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Raiders of the Nile (Ancient World, #2)
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Raiders of the Nile (Ancient World #2)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  212 ratings  ·  47 reviews
In 88 B.C. 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...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Community Reviews

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Kathleen

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 acquired the slave Bethesda, who was later to become his wife.
The 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 earli...more
Stephen

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 do...more
Natalie
Always enjoyable but think I prefer the older Gordianus' adventures
Shirley Schwartz
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 prequel series which shows Gordianus as a young man. In this book he is 22 year...more
Jon
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....more
Gretchen
I found this adventure featuring Gordianus (he's not quite "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 side.

My favorite character in this novel wasn't even human. (view spoiler)...more
Donald Luther
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...more
Liviu
2nd young Gordianus and excellent stuff as is more coherent and unitary than the short fiction like seven wonders, though it continues strands of the storyline
The book is much more 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 havoc
While his fascination with Betsheda is played much more than it was implied in the original books - and obviously begging the question...more
Jeanette
It's a joy to read a Gordianus again after all this time. I loved the Roma location series, all of them. But I much preferred the older Gordianus to this younger 22 year old. And I did read the first novel when he was 21 in Alexandria, as well. Alexandria is interesting, but it is just NOT the hotbed of ROME in its prime. And Gordianus is green and rather feckless, IMHO. Almost, but not quite there to naïve.

This time Bethesda gets kidnapped by mischance for ransom.

Simple and easy read- with som...more
Sarah Crabtree
super great fast pace adventure!! You cannot go wrong with a Steven Saylor novel!
Alison Dellit
A new Stephen Saylor is a much anticipated thing, and if this Gordianus prequel still leaves unresolved the future of the series, it was enjoyable and interesting to read. If the shift in tone of this novel is a result of some exhaustion with the Gordianus formula, it is not entirely unwelcome. More of a swashbuckling adventure than a politically-charged murder mystery, the book travels fast and furious through Egypt, to explore the world of bandit gangs more than the passing tour through Egypt'...more
Michelle L
Others have outlined the plot, and a very Gilbert and Sullivan-cum-Hollywood western one it is. Full of dreadful and comedic characters, twists and turns,mistaken identities, colorful settings from Alexandria's streets and royal precincts with its ludicrous inhabitants, to the lawless wastelands of the Nile Delta. I think Saylor was trying to have a bit of parodic fun with his normally earnest stories, what with Gordianus's kidnapped girlfriend-slave, his falling in with audacious outlander-pira...more
Lianne
Apr 08, 2014 Lianne added it
The newest title featuring Gordianus, the Finder, Stephen Saylor's Roman detective is hot off the press. The novel is a prequel, set in 88 BC in Alexandria while the Ptolemys are fighting for the Egyptian throne. Saylor is true to his long-established character. In the other books of the series, Gordianus has gravitas, is ever sophisticated and world weary with high stakes political events of the capital. In this prequel he is young and much more naive. This plot revolves around his 23rd birthda...more
Dale
It has been a few years since I've read any Steven Saylor. I read the original sequence of Gordianus novels, from Roman Blood through The Triumph of Caesar and enjoyed them immensely. Then I read the first of his Rome novels, and was very disappointed. So I was happy to see that there is a new Gordianus novel.

This one takes place in Alexandria and environs, when Gordianus is 22 years old. It is very different in style and tone from the preceding novels: Gordianus is still wet behind the ears; he...more
Jack
In the hands of a lessor author, the plot lines would have been absurd, even foolish but Steve Saylor weaves a wonderful story which hints of elements from ancient Greek and Roman novels.
Something familiar,
Something peculiar,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!
While the lyrics from the play "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" talk about comedy, our story is more ... how shall I say ... less a comedy and more a thriller.
There are kings, and pirates, and bandits, and riots and the...more
Margaret
I am a big fan of Steven Saylor's early work, well not his earliest work, but his early Gordianus novels. If you have not yet become a S. Saylor fan, I encourage you to buy & read some of his other books. To me, this one is far below the level of several others he's produced. The writing is fine -- very professional & much better than something spat out by a self-published hack. Frankly, I did not find Raider's of the Nile very interesting plot-wise.
Marcia
Ah, Gordianus. He's decently humble, self-deprecating, and good-humored, which helps me accept the fact that in almost every one of his books, he walks into a room when invited by a dangerous stranger, only to have the stranger ply him with good wine, good conversation (because Dangerous Stranger has noticed that Gordianus is Insert Adjective here), and a future alliance. Also, Dangerous Stranger usually hires Gordianus for a job, with money being no object.

