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In 88 BC it seems as if all the world is at war From Rome to Greece and to Egypt itself most of civilization is on the verge of war The young Gordianus—a born and raised Roman citizen—is living in Alexandria making ends meet by plying his trade of solving puzzles and finding things out for pay He whiles away his time with his slave Bethesda waiting for the world to regain its sanity But on the day Gordianus turns twenty two Bethesda is kidnapped by brigands who mistake her for a rich man’s mistress If Gordianus is to find and save Bethesda who has come to mean to him than even he suspected he must find the kidnappers before they realize their mistake and cut their losses Using all the skills he learned from his father Gordianus must track them down and convince them that he can offer something of enough value in exchange for Bethesda’s releaseAs the streets of Alexandria slowly descend into chaos and the citizenry begin to riot with rumors of an impending invasion by Ptolmey’s brother Gordianus finds himself in the midst of a very bold and dangerous plot—the raiding and pillaging of the golden sarcophagus of Alexander the Great himselfNew York Times bestselling author Steven Saylor returns chronicling the early years of his detective Gordianus before he assumed the title of The Finder Raiders of the Nile is the latest in his much loved series of mysteries set in the late Roman Republic

10 thoughts on “Raiders of the Nile Ancient World #2

  1. says:

    Steven Saylor's novel Raiders of the Nile is the latest in his series featuring Gordianus the Finder but this book takes us back to the Roman's early life when at the age of twenty two he traveled to Alexandria Egypt It was here that he acuired the slave Bethesda who was later to become his wifeThe book opens with the scene of Giordianus and a team of bandits attempting to steal the golden sarcophagus from the tomb of Alexander the Great From there the author flashes back to an earlier point in the story when Bethesda with whom Gordianus has unwisely fallen in love against the advice from his father on relationships with slaves When Bethesda is abducted in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity Gordianus sets out to find her with the company of a young slave boy named Djet They follow the trail of a notorious leader of bandits to their lair the Cuckoo's Nest in the wildest part of the Nile Delta But as the reign of Ptolemy enters its last days chaos descends upon Egypt and Alexandria in particular Giordanus must use all his astuteness to maintain his supposed loyalty to the Cuckoo's gang led by the charismatic Artemon known as the Cuckoo's Child in order to retrieve Bethesda without losing his own life Saylor paints a picture of the Nile Delta as a Wild West sort of place with gangs of unsavory characters and criminals hiding out from the authorities He sets this in the historical context of the events of the reign of the Ptolemys of Egypt and as Rome in its waning days as a republic was spreading its tentacles through North Africa and eventual conuest of EgyptSaylor has a gift for combining ancient history with an enthralling story Gordianus is a multi faceted human being whose wants needs and fears are as real as those of any modern person Raiders of the Nile along with the rest of the series are an exciting way for readers to glimpse life in the days of the Romans As published in Suspense Magazine

  2. says:

    Always enjoyable but think I prefer the older Gordianus' adventures

  3. says:

    I began reading Steven Saylor's mysteries involving Gordianus the Finder a few years ago and was very much impressed by the details and research the intricacy of the mysteries themselves and the usefulness of these stories in the 'Roma sub rosa' series The stories rang true because so much of the detail of the world surrounding Gordianus was accurate and lent itself to the characters he encountered I even found some of his details useful in presenting material in my World History course as well as Combined StudiesHis latest adventure is very much different from all the previous books and I think this makes it suffer a bit in my estimation Gordianus this time is not seeking a murderer or a thief or a traitor nor any other type of criminal of the usual sort Rather he has joined up with a band of pirates in order to rescue his kidnapped slave Bethesda whom he marries later in an earlier book These pirates have their base in the Nile delta from where they prey on shipping as well as land based travelers in the vicinity of AlexandriaThis volume is similar to all of the other books in the series in that it very much relies on the political instability of Gordianus' world but in this case it's the instability surrounding the Ptolemies in EgyptAs in all of the earlier volumes Saylor tells a whacking good story but this time Gordianus is not searching for someone but rather he's after the motives of the several people with whom he comes in contact While a Finder may certainly list this among his services Saylor's depiction I think does a disservice to the world he has created around Gordianus He starts us off in the raid on Alexander's tomb thereby removing any suspense from all of the many risks and dangers Gordianus confronts between Bethesda's kidnapping and that moment Throughout the book the only mystery to be solved is the motive behind any action on the part of the major charactersBut it's the end of the book that left me aghast How could Steven Saylor the diligent craftsman and creator of such wondrous worlds stoop to what can only be described as a hackneyed resolution straight out of Sir Walter Scott or perhaps even H Rider Haggard or Edward Bulwer Lytton? Coincidences abound as the true identity of individuals is revealed 'Brother' says one character 'Son' says another And while all do not necessarily live happily ever after I as a reader felt cheatedThe rating I give this book is for the Saylor's usual uality of research and the unrelenting style that propels the story forward But this time Gordianus seems to have exerted a great deal of energy including swimming around in Alexandria harbor to rescue Bethesda even though apparently neither could actually swim in an unfruitful endeavor

