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A Mist of Prophecies (Roma sub Rosa) [Paperback]

Steven Saylor
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Oct 2005 Roma sub Rosa
One afternoon as Gordianus the Finder is crossing the marketplace, a beautiful young seeress staggers towards him and dies in his arms. Possibly insane, and with no memory of her past Cassandra - like her Trojan namesake - had been reputed to possess the true gift of prophecy. For such a gift there are many in Rome who would pay handsomely...or resort to murder. Cassandra had been the confidante of the rich and powerful, until she fell victim to vicious killer. Obsessed with Cassandra and her mystery, Gordianus begins to investigate. As the citizens of Rome nervously await news of the war and the political situation verges on chaos, Gordianus gradually peels away the veils of secrecy that surround Cassandra's life and death. What he uncovers has deadly implications, involving some if the most powerful women in Rome - Gordianus's pursuit of the truth not only endangers his own life, but could well affect the future of Rome herself.

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A Mist of Prophecies (Roma sub Rosa) + The Judgement of Caesar (Roma sub Rosa) + Last Seen in Massilia (Roma sub Rosa)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson; Re-issue edition (27 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845292421
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845292423
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven Saylor is the author of EMPIRE: THE NOVEL OF IMPERIAL ROME, a follow-up to the international bestseller ROMA: THE NOVEL OF ANCIENT ROME. These two epic novels comprise a multi-generational saga that spans the first 1200 years of the city, from Iron Age trading post to the height of empire under Hadrian.

Steven is also the author of the ROMA SUB ROSA series of historical mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, set in the ancient Rome of Cicero, Caesar, and Cleopatra. The latest book in the series is THE SEVEN WONDERS, a prequel that follows the 18-year-old Gordianus on his journey to the Seven Wonders of the World.


Outside the Roman books are two novels set in Steven's native Texas. A TWIST AT THE END is based on America's first recorded serial murders, which terrorized Austin, Texas in 1885. The chief protagonist is young Will Porter, who later became famous as O. Henry. HAVE YOU SEEN DAWN? is a contemporary thriller set in a small Texas town not unlike the one where Steven grew up.

Steven's books have been published in 21 languages, and book tours have taken him across the United States, England, and Europe. He has appeared as an expert on Roman life on The History Channel, and has spoken at numerous college campuses, The Getty Villa, and the International Conference on the Ancient Novel.

Steven was born in Texas in 1956 and graduated with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and Classics. He divides his time between homes in Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas. "If I could have another home," he says, "it would definitely be in London, my favorite big city in the world." When not using his brain, he likes to keep in shape running, swimming, and lifting weights.

Product Description


"'How wonderful to have a scholar write about ancient Rome; how comforting to feel instant confidence in the historical accuracy of the novel.' Sunday Times 'Readers will find his work wonderfully (and gracefully) researched....this is entertainment of the first order.' Washington Post 'Saylor has acquired the information of a historian but he enjoys the gifts of a born novelist.' Boston Globe" --Boston Globe

