- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books (Feb. 20 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250087120
- ISBN-13: 978-1250087126
- Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.2 x 24.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 599 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Throne of Caesar: A Novel of Ancient Rome Hardcover – Feb 20 2018
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"Can a murder whose killers’ identities and motives are known in advance provide the basis for a gripping whodunit? Saylor answers that question with a definitive yes in his thrilling and moving (The Throne of Caesar)." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This elegant novel brings Saylor's much-loved Roma Sub Rosa series to a triumphant close, painting a vivid portrait of society, politics, and the arts during the Republic's dying days." ―The Sunday Express (UK)
"Saylor, a scholarly American with a fine eye for authentic detail and a flair for plotting murder...embroiders his tale with much fascinating ― and disturbing ― conjecture. If you are new to Saylor, you are in for a treat, because the politics and personal lives of the late Roman republic make compulsively entertaining reading." ―The Sunday Times (UK)
“Exciting and passionate, The Throne of Caesar paints a fresh picture of Rome on the Ides of March. Steven Saylor has written another page-turner of a mystery that, while wonderfully imaginative, is rooted in real events.” ―Barry Strauss, Cornell University, author of The Death of Caesar: the Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination
"The Throne of Caesar is a fitting capstone to one of the most important series in mystery fiction. As always, Gordianus the Finder proves to be a shrewd and compassionate observer of the most tumultuous events in Roman history." ―Gardner Dozois, editor of the New York Times bestselling Warriors
"A rip-roaring detective adventure for fans of Steven Saylor’s Roman intrepid hero Gordianus, who finds himself embedded in the inner circle of Julius Caesar himself, as destiny ticks." ―Adrienne Mayor, author of The Poison King and Amazons
"Steven Saylor's remarkable writing in The Throne of Caesar is so rich in realistic detail that ancient Rome literally unfolds before your eyes. If anyone wants to understand Rome at the end of the Republic, there's no better fictional narrative. Like Mary Renault's magic with words, historical fiction tinged by legend or myth intertwined with known facts and archaeological verity just could not be more elegantly written than here with Saylor's astonishing grasp of Roman life." ―Patrick Hunt, Ph. D., Stanford University, author of Hannibal
"Engrossing" ―The Wall Street Journal on The Triumph of Caesar
"Superb" ―The Globe and Mail (Toronto) on The Judgment of Caesar
"Compelling" ―USA Today on Wrath of the Furies
"Exquisite" ―The Philadelphia Enquirer on A Mist of Prophecies
“Saylor can be a compelling (and sometimes very funny) storyteller, with a striking talent for historical reconstruction…Half a century before imperial rule, Gordianus' Rome is a crumbling democracy; ideology is a dirty word; politicians struggle for naked power, not principles; hands are everywhere in the till; political debate is reduced to flashy spectacles and sound bites; only the forms of the democratic constitution still totter on. For all its complex oddities, Saylor is asking us to feel very much at home in Gordianus’ Rome.” ―Mary Beard, author of SPQR, in the Times Literary Supplement
About the Author
STEVEN SAYLOR is the author of the acclaimed Roma Sub Rosa series of historical mystery novels featuring Gordianus the Finder, beginning with Roman Blood, as well as the internationally bestselling historical novels Empire and Roma. He has appeared on the History Channel as an expert on Roman politics and life. He divides his time between Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas.
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The author hints that this is the conclusion to the story of Gordanius, and certainly brings down (and around) the curtin in fine style.
But he also gives us an out with his daughter (and her Baby Huey of a husband) to carry on in the family business. So Steven, if you want Diana to be Archie Goodwin to Grandpa's Nero [Wolfe], I am ready to pre-order.
Alas, Gordianus doesn’t succeed at his task. Saylor, however, does extremely well at his.
Accompanied by his drinking pal, the poet Cinna, Gordianus grapples with a side issue: Caesar’s promise to propose him for the Senate on the Ides of March. The Finder’s giddy exhilaration humanizes him as he searches for a new toga, while his family adjusts to the overwhelming boost in social class. Cinna comes alive, too, his faux modesty hiding an artistic yearning to be acclaimed for his ambitious (if somewhat creepy) poem along the lines of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
The ensuing plot twists will startle you if you think you know everything about events on the Ides. You may figure out a little sooner than Gordianus does what actually happened, but maybe the author wants to emphasize its scandalousness. I would add that one aspect of a related tragedy seems a bit far-fetched. However, that – as Cinna might say – makes it truly poetic justice.
But his gamble pays off handsomely in “Throne of Caesar." As narrated by Gordianus, events unfurl at a pace suited to a finder in his mid-sixties following up on a request from Caesar himself to discover whether men on a list he provides pose a threat. Gordianus’s investigation strays into matters as disparate as finding a decent toga for a new senator and appreciating the achievements of the poet Cinna. Indeed, for three quarters of its length, the book seems more history than mystery. But that’s the set up and nothing, it turns out, is irrelevant.
The prose is delightful from start to finish, every line confident and polished, every character purposeful and well drawn. I can imagine a slightly tighter version of the novel. But that’s a quibble. “Throne of Caesar” is a genuine accomplishment.
I hope the Gordianus story does not end here - and that Diana picks up where her father left off.