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Roman Blood: A Novel of Ancient Rome (Novels of Ancient Rome) Paperback – April 15, 2008
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“Gripping…a combination of Hitchcock-style suspense and vivid historical detail.” ―Pittsburgh-Post-Gazette on Roman Blood
“Gordinaus has wisdom and prudence; Saylor has intelligence, wit, and insight. Saylor has aquired the information of a historian but he enjoys the gifts of a born novelist.” ―The Boston Globe on A Murder on the Appian Way
“Engrossing…contains all the elements that an entertaining mystery and also provides a view of life in ancient Rome. Highly recommended.” ―Booklist on Roman Blood
About the Author
Steven Saylor is the author of the long running Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, as well as the New York Times bestselling novel, Roma and its follow-up, Empire. He has appeared as an on-air expert on Roman history and life on The History Channel. Saylor was born in Texas and graduated with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and classics. He divides his time between Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas.
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The genius of this particular book and the series involving Gordianus the finder is in the juxtaposition of modern concepts of murder mystery, trial and private detective work alongside perhaps the most captivating ancient culture known to man. A murder mystery in ancient Rome could easily suffer from modern bleed, but Saylor weaves in Roman culture and law seamlessly. It is at once a suspenseful drama and a history lesson that leaves one doubly fascinated. I intend to read the entire series, and I highly recommend this book to any reader who appreciates outstanding writing, mystery and a convincing historical/cultural setting that takes a murder drama out of the typical (and in my opinion trite) “who shot john” formula.
I give Mr Saylor high marks for making characters that are believable, and behave as we'd expect most mortal humans to react in key situations, yet he never loses the ability to make his characters speak in a distinctly non-modern tongue and syntax.
As a stand-alone murder mystery novel, that just happens to be set in ancient Rome, ROMAN BLOOD is a good, quick and easy read. It moves along at a brisk pace from the first chapter, where right away the author captures reader attention to the crime and the interesting characters who are drawn into the mystery. I absolutely love Gordianus the Finder; who is neither presented as "all knowing", or overly heroic or macho. His demeanor, buffered by Roman custom and life, matches up with any of the great novel detectives. Gordianus is made of the same, determined stuff, ready to get dirt under the finger nails, yet with the integrity of a square player.
It was a fun beach read. I will immediately order Novel #2 in the series. I'm hooked. Great job, Mr Saylor.