THE ROSETTA KEY continues the story of our hero‚ Ethan Gage‚ and his quest for the magical "Book of Thoth." This scroll of wisdom may have been stolen from the Great Pyramid by Moses and carried by the Jews to their new kingdom of Israel some three thousand years ago. Whoever holds it will have the power to dominate the world.
The novel also continues the story of Napoleon Bonaparte‚ retracing his 1799 invasion of Syria from his base in Cairo‚ his defeat at the Siege of Acre‚ and his eventual abandonment of his army in Egypt. It follows the general's return to France‚ where he seized power in a coup in November of 1799. In the story‚ Napoleon's henchmen seize the Book of Thoth from Gage in Syria. Once back in France‚ the conqueror uses a hurried translation of key passages to bewitch the French Assembly into approving his accession to power. The Book‚ it seems‚ has become Napoleon's magic key‚ his grail. Ever the furtive thief‚ Gage manages to wrest the book back (and finally kills the central villain‚ Alessandro Silano) before Bonaparte can use its powers to assure his conquest of the world. It's then off to America for Gage‚ who sees his home country as the best hiding place.
Where will Gage go from here? Will he hide the beloved key in the wildernesses of the American South? Or will he opt for the cosmpolitan fanfares of Manhattan? THE ROSETTA KEY presents William Dietrich at his fast-paced‚ cliffhanger best‚ in a tale that joins the Old and New World‚ the ancient and the modern‚ the emperor and the absconding explorer. For the many readers who loved NAPOLEON'S PYRAMIDS‚ as well as all fans of historical thrillers‚ THE ROSETTA KEY is another chance to marvel at Dietrich's adept storytelling and at the death-defying feats of the inimitable Gage.