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The Throne of Caesar: A Novel of Ancient…
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The Throne of Caesar: A Novel of Ancient Rome (Novels of Ancient Rome Book… (edition 2018)

by Steven Saylor (Author)

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868253,605 (4.18)4
"What a marvel!...Saylor's masterful storytelling puts you right there, wonderstruck and wide-eyed. Deliciously immersive, captivating entertainment from a justly celebrated writer." --Margaret George InThe Throne of Caesar, award-winning mystery author Steven Saylor turns to the most famous murder in history:It's Rome, 44 B.C., and the Ides of March are approaching. Julius Caesar, appointed dictator for life by the Roman Senate, has pardoned his remaining enemies and rewarded his friends. Now Caesar is preparing to leave Rome with his legions to wage a war of conquest against the Parthian Empire. But he has a few more things to do before he goes. Gordianus the Finder, after decades of investigating crimes and murders involving the powerful, has been raised to Equestrian rank and has firmly and finally decided to retire. But on the morning of March 10th, he's first summoned to meet with Cicero and then with Caesar himself. Both have the same request of Gordianus--keep your ear to the ground, ask around, and find out if there are any conspiracies against Caesar's life. And Caesar has one other matter of vital importance to discuss.Gordianus's adopted son Meto has long been one of Caesar's closest confidants. To honor Meto, Caesar plans to bestow on Gordianus an honor which will change not only his life but the destiny of his entire family. It will happen when the Senate next convenes on the 15th of March. Gordianus must dust off his old skills and see what plots against Julius Caesar, if any, he can uncover. But more than one conspiracy is afoot. The Ides of March is fast approaching and at least one murder is inevitable.… (more)
Member:jeff.coatsworth
Title:The Throne of Caesar: A Novel of Ancient Rome (Novels of Ancient Rome Book 16)
Authors:Steven Saylor (Author)
Info:Minotaur Books (2018), 379 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:2021-11 #59

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The Throne of Caesar by Steven Saylor

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In the beginning of The Throne of Caesar, it's just before the Ides of March, 44 BCE. Gordianus the Finder is about to become a senator, and Julius Caesar's getting weird vibes and asks Gordianus to see if anyone's up to anything. I was a bit skeptical of this opening, wondering how on earth a novel about the assassination of Caesar could possibly have any drama or suspense. Here's the 2000-year-old spoiler: He gets stabbed. We know who did it, we know Gordianus doesn't stop it, so where's the suspense?

But it really works, because the novel skillfully blends Gordianus' preparations to become a senator, his investigation in a warning scrawled on Cinna's doorstep, some scandalous poetry, and Gordianus' happy family life. Caesar's warnings seem secondary to all the other things going on. The novel's tension comes from the Finder shopping for a his first senatorial toga, while a world-changing conspiracy unfolds around him, familiar and clear to every reader but completely unknown to Gordianus. And when the inevitable happens, it's actually the least-shocking mob justice in the book...

The book's ending, with Gordianus' daughter Diana offering to record and edit his memoirs of his mysteries, may be a hint that this is the close of Gordianus' adventures. ( )
  TheFictionAddiction | Aug 12, 2020 |
The Throne of Caesar (Roma Sub Rosa #13) - Steven Saylor I am electing not to mark spoilers in this review. I feel the events of the novel are prominent historical events that the majority of readers should be familiar with.
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As excited for this book as I was, I was also hesitant to read it. As I understand things, this is the final book in the Gordianus the Finder series (Roma Sub Rosa). I'm just not quite ready to give Gordianus up despite the fact that he seems to have acquired a few more years than most Romans of the age. The author has been releasing prequel novels. However, none of those novels have really been any good.

If you are coming into this book expecting the traditional Gordianus mystery, you are going to potentially be disappointed. There is a mystery in this novel but it doesn't make an appearance until about the last 100-75 pages. The novel revolves around Caesar and his death. There's no mystery there. Everyone knows how Caesar dies. Everyone knows who killed Caesar. Saylor still managed to make me care and maybe even convince me that just maybe this was an alternate history. Maybe Caesar didn't really die.

It is difficult to make the events of the Ides of March take a backseat. Saylor manages to put Caesar's assassination in the way back. Cinna takes a front seat in this story. Cinna's work and his death are the star of this show. If you aren't sure who Cinna (the poet) is and where he stands in Roman history, I would strongly recommend doing a little bit of background research before starting this book. I must confess I had heard the name but wasn't sure exactly who Cinna was. I had to pause my reading to do some of my own research.

