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A Mist of Prophecies:  A Novel of Ancient Rome

A MIST OF PROPHECIES: A NOVEL OF ANCIENT ROME

by: Saylor, Steven
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description During the Roman Civil War, as the forces of Pompey and Julius Caesar fight a series of battles in the provinces over control of the Republic, Rome itself is a hotbed of intrigue as those left behind wait for word. In this tentative and treacherous environment, a beautiful young seeress is murdered in the marketplace. Possibly mad and claiming no memory of her own past, Cassandra - like her namesake - is reputed to have had the true gift of prophecy and, as a result, she became a confidante of the rich and powerful. Gordianus the Finder, who had become obsessed with the woman and her mystery, starts to investigate her murder. As the political situation in Rome continues to decay, the citizenry veers towards ruin, and everyone waits for word out in the far off fields of war, Gordianus begins to peel away the veils of secrecy that surround Cassandra's life and death. What lies underneath involves one, possibly many, of the most powerful women in Rome and the truth could not only put Gordianus's life in danger but affect the very future of Rome itself. From Publishers Weekly In Saylor's ninth outstanding Roman historical (after 2000's Last Seen in Massilia), it's 48 B.C. and the Empire is wracked by civil war and civic unrest. In Rome, the beautiful and enigmatic seeress, Cassandra, has everyone from Forum "chin-waggers" to high-society matrons entranced by her convulsionlike attacks of prophecy. Gordianus the Finder, more captivated than most, finds himself involved professionally and romantically with the seeming madwoman. Officially he's retired from his finding duties, but he resumes the hunt after Cassandra, just before dying in his arms in the market, whispers, "She's poisoned me!" Seven of Rome's most influential women including Caesar's wife, Calpurnia attend the seeress's humble funeral. All have something to do with Cassandra's fate, just as she, in secret ways, has something to do with the fate of Rome itself. The action picks up as Gordianus interviews these women and tries to sort out their connections to Cassandra. Conversations among Gordianus's chin-waggers also serve to clarify the situation. As usual, Saylor's research is impeccable, but the history never distracts from the very human drama. Especially touching is Gordianus's wife, Bethesda, whose "malady" is a source of concern and mystery to her errant husband. With this intelligent and compelling story, Saylor shows once again why fans of ancient historicals regard him as the leader of the field. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal In the ninth book in Saylor's "Roma Sub Rosa" series of mysteries set in ancient Rome, Gordianus the Finder has now retired from his life as an investigator of crime and political intrigue and has settled into peaceful domesticity with his family. But his newfound tranquility is soon shattered by a series of events brought on by the continuing struggle between Julius Caesar and Pompey for supremacy over Rome. Gordianus's wife falls ill, the city is in upheaval owing to food shortages and rising prices, and factions within the city begin to vie for power in Caesar's absence. When Cassandra, a beautiful seeress who is subject to epileptic seizures and prophetic outbursts, is poisoned and dies in his arms, Gordianus is drawn out of retirement and into an increasingly dangerous investigation of the murder. Intriguing both as a mystery and as a historical novel, this should find a wide audience. Readers will enjoy the plot twists, the deft portrayal of characters, and the attention to historical detail. Saylor is particularly fine in his presenting of the common people of Rome. Recommended for larger public libraries. Jane Baird, Anchorage Municipal Libs., AK Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. From Booklist Gordianus the Finder is a sleuth, hired by senators, generals, merchants, and wealthy wives during the waning years of the Roman Republic to work

Details

Product Code: 9780312271213
ISBN: 0312271212
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: 2002-05-27
Number of Pages: 270 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1st
Dimension: 5.98 x 0.98 x 9.29 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds