Wrath of the Furies

Written by Steven Saylor
Review by James Hawking

In the latest installment of the Roma Sub Rosa series, Gordianus again displays his sleuthing skills, but instead of the mature Finder, this entry concerns a Gordianus barely out of his teens. After writing two general historical novels (Roma and Empire), Saylor has returned to the mystery genre. This is the third installment of what amounts to a series within a series, the adventures of young Gordianus. This episode puts him in the year 88 B.C., when Mithridates is plotting to kill every Roman and Roman sympathizer in Asia.

Disguised as a mute to avoid speaking his Roman-accented Greek, Gordianus arrives in Ephesus, where any Roman might be killed on sight. He communicates through Bethesda, his slave and lover. Can he foil Mithridates’ plot, or at least save those close to him, like the famous poet Antipater, now going under the name of Zoticus? The series has been rejuvenated by the younger hero and is now better than ever. His episodic Seven Wonders of the World and Raiders of the Nile combine with this latest to establish him as the undisputed master of the Roman historical mystery.