Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 18 November 2008
Though this book was published far later in the series, the novel actually fits in at number two in the timeline of Saylor's novels about the adventures of Gordianus `The Finder', and his family in ancient Rome. Well, that is until he publishes another back-history story, that is so frustrating to some readers.
The book is mainly a collection of short stories, set during the time period between the books `Roman Blood' and `Catalina's Riddle', which fill out some of the events in Gordianus's life, that the author felt needed filling in.
The stories themselves, whilst entertaining and filled with all the history that Saylor has researched and come to be praised for, are however far too predictable for my own liking. Indeed I found myself far more reading the short story to confirm who the `perpetrator' was, rather than waiting for some suspense filled ending. Maybe unlike other books in the series the author did not have enough pages to fill them out more, for the book is only about 300 pages, and the stories themselves only about 50 pages in length.
Maybe, also his other fiction has prepared me too well on Roman society and the devious lengths that the patricians will go to raising their profile within the Forum or the Political world, or for that matter just for their own greed !
Overall, a smooth, enjoyable book and one that would encourage me to further read more Saylor novels, but far too predictable. Those out there who like his style of writing will enjoy it, as will those who like to read about this period in history. 4 out of 5.