The Seven Wonders

The Seven Wonders

3.5 8
by Steven Saylor

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Constable & Robinson Limited
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Roma Sub Rosa Series

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The Seven Wonders: A Novel of the Ancient World 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Helen_Ginger More than 1 year ago
The Seven Wonders is the latest in Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series, set in ancient Rome. There are now 13 books in the series. This one, though, instead of being a sequel, is a prequel. It takes readers back to the beginning, or actually, before the beginning of the series. In The Seven Wonders, the protagonist, Gordianus, is 18 years old and he sets off with Antipater of Sidon as his guide. Their journey takes them on a tour of the Seven Wonders of the World. Of course, as readers, we go along on the journey. I found the book fascinating. We're taken back to the year 92 B.C. as we travel with Gordianus and Antipater to Greece and Asia Minor to Babylon and Egypt. We see the beginnings of the Olympic Games. We not only see the wonders of the world, we go inside them. We're introduced to the politics of the time. Discovery by discovery, experience by experience, we follow Gordianus as he comes of age. There are murders; travel by sea, foot and camel; plotting; love; new experiences; and unexpected twists. What I most enjoyed was seeing the Seven Wonders. I've never seen even one in real life. Through this book, I saw them all and got to see what they looked like centuries ago, both inside and out. I also got to see the beginnings of the Olympics and the people of this time period. Saylor shows all of this through the action, conversation, and eyes of the characters. He does it without teaching or preaching. For me, it was a page-turner of a book. I give The Seven Wonders a rating of Hel-of-a-Book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read ever book published by Steven Saylor and have always enjoyed them, I hope he keeps them coming.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
The Seven Won­ders: A Novel of the Ancient World by Steven Say­lor is a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries star­ring the youth­ful, wise crack­ing Gor­dianus. Cur­rently there is a pop­u­lar series of mys­ter­ies writ­ten by Mr. Say­lor and star­ring an older Gordianus. As the name of the book might sug­gests, the reader fol­lows Gor­dianus along with his com­pan­ion and teacher, the world famous Antipa­ter. This famous Greek poet faked his own death to travel in pri­vacy with his stu­dent to see the Seven Won­ders of the ancient world. The cou­ple solves a mys­tery at each site, which at the end, every­thing ties in together to lay out before the reader a grander story. I enjoyed Saylor’s pre­vi­ous books (although admit­tedly I didn’t read many) and was thrilled to be offered to read The Seven Won­ders. The short sto­ries are a great intro­duc­tion to Gor­dianus and actu­ally have a run­ning theme through­out them besides a travelogue. I am a true believer that travel opens the mind, it lets you see for your­self that there are other ways to live your life besides what you believe is the right way. Actu­ally, trav­el­ing shows you that there is no right way, a dirt farmer in mid­dle Amer­ica might just be as happy and con­tent with his life as a mer­chant in Venice. Expe­ri­enc­ing other cul­tures also, I believe, defuses racism and forms tol­er­ance and accep­tance into one’s mind. In many coun­tries, trav­el­ing after high school or col­lege or mil­i­tary ser­vice is a rite of pas­sage and I think those peo­ple are all the bet­ter for it. Cur­rent fans of Gor­da­nius will enjoy this book because the real story is the evo­lu­tion of a loved char­ac­ter. Part mys­tery, a travel jour­nal, a sex­ual awak­ing tale (as a healthy 18 year old, Gor­da­nius dis­cov­ers the plea­sures of the body at each Won­der, if mem­ory serves me cor­rectly) and part a com­ing of age story. Gor­da­nius becomes the detec­tive that he is in the later nov­els, party by sharp­en­ing his pow­ers of deduc­tion while being a stranger in a strange land, grap­pling with unknown cul­tures and lan­guages. A nice touch, in my opin­ion, was Gor­da­nius’ real­iza­tion that Rome just might not be the cen­ter of the world and/or uni­verse. A truth he has heard and believed since birth. The research in this book, as in other books by Mr. Say­lor is incred­i­ble. The descrip­tions of the Won­ders, cities and alley­ways are descrip­tive and vivid. The loca­tions come alive as if they were another char­ac­ter in the book and, even more impres­sive, with­out stop­ping the story in its tracks. The book is actu­ally a pre­quel to the author’s mys­tery series star­ring the pro­tag­o­nist. How­ever, it is not nec­es­sary to read the pre­vi­ous, or any, books in the series to enjoy this one. Gor­dianus him­self is the nar&#173
scorpion56 More than 1 year ago
Like the Roma series, Steven Saylor brings history, in this case, travels to The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, to life in a very entertaining read. I was vaguely aware of the Seven Wonders, but this book adds a great amount of detail and context to that bare boned history lesson we all had from high school. The author does a superb job in describing detail, color and dimensions of the Wonders as well as the pageantry (Olympic Games) surrounding them. World events and struggles of the time (~ 100 B.C.) are equally well-treated and explored. Of course, having Wikipedia available makes it easy to explore in even greater detail. An enjoyable vehicle used in this book, as well in the Roma series, is that each chapter offers an entertaining stand-alone story; yet the central characters and a plot run throughout the book. And as in the Roma series, the central characters are richly developed allowing the reader to feel what their lives were like, and how 2000 years later, peoples' basic yearnings haven't changed all that much. Having read this 'prequel', I'll have to move on to other "The Finder" books. If you enjoy good historical fiction, and have enjoyed other Saylor books, you'll find this a pleasure to race through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite of the Gordianus books, but still an enjoyable prequel. Steven Saylor is very good with the short story format.
goldenhistorian More than 1 year ago
This series just gets better and better and better--this prequel is no exception. It left me hungry for the next installment.
Budzdad More than 1 year ago
This reads like the author phoned it in. It's just nowhere near Saylor's usual work.