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Roman Blood [PDF / EPUB] Roman Blood First in a unique and acclaimed mystery series set in ancient Rome Gordianus the Finder is summoned to the house of Cicero, the young advocate who is defending a man accused of patricide In a society First in a unique and acclaimed mystery series set in ancient Rome Gordianus the Finder is summoned to the house of Cicero, the young advocate who is defending a man accused of patricide In a society where neither slave nor citizen is free to speak without reprisal, Gordianus is hired to learn the truth.

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 401 pages
  • Roman Blood
  • Steven Saylor
  • English
  • 06 October 2019
  • 9780804110396

About the Author: Steven Saylor

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.



10 thoughts on “Roman Blood

  1. says:

    7.5 10A great start to this Roman series which attacks on two levels, one being the atmosphere and culture of Ancient Rome and the other being a good old mystery To rate the book on one of these levels solely would do a disservice, the mystery is playing somewhat second fiddle to the ambience for a large part of the book but then becomes the main driving force at the end.This is one of those where I wasn t expecting to read it but it was a group read for this month, it was on my very large wish list, and it cost the princely sum of 0.84 on the Kindle It caught me off guard because of this I was thrown straight into Ancient Rome with all these historical figures and their way of life and instantly donned my toga and joined in This oozed atmosphere, every description added an extra level of realism to the time, the main character Gordianus I believe to be fictitious but the surrounding cast are all real historical figures This brings us to the mystery element It only hit me that this was Cicero s actual first trial in real life, and not just a little gimmick the author threw in It plodded along to start with just simmering in the background and then things kicked off with Gordianus digging deeper and finding out the rhymes and reason much to the determent of his own wellbeing Or so we think, there are many twists and turns here with quite a bit of intrigue and it all comes out in the wash in the end.So whilst a great start and I really enjoyed the setting and the style it was written, there were a few parts which went a little slow and the overall mystery wasn t massively interesting or shocking in the end However, these minor quibbles aside, this was a great entry novel and I look forward to reading in this series I already own the next few in the series to crack on.If you like this try The Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden

  2. says:

    Having not studied Latin or ancient history at school or university, my knowledge of the ancient world has come from reading Gore Vidal s Creation and Robert Harris Imperium Oh, and Asterix the Gaul and it s various sequels I ve also gleaned a bit from Shakespeare, although I ve never been that keen on Shakespeare s histories, and while I ve spent time looking at Roman ruins and ancient Roman and Greek sculptures in various places, that has not led to the acquisition of any knowledge about the history those things represent All this means that I came to this particular novel the first in a series set in ancient Rome and featuring Gordianus the Finder with very little knowledge of the time in which it is set and with no particular expectations The first factor put me at something of a a disadvantage The second factor was probably a plus.Gordianus the Finder is a private detective of sorts He is engaged by the young Cicero to assist him in preparing the defence of Sextus Roscius, who has been accused of murdering his father It is Cicero s first major case The crime, the litigation and Cicero s defence of the accused are all factual, as is the political situation specifically, the dictatorship of Sulla and the corruption of Chrysogonus, Sulla s former slave who in 82BC was placed in charge of proscriptions that is, the identification and condemnation of enemies of the state Saylor s imagination fills in the rest of the tale About three quarters of the way through the novel there is a lengthy piece of exposition okay, let s call it an awkward information dump which covers Sulla s rise to the position of dictator I found it reasonably interesting at the time because it s a topic I know nothing about but it did interrupt the plot Not only that, but two pages further on I couldn t remember the details of the history lesson I d only just been taught That was the most significant weakness of the novel Otherwise, it was a success The narrative is interesting and while I guessed one of the twists in the plot, I didn t guess the final big twist In addition, the characters are well drawn and the portrayal of Cicero made me want to read some of his works I had the same reaction when I read Imperium, but didn t do anything about it This time I ve downloaded an edition of his Selected Works.Overall, this was an enjoyable read, made the enjoyable by reading it with my friends Jemidar and Hayes I plan to read of the series This one gets 3 1 2 stars I find it hard not to think of Gordianus as a Private Roman Eye, which will only make sense to those who have seen or heard Wayne and Shuster s Rinse the Blood Off My Toga

  3. says:

    This is the best starter book I have read in a long time Normally I find myself annoyed with books intended to start a series There tends to be too much delving into the background of the lead characters The actual story tends to get lost in various details about where things take place My other problem, especially with historical series, is the amount of time spent detailing the specific time in which the story takes place In the case of Roman Blood, we are introduced to Gordianus, told he is known as The Finder , he lives in a house in inherited from his late father, and he s sort of in a relationship with view spoiler his house slave Bethesda hide spoiler

