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Roman Blood (Gordianus the Finder Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Steven Saylor
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A thrilling puzzle from the ancient world with real historical characters and based on a case in Cicero's Orations - Roman Blood is a perfect blend of mystery and history by a brilliant storyteller.

On an unseasonably warm spring morning in 80BC, Gordianus the Finder is summoned to the house of Cicero, a young advocate and orator preparing his first important case. His client is Umbrian landowner, Sextus Roscius, accused of the unforgivable: the murder of his own father.

Gordianus agrees to investigate the crime - in a society fire with deceit, betrayl and conspiracy, where neither citizen nor slave can be trusted to speak the truth. But even Gordianus is not prepared for the spectacularly dangerous fireworks that attend the resolution of this ugly, delicate case...

Product Description


"Saylor's scholarship is breathtaking, his writing enthrals." Ruth Rendell "Engrossing... Simmering with eroticism... An absorbing brew of Rome's decay." Publishers Weekly on The Venus Throw "How wonderful, to have a scholar write about ancient Rome; how comforting, to feel instant confidence in the historical accuracy of a novel." Sunday Times"

Book Description

The highly regarded first book in Steven Saylor's Gordianus series which is being reissued with brand new covers to tie-in with the highly successful look of Roma and Empire.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1147 KB
  • Print Length: 404 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 031238324X
  • Publisher: Robinson (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005QMP2DM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #93,714 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Forsyte Saga set in ancient Rome 11 Sept. 2003
Roman Blood, the first of Steven Saylor's Sub Rosa series of novels, introduces Gordianus the Finder and his family, fictional characters who become increasingly memorable and claim a hold on our affections and sympathetic concern as they interact throughout the series with many famous historical characters, Julius Caesar, Pompey The Great, Cicero, and Spartacus being the best known. The lawlessness of a great city - Rome - without a police force; the brutal treatment of slaves as chattel; the political intrigues and assassinations - all are faithfully portrayed in historically accurate and authentic detail. But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of these novels is their overlay of modern liberal values represented by the fictional narrator, who manumits (frees) and marries his Egyptian concubine, Bethesda, adopts two slaves as his sons, understands and accepts the independence and sovereignty of women, reveres and serves the truth as much as Diogenes, and evinces a genuine religious piety. The characters are memorably drawn and individuated, and the finder's daughter, whose patronymic name Gordiana is shortened to Diana, is perhaps the most appealing daughter in literature since Cordelia. Like all works of a master spirit, these books provide an edifying education, with recognizable allusions to ancient as well as Elizabethan literature, and they contain flashes of sardonic humor appropriate to the anatomy of the human condition that they reveal. They are among the very best of modern recreations of that peculiar combination of greatness and squalor that was ancient Rome.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Rome brought to life 7 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of the things I love about my kindle is the ease with which I can search through many lists of books and discover new authors (new to me in fact). This is how I discovered Steven Saylor and his novel "Roman blood". After coasting through a number of categories of books and much reading of reviews I decided to give this book a try. I found it to be an intriguing story about the "finder" Gordianus who helps to solve a mystery of a horrible crime. The author's style tells the fascinating story woven round descriptions of life in the ancient Rome. I was treated to an interesting history lesson too. This book is a great read with all its twists and puzzles from the start to finish as it brings ancient Rome to life. Greatly recommended.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hooked instantly 1 Jan. 2006
By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this book quite by hazard but was hooked from the very first page. Gordianus, 'the last honest man in Rome', is thoroughly believable because - how rare this has become in historical thrillers and novels - he is depicted as a real human being with real emotions (happiness, joy, sadness, jealousy, you name it) instead of a one-dimensional puppet.
The setting is very well drawn and the plot engrossing, the hours you'll spend reading this book will afterwards feel as if you've stepped back in time. What more can one ask for? I for one immediately went after all the other books in the series.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it and read it... 20 Jan. 2004
This is, simply, one of the best historical novels I have read (and I've read a few). There's no point in wasting hundreds of words on it - just read it and enjoy a superb story (based on Cicero's first major trial) with a realistic portrayal of Republican Rome.
Then, when you've done with that, read the other Gordianus books - you won't regret it!
So there!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome resurrected 24 Mar. 2013
No greater praise than my title. Saylor manages to mix a suspenseful thriller with a painstaking and accurate reconstruction of ancient Rome. On more than one occasion I have thought some assertion absurd only to check it and find out it was true. This is a very intelligent book, even dialogues with such literary luminaries as Cicero are convincing. It is a feast for classicists but the lay reader will find much to amuse and instruct.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addicted to Gordianus 16 Aug. 2011
This is the first book in the 'Sub Rosa' series. I started reading them out of order and have become addicted. Although Gordianus is a fictional character, the 'real' people of the time, the environment and the proveable historic references are described with an amount of accuracy that reflects the author, Steven Saylor's academic background.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roman Blood 17 Jun. 2010
A superb story, Saylor has successfully captured the tastes and smells of 80 BC Rome . Link this with a detective with a difference, who always gets his man, and one is hooked from start to finish. I'm delighted there are many other books to read in this series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Oozes atmosphere! 21 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

A 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 more 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
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Another good read from this author.
Published 5 days ago by I. G. Hill
3.0 out of 5 stars Audio bad, book good
Having enjoyed reading the book I purchased the audio to enjoy the story again.

I'm onto the third disk and am finding it heavy going. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rob
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction done well
I'm a fan of historical fiction. This is a good read especially for the first in the series. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Published 2 months ago by Wynning IT
5.0 out of 5 stars Read before visiting Rome!
Brilliant book. Book club read it before our trip to Rome, so really good history book as well as cracking story.
Published 2 months ago by Isabella
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Mary Jc Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
it gives an incite into ancient Rome plus a detective story
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Joan Nicholas
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I really enjoyed this brutal view of a cultured era...

Well written and beautifu descriptions of everyday life and the scenery of Rome at its height
Published 3 months ago by Jacqui B
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping yarn
A real page turner and very well written. This was my first Saylor book and it certainly won't be my last!
Published 7 months ago by Williamr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars A dedicated follower. A dedicated Follower of ........(The Kinks)
I seem to recall Falco has covered all of the angles before. I will try the next book. Find a diferent angle in the plot to make it more interesting. Good luck.
Published 9 months ago by tr2rosie
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