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The Seven Wonders (Roma sub Rosa) Hardcover – 7 Jun 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845295684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845295684
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.1 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,800 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.

To read the previous volumes of the ROMA SUB ROSA series in chronological order, begin with ROMAN BLOOD, then THE HOUSE OF THE VESTALS (short stories), A GLADIATOR DIES ONLY ONCE (short stories), ARMS OF NEMESIS , CATILINA'S RIDDLE, THE VENUS THROW, A MURDER ON THE APPIAN WAY, RUBICON, LAST SEEN IN MASSILIA, A MIST OF PROPHECIES, THE JUDGMENT OF CAESAR, and THE TRIUMPH OF CAESAR.

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

Book Description

An enthralling prequel to the Gordianus series from the bestselling author of Roma and Empire.

About the Author

Steven Saylor is the author of the popular and acclaimed historical mystery novels set in ancient Rome, the Roma sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder. His work has been widely praised for its remarkable accuracy and vivid historical detail as well as for its passion, mystery and intrigue. Steven divides his time between Berkley, California and Austin, Texas.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
Generally clever and entertaining collection of vignettes as the young Gordianus the Finder takes the Grand Tour of the seven wonders of the world as they were listed in 92 B.C. Each stop along the loop of the trip includes a local mystery to be dealt with by neophyte investigator Gordianus and his poet companion, Antipater. For me the best part of this book was the detailed descriptions of each of the notable places visited and, in several cases, the attendant myths that were integral to their stories. The premise for the trip and the role of Antipater have a kind of shaky credibility but are comfortably overlooked if you focus on the what happens on the pair's itinerary.

Steven Saylor is a skilled writer and certainly knows more than a little about the Roman and Greek worlds. In the hands of a lesser author, this book wouldn't have been nearly as interesting.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By William Brandon on 19 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Saylor's Gordianus books have always been a source of great detail allied with good storytelling and compulsive characters. For me, his recent detours into wider Roman history (Roma etc) became tedious self indulgent exercises where Saylor demonstrated his depth of knowledge without a reason to tell it all.

It goes without saying then that it's therefore good to see Gordianus back. It's essentially a prequel set before Gordianus becomes the "Finder". The first book about him for some time it's actually also short stories (previously published in a surprisingly wide range of genre publications - SF, horror. mystery) and making it the third such volume in the sub Rosa series I believe. Inevitably some of the depth is missing and some of the plot devices feel a little contrived, but its a good read.

The device is a tour of the seven wonders of the ancient world by Gordianus and his mentor Antipater. Once again it allows Saylor to show off how much research he has done; but here he does it in a much more realistic and entertaining way than in his more recent novels; But the characterisation is well done and by the end I realy wanted to see Saylor now move into a full novel around the younger Gordianus.

Not quite his sparkling best, but a good and interesting attempt and a return to the storyteller I love.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 13 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
The perfect gift for all Roman history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Steven Saylor has penned an enthralling prequel to his Sub Rosa series. The plot revolves around a tour of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Well written in the form of seven short stories, his in-depth research into the ancient world is very apparent throughout. All in all a well paced easy to follow narrative, which is sometimes humorous and always intriguing. Recommended.For those who would like further information on this epoch I highly recommend the OSPREY Campaign, Warrior, and men at arms booklets, with great overviews, excellent illustrations, and highly detailed maps.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Peter Winstanley on 11 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been an avid reader of Stephen Saylor's 'Gordianus' series. I liked the veracity but also the more 'dark' flavour of the books in comparison with other popular authors of Roman whodunnits. But he now seems to produce books that are easier to write - in essence Seven Wonders is not a novel but a collection of short stories. There is little of the old magic and I found this disappointing and superficial.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 28 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
Its a very enjoyable, good entertaining read. But because it has seven different stories in one volume - it reads as a book of seven stort stories connected by a mans holiday in Europe. Not a single story page-turner like Steven Saylors' other books. It's worth reading though especially if you like Stevens' other books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dog woman on 6 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The young Gordianus travels East with his tutor to see the seven wonders of the ancient world. At each stop, in the tradition that detectives always attract crime, he solves some wrong-doing. This is very much in the same vein as the main series of Steven Saylor's books, with a clearly drawn and vivid portrait of the ancient world as a backdrop. Ingenious mini-plots, nicely drawn characters and an upstanding protagonist. A good read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this themed collection of short stories Gordianus has just donned his toga virilis, officially come of age. His father is sending him away for an extended trip, ostensibly so that he can see the world and broaden his mental horizons but more likely because the clouds of a particularly nasty war are gathering over Rome. Thus we see our young hero (not yet the Finder - that title belongs to his father) setting off to see the Seven Wonders of the World accompanied by his tutor, a man who seems to have his own reasons for leaving Rome.

In the course of the stories we see the pair visit all the Wonders (a list that does not quite correspond with our modern list but which was valid at the time), marvel at them, describe them in full detail, and encounter mysteries which Gordianus first shows his natural talent by solving. He sees other historic sites as well and has a time that is educational in several different ways. The book is not perfect: the amount of detail about the Wonders, which is impressive, may weary some, and the demands of the format mean that sometimes things come together in a way that's a bit too pat. But overall it's a good read, and it's made more that just a set of linked short stories by the background / sub-plot of politics that reminds us that Rome was not yet the undisputed mistress of the region.
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