  4. says:

    I found this adventure featuring Gordianus he's not uite the Finder yet a little weak compared to the previous two novels I read I found parts of the novel to be brilliant and other parts to be on the boring sideMy favorite character in this novel wasn't even human view spoiler Cheelba is a tame lion used to terrify potential new members of the Cuckoo's Gang The bandits dress the poor lion in a garish costume to make him appear to be a terrifying beast of mythical proportions In reality he's just a big kitten with a toothache I loved this lion Along with being The Finder I am starting to think of Gordianus as some kind of collector you know like from Guardians of the Galaxy sort of hide spoiler

  5. says:

    If fortune favors the foolish young Gordianus of Rome must be foolish indeed On his 22nd birthday he lavishly adorns his slave turned love interest Bethesda only to see her kidnapped when she is mistaken for a rich man’s companion The kidnappers a notorious gang of thieves cutthroats and miscellaneous scoundrels intending to hold her for ransom operate out of “The Cuckoo’s Nest” hidden somewhere amid the Nile Delta To rescue his love from abuse and execution Gordianus must track down outlaws even the king of Egypt is uailed by Soon wanted for murder and navigating the backside of a country on the verge of civil war Gordianus is forced into trusting strangers at his peril Although the young main character will later be wise and street savvy here he’s giving his real name to barkeeps at mysterious tarverns and accepting drinks from smiling strangers Such things generally lead to death enslavement or other misfortune in novels but Gordianus lives a charmed life The book opens with him taking part in a grave robbery the sacking of Alexander the Great’s tomb in a splash of action that introduces a mood that remains throughout While most of Saylor’s novels are political legal mysteries Raiders of the Lost Nile is thoroughly a light historical action adventure novel with a twist at the end It’s highly speculative of course but enjoyable

  6. says:

    2nd young Gordianus and excellent stuff as is coherent and unitary than the short fiction like seven wonders though it continues strands of the storylineThe book is much adventure oriented and Gordianus plays action hero fights some bandits and joins some others befriends a lion and even uses his budding observation skills to inadvertently wreak havocWhile his fascination with Betsheda is played much than it was implied in the original books and obviously begging the uestion of why he frees and marries her only 20 years later as per the arms of nemesis book and this infatuation powers the plot of this novel as by a mistaken identity trope Betsheda gets kidnaped instead of a rich man's presumed lover the discrepancy doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of this wonderful novelThe postcript of the author in the form of a a explains his thinking behind the structure of the young Gordianus books and I definitely want though the promised march ides book would do uite well tooAny gordianus will do actually

  7. says:

    I haven't read a Steven Saylor ancient mystery in many years so I thought I'd try his newest This one is set in Egypt in 88 BCE with Gordianus the Finder as a very young man His slave girlfriend Bethesda is kidnapped and he must search for her through the Nile delta a region pretty much run by a large band of outlaws Many twists and turns and the historical details feel right But the characters all think like moderns and they all sound pretty much alike Full of cliches my heart sank and many chapters ending with sentences like A sea of terrified faces abruptly turned toward me Riot or The door opened and I stood face to face with the strangest mortal I had ever seen or I woke from a troubled dream my forehead beaded with sweat to see a hulking silhouette looming over me I wanted to see how it would all come out; but I doubt if I'll read another one

  8. says:

    Not my usual sort of reading but this is a delightfully told ancient tale of adventure that trips the imagination Monsters Mimes Menacing Men as well as Mythical creatures as the young hero reaches the age of 22 in Egypt Alexandrian Intrigues It must have been fun to write I enjoyed this read

  9. says:

    Another good addition to this series A bit slow to start lots of laying about and sleeping with the slave girl but once the mystery got going it was done pretty well

  10. says:

    Glorious Gordianus What an awesome and enjoyable story I shouldn't be surprised because Steven Saylor is a wonderful author who knows his time and place very well Gordianus is a wonderful creation I read all of the Roma Sub Rosa series where we see Gordianus as a mature man of 50 or 60 years of age I thought we were going to run out of books in his story because of his age but Mr Saylor has created a whole new preuel series which shows Gordianus as a young man In this book he is 22 years old and does he ever get up to some misadventures in this book The time is 88 BC and Gordianus is living in Alexandria Egypt with his slave girllover Bathsheba All is exciting and new in Alexandria for two young people in love But then Bathsheba goes missing and Gordianus must give up his fun filled life and embark on a strange and dangerous journey to try to get her back He meets all sorts of people on his travels some good and some bad but all wonderfully created by Mr Saylor Accompanied by a delightful young slave boy by the name of Djet Gordianus travels into the dangerous Nile Delta He must infiltrate a very well organized gang of criminals called the Cuckoo Gang Gordianus needs all his considerable intelligence to maintain his anonymity and disguise his real purpose for seeking out this gang Once there Gordianus finds a strange kind of contentment and he finds that he enjoys life on the lam But he never forgets his real reason for being there and goes to great lengths to rescue his love What great fun this book is