Thursday 3 March 2016

Wrath of the Furies by Steven Saylor

Wrath of the Furies: A Novel of the Ancient World by Steven Saylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘The Saylor hallmarks are meticulous recreation of Rome's grimy bustling streets and a brilliantly drawn cast of minor character’ - The Sunday Times


Published 3rd March 2016, Hardback, £18.99, Constable

Gordianus the Finder returns in another thrilling mystery set in Ancient Rome. In 88 B.C., it seems as if the entire ancient world is at war. In the west, the Italian states are rebelling against Rome; in the east, Mithridates is marching through and conquering the Roman Asian provinces. Even in the relatively calm Alexandria, a coup has brought a new Pharaoh to power and chaos to the streets. The young Gordianus has been waiting out the chaos in Alexandria, with Bethesda, when he gets a cryptic message from his former tutor and friend, Antipater. Now in Ephesus, as part of Mithridates' entourage, Antipater seems to think that his life is in imminent danger.

To rescue him, Gordianus concocts a daring, even foolhardy, scheme to go "behind enemy lines" and bring Antipater to safety. But there are powerful, and deadly forces, at work here, which have their own plans for Gordianus. Not entirely sure whether he's a player or a pawn, Gordianus must unravel the mystery behind the message if he's to save himself and the people he holds most dear.



My biggest concern reading this book was that it would be hard to get into the story since this is the third book in a series, but I needed not worry. Yes, there are events mentioned in this book that has happened in the previous books, but that didn't bother me at all. Instead, it made me quite eager to get the two previous books in the series.

Steven Saylor first wrote about Gordianus the Finder in the Roma Sub Rosa series. This series is called Ancient World and takes place when Gordianus is younger and living in Alexandria. Gordianus gets a cryptic message from his former tutor Antipater who seems to be in danger. He decided to travel together with his slave Bethesda to Ephesus to rescue him. But this little rescue plot soon becomes part of a much bigger plot, one that could save thousands of lives.

I was really impressed with this story, Saylor has really captured the atmosphere of the time. I have mostly read non-fictional books about this time frame and I'm really stunned how genuine everything feels. This combination of genuine feeling and interesting story makes this book really enthralling to read. This mix of fictional characters with real characters like Mithridates is executed so well. And, the story surprised me, especially towards the end.

Wrath of the Furies is a great book and will definitely appeal to readers of historical fiction. It's well-written and compelling. There are some brutal scenes in the book. This is not a cozy mystery book, it's a historical fiction that deals with historical events that are awful to read about, but it was a time of war and unrest. And, even though I hoped for a different ending, well sometimes not everything can be fixed.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!


‘A compelling storyteller, with a striking talent for historical reconstruction’ – TLS

‘A highly suspenseful plot and a moving resolution distinguish Saylor’s masterful novel featuring Roman sleuth Gordianus the Finder in his younger years’ —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

‘Saylor's scholarship is breathtaking and his writing enthralls’ – Ruth Rendell

‘Compelling characters swirl through the fast-moving, cleverly constructed plot...With its expert mix of comedy and tragedy, Wrath may be Saylor's most thought-provoking work’—USA Today

STEVEN SAYLOR is the author of acclaimed historical mystery novels featuring Gordianus the Finder, including Raiders of the Nile, 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,

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