Author: Steven Saylor

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 978-1-250-08712-6

Steven Saylor, author of The Throne of Caesar, has written at least three other books [Roman Blood, Roma, and Empire] Together they comprise his Roma Sub Rosa series. (2018, inside back cover) All feature Gordianus the Finder. Saylor has been featured on the History Channel and is considered an expert on Roman life and politics. He lives between Austin, Texas and Berkley, California.

This book's content spans nearly two weeks in the life of Gordainus the Finder who is the main character and is the voice through which this story unfolds. It begins on March 10 and ends on the March 23. Gordainus and his daughter, Diana, and one slave, Tiro, and Cicero are discussing the possibility that there may be a plan afoot to unseat Caesar as the Emperor.

Gordainus got his name ‘the finder’ from being a formidable gumshoe. He has dirt on the vast majority of Rome, but does not use it to his advantage unless circumstances require it. He has been handsomely paid for his services and, as such, has amassed some wealth and prestige, but also some friends and foes depending on who he was hired to unearth information about.

Meto is Gordainus adopted son. He was previously and slave and is now a freed man working for Caesar as his speech writer and historian. Gordainus is extremely pleased with how far up the ladder Meto has come. He also loves him deeply.

As the plot moves forward Gordainus is asked to do a favor for Caesar involving the reading of some of his associates to determine whether or not they are actually loyal to Caesar. Caesar has provided Gordainus with a list of those he wishes to investigate the most on this topic. In return for this covert favor Caesar has told Gordainus that he wants to present him as the newest Senator on the ides of March.

Gordainus is flabbergasted. On one hand he is proud and the other perplexed. He is unsure he belongs in this regal post and doesn’t even know how to go about it. Meto assures him that he is worthy and Gordainus wife and family are beyond happy at this strange turn of events.

One of Gordainus best friends and drinking buddies, Cinna, and he discuss this new seat in the Senate in their favorite tavern once Cinna is able to loosen up his tongue with enough red wine. Cinna knows Gordainus well and can tell that he has something to hide. The wine works and they share a few secrets.

Cinna happens to be a very well received poet and has written a brand new poem that he shares bits and pieces of with Gordainus over the course of their time at the pub. It’s called Zymrna and is about an incestuous relationship between a father and his daughter. He has given it to Caesar for a solid review and hopes he finds it compelling.

Meto tells Gordainus that Zmyrna is splendid and he offers to buy him a copy for his birthday. Gordainus is not a poetry reader per sae, but he finds a wonderful affinity for that genre and his friend Cinna as he and his son Meto read this poem aloud one evening together at home.

A series of strange events leave Gordainus wondering what is going on. Will he unravel a plan to overthrow Caesar? Is it a ruse?

To say I loved this book would do it a disservice. It was the most beautifully written book that I have had the pleasure of reading in a long long time. I was actually sad to have it end!