Roman Blood By Steven Saylor Setting Roman Blood is set in Rome, 80 B.C. It is a warm spring morning when Gordianus starts his investigation on a crime. He lives in a large house, a little run down over the years since being passed down to him from his father. Himself, along with his one slave, Bethesda, an Egyptian woman usually sits in his big garden. The streets of Rome are where most of the detective work takes place. Like many others, the street where the crime took place is small and unattended. Gordianus' work takes him to a small town called Ameria about 45 miles from Roam for a few days then back again. Towards the end of the book, Gordianus sleeps in Cicero's house for protection after many threats and then stays in the court to hear Cicero's great defense speech.
Plot Gordianus, the one they call the "Finder" is summoned to the house of Cicero, a young advocate and orator who is preparing for his first important case.
His client is a rural landowner, Sextus Roscius, who is accused of the unforgivable crime: the murder of his own father. Gordianus accepts the commission to investigate the crime, partially knowing the betrayal and conspiracy hidden beneath. The answers he needs, sends him through the narrow streets of Roam and to the small town of Ameria. The citizens and slaves he encounters can not be trusted to speak the truth, nor can the accused Sextus Roscius. Gordianus in not prepared for the dangerous wild ride this case sends him on and is definitely not prepared for the truth.
Characters Roman Blood is an ancient mystery and every mystery must have it's detective. The main character who narrates the book is Gordianus, the one they call the "Finder". He is an intelligent Roman citizen who searches for the truth when hired. Gordianus is well known and well respected in Rome at being the best investigator work and is recommended by many. Gordianus' natural knowledge helps him discover the truth and the lies he uncovers. Another main character is Tiro, the slave secretary to Cicero, who, ironically is by Gordianus' side all throughout the novel. He has been brought up along side to his master in a wealthy atmosphere and is naturally intelligent because of this. Tiro has helped Cicero study during his years as a scholar and has a good understanding of both politics and law. Gordianus recognises the good qualities in Tiro and lets him tag along, taking notes on the things they discover. A third main character is Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cicero comes to Gordianus for his services to help him with his new case. After many years as a scholar learning the ways of Roman law, he now offers to defend others in a trial. He comes from a Greek background and is a man of knowledge and wisdom, like Gordianus in some respects. You are able to hear Cicero shine towards the end of the novel when he reads his big defense to the jurors who vote in his favor.
Theme The theme of Roman Blood is mystery set in ancient Rome.
Recommendation I enjoyed this novel very much. The author, Steven Saylor studied classics at the University of Texas and it shows in his work. The city of Rome, the people of Rome, and the Roman life he describes throughout the book is nicely detailed. There are some great fast-paced moments and very interesting scenes in the book. Other points in the novel are extremely boring which got me irritated and I found myself skimming some pages although this only happened in one chapter in particular. What I found equally annoying is some of the repetitive writing. What I mean by this is a phrase or expression used so frequently in the book it makes you sick. There is way too much blushing that goes on in the book. Every single character in the book blushes and he writes it in at least every other page. All of this was so repetitive and unreal that it took away the realism from the story. What I found interesting is that the story is based on Cicero's defense for a real case called Por Sexto Roscio Amerino. Overall, this novel was quite exciting and I would recommend it to anybody.