Rome during Cicero and Caesar's time...lot's of intrigue, waves of manipulating politics (is there any other kind), and a brief brutal battle scene. It was like being dropped into ancient Rome for a few months during a critical election time. The story follows one man and his family as they divide their time between the capital and their farm in the suburbs, both of which provide the setting for conspiracy and murder as "Catilina" vies for a top Senate position. Mostly first person so we really don't get much from the other characters. It was an interesting look at a subject I haven't read that much about. Will have to read more on Rome by Saylor, left me wanting more details.
From the Roma Sub Rosa series by Steven Saylor, Catilina's Riddle is an excellent novel of ancient Rome. As a person who enjoys and studies history, I can say that Mr. Saylor's books are VERY well researched. However, beyond the historical accuracy of the novels, the stories are AMAZING! His prose is easy-to-read and flows freely. If you are a history buff or even just someone who enjoys a great novel, you will love Catilina's Riddle.
When Gordianus the Finder deserts the fierce intrigues of Rome for domesticity on an Etruscan farm, his brilliant patron, the orator Cicero, draws him back with a curious proposal: keep Catilina, Cicero's radical rival, under a watchful eye.
Reluctantly Gordianus complies-and soon, despite himself, becomes attracted by the notorious populist politicain. Could Catalina really be conspiring against the Republic? Or are Cicero's accusations of Catalina's personal depravity and revolutionary plots no more than vicious lies? Yet when Gordianus discovers a headless corpse in his stables, he is suddenly swept into a mystery more dangerous than any he has ever known...
I am listing all the books in Steven Saylor's Rosa sub Roma series except the last one, which is on my wish list! This was a very enjoyable series...well written, educational (at least for me who previously had no interest in ancient Rome) and fun to see the progression of Gordianus the Finder's life.
You may want to order all of them because they're a fast read and, to me anyway, very addictive.
A mystery of ancient Rome. Gordianus, the finder moves to an Etruscan farm. He is asked by Cicero to watch his political rival and provide him with housing should he ask. When Godianus finds a headless corpse in his stables, he is swept into a dangerous mystery.