Weaving history, legend, and new archaeological discoveries into a spellbinding narrative, critically acclaimed novelist Steven Saylor gives new life to the drama of Rome's first 1,000 years - from the founding of the city by the ill-fated twins Romulus and Remus, through Rome's astonishing ascent to become the capital of the most powerful empire in history.
"Excellent Feel for Ancient Rome"
In the year 48 BC, Rome is in the midst of civil war. As Pompey and Caesar fight for control of the republic, Rome becomes a hotbed of intrigue driven by espionage, greed, and betrayals. A beautiful young seeress staggers across the Roman marketplace and dies in the arms of Gordianus the Finder. Possibly mad and claiming no memory of her past, Cassandra - like her Trojan namesake - was reputed to have the gift of prophecy, a gift many in Rome would pay for handsomely...or kill for
"Not his best "
USA Today hails Steven Saylor as a “modern master of historical fiction.” Rich in intrigue and period detail, his novels set in ancient Rome have garnered acclaim the world over. A prequel to his epic Roma Sub Rosa series, The Seven Wonders follows series star Gordianus the Finder as an 18-year-old traveling the Mediterranean to witness the wonders of that fabled age. At each stop, the young investigator finds a beguiling mystery that pushes his powers of deduction to the limit.
"Interesting History, Not much of a story"
In 48 BC the Roman generals Caesar and Pompey are engaged ina battle to rule the world. As Pompey plots a reckless stand on the banks ofthe Nile, Gordianus the Finder - who has brought his dying wife, Bethesda, to the Nile seeking a cure from its sacred waters - finds himself suddenly at the heart of a series of treacherous and history-altering events. While Caesar and Cleopatra embark on a legendary romance, Egypt remains ravaged by the brutal contest between the queen and her brother, King Ptolemy.
"Continuity of readers a bit irksome"
The Pinarii witness the machinations of Tiberius, the madness of Caligula, and the decadence of Nero. The deadly paranoia of Domitian gives way to the Golden Age of Trajan and Hadrian - but even the most enlightened emperors wield the power to destroy their subjects on a whim.Empire is filled with the dramatic, defining moments of the age, including the Great Fire of 64 A.D, Nero’s persecution of the Christians, and the astounding opening games of the Colosseum.
"Very well done!"
In Rome, 80 B.C., on a warm spring morning, Gordianus the Finder receives a summons to the house of a then-unknown young advocate and orator, Cicero. Ambitious and brilliant, the 26-year-old Cicero is about to argue his first important case. His client is a wealthy farmer, one Sextus Roscius of the town of Ameria, who stands accused of the most unforgivable act in Ancient Rome: the murder of his father.
"Good story, bad reader"
The Roman civil war has come to its conclusion - Pompey is dead, Egypt is firmly under the control of Cleopatra (with the help of Rome's legions), and for the first time in many years Julius Caesar has returned to Rome itself. Appointed by the Senate as dictator, the city abounds with rumors asserting that Caesar wishes to be made king - the first such that Rome has had in centuries. And that not all of his opposition has been crushed.
"Finally a reader I can listen to"
Susie Bright, founder of Best American Erotica, presents a classic, taboo-breaking collection of men’s erotic fiction - featuring the most unrepentant gay literary heroes of our generation. Legendary writers like John Preston, Samuel Delany, Steven Saylor/Aaron Travis, Lars Eighner, Dennis Cooper - who can imagine men’s intimate and transgressive lives without them?
In 49 BC, in the city of Massilia (modern-day Marseille), on the coast of southern Gaul, Gordianus the Finder's beloved son Meto has disappeared - branded as a traitor to Caesar and apparently dead. Consumed with grief, Gordianus arrives in the city amid a raging civil war, hoping to discover what happened to his son. But when he witnesses a young woman fall from a precipice called Sacrifice Rock, he becomes entangled in discovering the truth.
As Caesar marches on Rome and panic erupts in the city, Gordianus the Finder discovers, in his own home, the body of Pompey’s favorite cousin. Before fleeing the city, Pompey exacts a terrible bargain from the finder of secrets: to unearth the killer or sacrifice his own son-in-law to service in Pompey’s legions - and certain death. Amid the city’s sordid underbelly, Gordianus learns that the murdered man was a dangerous spy. Now, as he follows a trail of intrigue, betrayal, and ferocious battles on land and sea, the Finder is caught between the chaos of war and the terrible truth he must finally reveal.
"May You Live in Interesting Times"
It is ancient Rome, and Gordianus the Finder has a knack for finding trouble. Known to many as the one man in the ancient world who can both keep a secret and uncover one, Gordianus lays bare some of his most intriguing and compelling adventures.
In 88 BC, it seems as if the entire ancient world is at war. In the west, the Italian states are rebelling against Rome; in the east, Mithridates is marching through and conquering the Roman Asian provinces. Even in the relatively calm Alexandria, a coup has brought a new pharaoh to power and chaos to the streets. The young Gordianus is waiting out the chaos in Alexandria with Bethesda when he gets a cryptic message from his former tutor and friend, Antipater.
"Terrible reading hurts the story"
The year is 63 BC, and Gordianus the Finder unexpectedly achieves the dream of every Roman: owning a farm in the Etruscan countryside. Vowing to leave behind the corruption of Rome, he abandons the city, taking his family with him. This bucolic life, however, is disrupted by the machinations and murderous plots of two politicians.
"Caustic voice of narrator"
Rome, 56 BC. The great general Pompey has conquered the East; Julius Caesar is defeating the Gauls; only Egypt, with its strategic granaries and vast treasuries of gold, still eludes the grasp of Rome. The city itself is becoming ever more corrupt, as the last generation of the Roman Republic indulges in political backstabbing, endless lawsuits, scandalous love affairs, and the occasional murder.
"The Clodians at their most entertaining"
In A Gladiator Dies Only Once, the second collection of his award-winning stories featuring Gordianus, Saylor more than meets his own high standards. Set between the events of his novelsRomanBlood and Catilina’s Riddle, these nine stories of previously untold adventures from the early career of Gordianus - when his adopted son, Eco, was still a mute boy and his wife, Bethesda, was but his slave - will delight Saylor’s many fans while illuminating details of the ancient world like no other writer can.
South of Rome on the Gulf of Puteoli stands the splendid villa of Marcus Crassus, Rome's wealthiest citizen. When the estate overseer is murdered, Crassus concludes that the deed was done by two missing slaves, who have probably run off to join the Spartacan Slave Revolt. Unless they are found within three days, Crassus vows to massacre his remaining 99 slaves.
Ancient Rome has been in a state of turmoil as the rival gangs of Publius Clodius, a high-born, populist politician, and his arch-enemy, Titus Milo, have fought to control the consular elections. When Clodius is murdered on the famed Appian Way and Milo is accused of the crime, the city explodes with riots and arson, and even the near sacrosanct Senate House is burned to the ground.
"Great book, bad reader"
The city of Austin, Texas, "is fearfully dull", wrote young Will Porter to a friend in the spring of 1885, "except for the frequent raids of the Servant Girl Annihilators, who make things lively in the dead of night." Years later Will Porter would become the most famous writer in America - O. Henry, the toast of New York. The long-ago Austin servant girl murders would remain unsolved. But behind the O. Henry pen name, Will Porter was a man with secrets.