  4. says:

    Sextus Roscius was a wealthy, degenerate old man murdered on his way to a brothel in the heart of Rome The man accused of the crime is none other than Sextus Roscius own son, Sextus Roscius the Younger A young, ambitious Orator i.e., lawyer advocate none other than Marcus Tullius Cicero is defending the young Roscius Cicero retains Gordianus the finder i.e., a private detective to help solve a mystery What follows next was one of the best mysteries I ve read in some time.First, the mystery itself Like any good mystery what looks like an open and shut case is anything but Sextus Roscius the Younger clearly has motive His father treats him poorly and is squandering the family fortune on food, drink, gambling and whores But it also turns out that the Roscii have a long simmering feud with their cousins And then there are the political feuds, the maneuvering, the jockeying, the struggle for advantage This doesn t even touch the Proscriptions, the culmination of Sulla s political purge against enemies of the state There is much going on here than Gordinas and the reader suspects.The setting itself is fantastic I read historical fiction because I like to gain insight and learn about distant lands and times Roman Blood took me on a thrilling tour of Ancient Rome from the slums of the Subura to the Forum to the seemingly peaceful countryside I especially appreciated the time period of the story Much of Roman historical fiction that I had read thus far seemed to focus on either Julius or Augustus I suppose this makes sense the transition from Republic to Empire provides ample opportunities for drama Saylor focused his story on the period following the Social Wars about 90 BCE This provided some insight into Marius and Sulla and a period that I had only known about in the most general terms I liked the new perspective Saylor did a good job of bringing it to life The world felt alive to me as Gordinas wandered through it.Finally, Gordinas himself was an excellent character The story is told from his perspective and his interactions felt genuine to me He made no exceptional leaps to the truth Rather he gained his insights the hard way He traveled the city He visited the scene of the crime He spoke to witnesses He tried to intimidate a person or two He followed false leads He did exactly what I d like to think a hard boiled investigator would do back in the day It didn t hurt that I actually liked the guy He was good to his slave, Bethesda He actually hired someone to protect her And, at the very end he really does an extraordinary act of human decency that I really appreciated What a great character.Four and a half stars rounded down to four The book was missing something that would ve popped it up to five Not entirely sure why I feel that way Maybe it needed another character Maybe it dragged in a couple of places No worries, it was still a fun book I recommend to those who enjoy historical fiction and mysteries.

  5. says:

    Quick re read before reading number two in the series The only flaw for me, I mean was the long history lesson about Sulla, which sent me to sleep serves me right for reading in bed Otherwise it kept me glued to the electronic pages.I missed the first twist which is not surprising I always miss the twist And I fell for the red herring which followed that too is not surprising I have a great willingness to suspend disbelief when I read a mystery All I care about is if the writing is good and if there are no glaring problems This is, in fact, a well written start to an interesting series that I will certainly continue.

  6. says:

    rating 5.5 5I always hate writing reviews for mysteries because everything I say feels like a spoiler So I m keeping this one short and sweet, and couldn t possibly do justice to the awesomeness that is Gordianus and his brilliant sleuthing skills 80 B.C Rome The famous Cicero before he becomes famous, that is hires Gordianus the Finder to solve a mystery and help him make history or, well, just help him finds facts for a client s defense Taken from a real case, and a real defense by Cicero And then of course we have the dictator Sulla, all life is living under the shadow of his ruleAnd ancient Rome is a city without a police force A city of rich nobles and poor street urchins It is as violent as beautiful and wondrous And Saylor knows how to pull together the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feel of the city, time, its people, culture, religion, and politics wrapped up in a mystery involving history s most intriguing characters We get to interact with all levels of society as Saylor blurs the line between fact and fiction creating a world that just so real.And then he inserts little mute Eco that broke my heart and left me emotionally destroyed Shattered view spoiler The scene where Eco described what he saw, how he told his mother what he saw, and what the thugs did to her and his silent plea for justice was one of the most powerful and heartbreaking scenes I ve read in a long time hide spoiler

  7. says:

