The world changes for Ethan Gageone-time assistant to the renowned Ben Franklinon a night in post-revolutionary Paris, when he wins a mysterious medallion in a card game. Framed soon after for the murder of a prostitute and facing the grim prospect of either prison or death, the young expatriate American barely escapes France with his lifechoosing instead to accompany the new emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, on his glorious mission to conquer Egypt. With Lord Nelson's fleet following close behind, Gage sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. And in a land of ancient wonder and mystery, with the help of a beautiful Macedonian slave, he will come to realize that the unusual prize he won at the gaming table may be the key to solving one of history's greatest and most perilous riddles: who built the Great Pyramids . . . and why?