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The Seven Wonders (Roma Sub Rosa) Paperback – 2 May 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: C & R Crime (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780338767
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780338767
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

An enthralling prequel to the Gordianus series from the bestselling author of Roma and Empire. Steven Saylor takes readers back to the younger days of Gordianus the Finder.

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having followed the life of Gordianus throughout the series, I enjoy the pace and style as the case comes together through a period of time. The seven wonders is essentially seven short stories each with a case to be resolved and for the majority the outcome is obvious very early taking away the intrigue which gives the series its strength.
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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: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read all of the Roma Sub Rosa series of novels, it was good to be able to go back in time and find out more about the young Gordianus. The Seven Wonders acted as a handy washing line from which to hang the various episodes of the story. It was nice to hear about the Wonders even without the Finder at work! Some of the plot lines were a little far fetched, but overall, another good read from Saylor. Can't wait to read the next novel. which is due shortly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first prequel to the Roma Sub Rosa series by the same author, and takes is back to gordianus' youth. At just eighteen, he accompanies his tutor, Antipater, on a journey to see the Seven Wonders of the World. As they visit each one, there is a mystery for Gordianus to solve. In this way, we get to learn something of his background, and see him learn about the world outside Rome.
It is a well written work, almost a series of short stories, although linked by an over-arching theme, which only becomes apparent as you work your way through. It does not have the depth or intrigue that the books featuring the older Gordianus, but that is not really a problem; here he has the innocence and naïveté of youth, and proves himself a quick learner. Incidentally, you also learn a lot about the Seven Wonders!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel is a prequel to the murder mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder sleuthing in ancient Rome. Here he is a young man travelling with his teacher and mentor, the historical Antipater of Sidon who, for reasons of his own, has faked his own death and is travelling under an assumed name. They visit the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and other wonders such as the ruined city of Corinth and the Pharos Lighthouse, only classified as one of the Wonders in later centuries. The descriptions are very evocative and the feats of imagination and engineering without modern machinery that the Seven Wonders convey are genuinely breathtaking to the modern mind. To be honest, a lot of this book is a bit of an information dump, and the individual visits are really short stories, the interconnectedness of which becomes apparent only at the end, including the revelation of why Antipater has faked his own death. Not as good as the best of the Gordianus novels, but still a very good read that reveals a lot about the Ancient World. 4/5
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