    Roman Blood book one of the Roma Sub Rosa series by Steven Saylor centers around the real life patricide trial of a country farmer by the name of Sextus Roscius The advocate of Sextus Roscius, the well known Marcus Tullius Cicero, employs the help of a man named Gordianus to dig up information about the murder in order to prove his client innocent Gordianus is known as the finder, a man well experienced in finding facts no matter how well hidden or obscure Of course, such facts don t come easy There is much lying, much danger, and tons of characters only out for their own benefit that all together paint a picture of a corrupt Roman aristocracy It is a very perilous time in Rome, after all, which has only just caught its breath from the proscription of Sulla and his restoration of the aristocracy over the common people In order to prove Sextus Roscius innocent, Cicero and Gordianus must attack those very aristocrats that now hold Rome in a powerful grip.I avoided reading this book for a while because I didn t want it to disappoint me And it didn t Saylor is clearly a historian If it s not obvious in his reader s notes, it s apparent in his clear delivery of accurate and compelling historical detail You can almost see the dark dilapidation of the Roman Subura that is as hazardous as it is teeming with life, or see the immaculate scene of Carthage on the Rostra, or imagine the men in togas sitting around the Senate What Saylor does is bring Rome to life, but not without insult and credit where credit is due He doesn t present a Rome that is glorious and magnificent as some are prone to do, but neither does it portray it as a place irredeemably corrupt as others would have it Saylor gives his readers Rome in all her shameless glory without falling into some one of the most common traps of those who attempt to write historical fiction A tendency of most historical writers is to accentuate what is abnormal by today s standards because they imagine it will help people understand the time period , or respect it for how different it is, but this often backfires I like how Saylor did not give excuses for Rome, but didn t gloss over the many faults Details are presented in an easy and matter of fact way, which I found helped me get into the time period simply because it was all given so casually Roman Blood is not a great men of Rome sort of book, though it does feature many of the people we know Cicero and Sulla to name a few They all play their roles, as great men do, but without stealing the spotlight Gordianus is a great character because he is likable, realistic and humble And very Roman I also quite like the portrayal of Cicero in Roman Blood because I think it captured his peculiarities perfectly while still redeeming him at the end when it was shown to Gordianus the doubter that Cicero is than just a picky nag and really is one of the greatest statesmen Roman Blood is as much mystery as it is historical fiction It s full of murder, perversion, ruthlessness, and doubt There are enough twists and turns to make the plot interesting while not so many that you lose sense of the thing In the end, you come to understand that everyone is guilty of something in some way and even an innocent man has committed plenty of crimes of his own.

  8. says:

    This is an engrossing mystery, set in the Rome of 80 BC, where the rather shady Gordianus the Finder investigates a case of murder on behalf of the young lawyer Cicero The investigation takes Gordianus to the houses of nobles and the brothels of Rome, encountering slaves, bodyguards and senators, and the corruption of Sulla s dictatorship.This is an absorbing novel, and the author really brings to life every aspect of Roman life, from top to bottom of society Gordianus investigations proceed steadily although there are moments of danger, this is not in any way a blood and guts Roman novel, and its fascination lies in the way the reader is immersed in the detail of Republican Rome The brutality of this world is not ignored, but is always integral to the mystery The course of the investigation that Gordianus undertakes brings out the contrast between city and country life, the bustle of the markets and law courts, and the lives of slaves at all levels Another interesting facet of this book is the combination of fictional and real characters This means that we get an impression of living alongside such historical figures as Sulla, Crassus and Cicero I enjoyed learning about these notable Romans and their achievements in such a lively and interesting way.This was a real pleasure to read and I would strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction set in the Roman era.

  9. says:

    My first reading of a book by Steven Saylor and I really enjoyed this one I am now into 3 different series about mysteries in Ancient Rome The Medicus series by Ruth Downie, then there is Marcos Didius Falco by Lindsey Davis and now the Roma Sub Rosa series by Saylor.They all get about the same 4 rating I enjoyed all the history that Saylor incorporated into this book, as well as all the intrigue and hidden secrets that drove the plot This series features Gordianus the Finder, who searches for clues to help Cicero in his first great oratorial defense, that being the defense of a man accused of killing his own father Parricide an extremely grave offense with an extreme death sentence for anyone found guilty of this crime We get to meet all sorts of people from Ancient Rome Cicero, Rufus, Sulla, Chrysogonos, and a host of others as Cicero prepares his defense and Gordianus must try and provide him with the clues and evidence necessary to support Cicero s arguments.The book sometimes gets a little heavy on history, especially the chapter that dealt with the rise of Sulla and the Social Wars for supremacy in Rome, but the book was a good, solid read and one I would recommend to one and all who like history, Roman history and a good mystery.

  10. says:

    I am simply overwhelmed by this novel The author has presented an accurate, well researched and wonderfully written story about life in Ancient Rome, with its treacheries, lies, vulgar activities, politics etc Is is very explicit but not boring when explaining habits or places and his characters are vivid and true to life Moreover, the whole story is very thrilling What could one want from a historical novel Oh, and I should also mention that this was only Steven Saylor s debut novel Can t wait to read the other ones about Gordianus The Finder in fact, I think I ll get started right away xD.Absolutely intoxicating and strongly recommendable to any fan of history, especially about the Roman Empire

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