While the author has said there are no plans for more Gordianus novels, there was a door left open at the end of the novel for a spin off. I'm not going lie, the idea of a spin-off doesn't thrill me. The prequels were enough of a flop that I'm not sure I'm interested in anything other than Gordianus as "the Finder". ( )
  SKNF | May 7, 2020 |
An interesting conclusion to a mystery series, in that it's not much of a mystery. Gordianus is asked to look into two cases by three people: the possibility of a plot against Julius Caesar as the Ides of March approaches, and a threat or a warning outside the door of his drinking companion, Helvius Cinna. However, he finds no trace of the plot to assassinate Caesar until it inevitably happens, and doesn't conduct any real investigation of the word written outside of Cinna's door until after Cinna is murdered, as in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, apparently having been mistaken for the other Cinna. So, I'm not entirely convinced this is a mystery novel. It is, however, a very successful historical novel, managing to build suspense around events that all of already know will come to pass, with a fine touch for dramatic irony. And it is a good farewell to Gordianus and his family. I don't know if Saylor will ever write any stories of investigations conducted by Eco or Diana and Davus; it's understood that all of them will carry on the family business, but Eco has been planning to do so for so long that I would have expected him to have taken a starring role by now if he was ever going to do so. If he does, I will be happy to return to this version of ancient Rome. ( )
  Unreachableshelf | Aug 23, 2019 |
How does one make a mystery of the death of Julius Caesar, which was never a mystery? Gordianus the Finder is asked by Caesar to investigate a list of men. He can use his coming appointment to the Senate as an excuse to question the high-ranking men, on the excuse of needing a senatorial toga on short notice. In the meantime his adopted son is appalled that he is unfamiliar with the poem Zmyrna, a rewriting of a Greek myth of father/daughter incest by the poet Cinna. When Cinna is killed in the riots following Caesar's funeral a new mystery develops--who killed Cinna and why and what has become of his body? The solution is shocking. ( )
  ritaer | Jun 22, 2019 |
This is the 13th and final novel in the author's long running murder mystery series featuring the 1st century BC Roman sleuth Gordianus the Finder. Having delayed this finale by going back into the character's youth in three prequel novels, Saylor tackles the most famous murder in all history - that of Julius Caesar himself on the Ides of March 44 BC. Hardly a mystery, of course, though another murder is tacked onto the story at a late stage, taking place at Caesar's funeral. I must say I found the background explanation to this murder a bit hard to swallow, and overall, though the novel is very well written as ever, I thought its pacing was rather uneven, with quite long stretches where the plot does not advance, but a lot of poetry is declaimed and analysed. I will miss Gordianus and his eclectic family though, and I am sure a re-read of the early novels in this great series will be in order at some point before too long. ( )
  john257hopper | Dec 5, 2018 |
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"What a marvel!...Saylor's masterful storytelling puts you right there, wonderstruck and wide-eyed. Deliciously immersive, captivating entertainment from a justly celebrated writer." --Margaret George InThe Throne of Caesar, award-winning mystery author Steven Saylor turns to the most famous murder in history:It's Rome, 44 B.C., and the Ides of March are approaching. Julius Caesar, appointed dictator for life by the Roman Senate, has pardoned his remaining enemies and rewarded his friends. Now Caesar is preparing to leave Rome with his legions to wage a war of conquest against the Parthian Empire. But he has a few more things to do before he goes. Gordianus the Finder, after decades of investigating crimes and murders involving the powerful, has been raised to Equestrian rank and has firmly and finally decided to retire. But on the morning of March 10th, he's first summoned to meet with Cicero and then with Caesar himself. Both have the same request of Gordianus--keep your ear to the ground, ask around, and find out if there are any conspiracies against Caesar's life. And Caesar has one other matter of vital importance to discuss.Gordianus's adopted son Meto has long been one of Caesar's closest confidants. To honor Meto, Caesar plans to bestow on Gordianus an honor which will change not only his life but the destiny of his entire family. It will happen when the Senate next convenes on the 15th of March. Gordianus must dust off his old skills and see what plots against Julius Caesar, if any, he can uncover. But more than one conspiracy is afoot. The Ides of March is fast approaching and at least one murder is inevitable.

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