Book Description

One afternoon as Gordianus the Finder is crossing the marketplace, a beautiful young seeress staggers towards him and dies in his arms. Possibly insane, and with no memory of her past Cassandra - like her Trojan namesake - had been reputed to possess the true gift of prophecy.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mist of Prophecies 17 Aug 2003
By Mrs
This was the second Steven Saylor book I have read and have since ordered all of the 'Roma Sub Rosa' Series.
In this book Saylor creates a first class mystery which seems to have a life of its own. Caesar is away from Rome engaging Pompey, his rival, in battle, leaving lesser mortals to care for the city and the citizens' problems - not altogether satisfactorily. Times are hard and there is widespread unrest against which Saylor weaves a tale of intrigue and deceit wherein from beginning to almost the end it is never clear what roles Cassandra, the young seeress, and the most important females of Rome play. Saylor's tapestry contains threads of the culture and society of the time integral to the mystery adding shadow and light to the tale. All in all this is a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable read.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Mists of Prophecy 24 July 2002
By A Customer
The Mists of Prophecy
The Mists of Prophecy is the latest in Steven Saylor's Rome Sub Rosa series and marks the return of Gordianus the Finder. While Rome anxiously waits to hear the outcome of the war between Pompey and Caesar a beautiful young seeress, the aptly named Cassandra, is poisoned. As Gordianus investigates her death he comes into contact with the wives of many of the men that have been at the centre of Saylor's earlier mysteries and reminisces about his own intense relationship with the murdered woman.
As with his previous books Saylor manages to weave historical fact and fiction so tightly that readers may be tempted to consult the history books to establish which events are documented fact and which only occurred in the imagination of the author. The supporting cast of recurring characters continues to increase which each novel but now at the expense of some stalwarts (eg. Gordianus and his older son are suddenly distant for not apparent reason) although any appearance by Clodia is worth sacrificing a considerably less interesting character for.
After a disappointing entry with Last Seen in Massallia Saylor has had a return to form with this book and although it does not reach the heights of Murder on the Appian Way fans will find much to enjoy. As with the most recent novels in the series a more sombre atmosphere pervades this book than in his earlier works. The disintegration of his relationship with his son Meto, a devoted follower of Caesar, weighs heavily on Gordianus's mind as does the mysterious illness of his wife and crushing debt. This Gordianus is not the sardonic observer of earlier novels but a tired and aging man on whom political upheaval and his own personal problems are taking their toll.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A minor case 9 Sep 2002
By Mr. Warren M. Fisher VINE VOICE
A disappointing entry in the Roma Sub Rosa series after the brilliant "Rubicon" & "Last Seen in Massilia". With those books Saylor took us into the heart of the civil war tearing Rome apart, but here he takes a step back. Unfortunately the case Gordianus is pursuing is a minor one and worse still the Finder seems engulfed in a perilous depression. His mood permeates the book in a negative way, weighing down the narrative and hobbling an already pedestrian plot. The book finally catches fire at the end and hopefully bodes well for the next instalment (Gordianus in Egypt with Caesar, Pompey and Cleopatra?)
An enjoyable read, but below Saylor's usually flawless standards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Winding down? 24 Sep 2004
I've really enjoyed Saylor's roman novels, but this latest continues the decline noticeable in the previous couple. The plot involves Gordianus' personal life in a fairly implausible way and the historical setting of this particular year in Roman history (i.e. the history of the city itself, not the republic/empire) just isn't as vivid as in previous installments. I'll probably get the next one, but more out of duty and a diminishing hope that Saylor will do something new - but plausible - next time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Mist of Prophecies. 17 Dec 2013
By Jo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Steven Saylor's seventh book of the Gordianus series A Mist of Prophecies.
The whole series is recommended, with The Seven Wonders Gordianus as a young man.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 31 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think that this is the best of the series, so far - previously I've found the author's tendency to make apparent his knowledge of Rome rather tedious, but there is none of that in this book and it benefits as a result. highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hello, Saylor 18 Jun 2013
Classical Rome is the setting for this historical murder-mystery. Part of the "Roma sub Rosa" series featuring Gordianus the Finder.

I haven't read any of the previous books of this series, or, in fact, any of Saylor's work. Not a bad introduction; This is a solid enough read, it is more or less self contained though, inevitably, past volumes are referenced and the ending leaves plenty of loose ends for the next episode.

Told in a dual narrative structure, in the first person, the two strands are the events leading up to and following on from the death of Cassandra, a mysterious prophetess. This structure is maintained almost to the end of the book and is well done.

The set up, a collection of Rome's most powerful women present themselves as suspects at the girl's funeral, feels very forced but apart from this one scene, which is needed for plot purposes of course, the historical detail and background is convincing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed this one, thank you
Published 1 month ago by brian
5.0 out of 5 stars Woo hoo another good book
I brought the books in paperback version initially, now I've got them on my kindle. Great story lines and a rip roaring read, you feel you're part of Roman history. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Lesley
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mist of Prophecies Steven Saylor
Slower than some of his other books but have just began the sequel and I AM HOOKED AGAIN.The book had a slow start and I felt that he was anxious to get onto the next plot.
Published on 15 May 2012 by denbyfan1
4.0 out of 5 stars not quite dynamic enough
It was nice to return to my favourite Roman characters after 18 months since I read Last Seen in Massilia. Read more
Published on 20 Sep 2010 by John Hopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Gordianus, a Sherlock Holmes and more of the Roman Republic
Yet another good book by Steven Saylor about Gordianus The Finder. Once this series are started there is no turing back until the full series have been read.
Published on 21 Mar 2010 by NRP Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Molto interessante
From Giulia Regoliosi's web page "Gli antichi detectives" (Detectives of the ancient world)
Ambientato nel 48 a.C. Read more
Published on 14 Sep 2009 by Moreno Morani
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent
Of all Saylor's books, this is my favourite. The plot is addictive and the characters have so much inner life. I read it without being able to stop. Read more
Published on 16 July 2009 by Anuska
5.0 out of 5 stars Ninth in the Sub Rosa Series
Steven Saylor's fascination with Ancient Rome began at an early age. A history graduate and former newspaper and magazine editor, he lives in Berkeley, California. Read more
Published on 23 Dec 2006 by J. Chippindale
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