Steven Saylor's fifteenth novel featuring the character of Gordianus the Finder, and the third of his Ancient World prequel series, finds 19-year-old Gordianus in Alexandria during the midst of the Mithridatic Wars (89-87 BCE).
A Big part of what I've always loved about these books is how well Saylor immerses the reader into these strangely familiar, but often alien settings. Gordianus works, in effect, as a private detective, and each of the novels works as a mystery on its own. His latest, Wrath of the Furies (2015), nearly splits the standard narrative in half, with the majority of the novel being narrated by Gordianus, and the rest being a reading of the secret diary of an old acquaintance of Gordianus'.
As with the previous two prequel novels, the mysteries are still quite good, but the action has been dialed up, as a 17 to 19-year-old Gordianus ends up running and jumping a lot more through the course of these stories.
For this novel specifically, I had almost no previous knowledges of King Mithridates, his wars, or the key historic event that happened during the novel, which, for me, dramatically increased the tension throughout, and has got me much more interested in reading historical fiction set in the Ancient World.
1 month ago