This was my "read in the car" book thi...more
Kate
An okay read. It really makes me miss the style of his first books, like Catalina's Riddle. This one seemed over simplified and to drag at points.
Elizabeth Theiss
I had been missing Ancient Rome, so I was delighted to find out that Steven Saylor published another wonderful novel in his Roma series with Gordianus the Finder again in the role of protagonist. The story begins in Alexandria where The young Gordianus has taken up residence with the beautiful Bethesda, his slave woman. When she is kidnapped from the marketplace by pirates, Gordianus hies himself to the wilds of the Nile delta, intending to rescue her. So the storyline is neither particularly me...more
Brent Hartinger
I'm a long-time fan of Stephen Saylor, and his Roma Sub Rosa series of mysteries sent in Ancient Rome, featuring a "detective" known as Gordianus the Finder. The mysteries themselves are usually fine, but what's always fascinating (to me) are the details of life in Ancient Rom. This particular book isn't quite as good as the previous "prequel" book, Seven Wonders (wherein Gordianus visits, and solves a mystery at, each of the Seven Wonder of the Ancient world), but it's still a solid entry. If...more
Judith Sebesta
Saylor has written another flashback to his mystery stories, returning to a 21 year-old Gordianus. The plot is remotely plausible, involving in chapter 1 (so no spoiler) Gordianus helping the Nile raiders steal the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. As usual, Saylor is able to describe the scenery and location vividly enough for the reader to picture them. The plot is not too intricately woven and there are not too many convenient coincidences. Bethesda's character is fleshed out a little, but...more
Jennifer Shockley-daniels
I am an avid reader of the Roma Sub Rosa series. Initially I was disappointed in this book. This latest addition in the series didn't have the multitude of historical references to which I have become accustomed. However, when I read the Author's note, I realized that was his point. Saylor discusses ancient novels and the part this played in his process. Raiders of the Nile is a good summer read with an interesting story and nice twist at the end. If you want lots of Roman history, go back and r...more
Heather Ross
3.5*** I enjoyed this encounter with a young Gordianus, although he seemed a bit dense at times (maybe just youthful distraction?) His time among the pirate gang was roughly equal to the time spent on the journey to the "Cuckoo's nest". His inability to admit his love for a 'lesser' person, his slave Bethesda is an internal conflict that is confronted, but not resolved. Luck rather than skill ultimately gets Gordianus & Bethesda out of most of their troubles although to give credit where it'...more
David
Steven Saylor is back with an exciting [second] prequel featuring Gordianus the Finder. And it is a fast-paced, thrilling ride into the ancient Delta of the Nile! Now 22, Gordianus' story takes us from Alexandria to a nest of bandits and then back to Alexandria trying to regain of the love of his life [and future wife] Bethesda. In the process, there are encounters with mime troops, kidnappers, gambling dens, cutthroats, ruffians and lions. This is one of Saylor's best!
Papalodge
After visiting the seven wonders at age 19, Gordiamus is maturing. It is now his 22nd birthday and he sets out on a new adventure. More humor than the earlier books. The characters are fun as well as deceitful and their backgrounds interesting . The king is a hoot. (Necklaces resting between his many chins).
Now I must go back to re-read the The Seven Wonders and Gordy's side trip to Corinth.
Drianne
I miss Roman!Gordianus. I mean, it's nice that there are still new Gordianus books, and at least baby!Gordianus is much less judgmental than old!Gordianus is (and I guess it's good there are so many queer characters lurking at the margins of this book), but it's just so... unRoman. I didn't need the final note to tell me that the inspiration was ancient Greek novels; that was very, very obvious from the 'mystery'/plot. I do like Alexandria a lot, but... I want Gordianus to go home. And interact...more
Jason
Entertaining read. A bit more formulaic than most of his others but this is one purely fiction where most of his others are wrapped around historical events and, as the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction.
Allan Kent
Enjoyable read (as always) from Steven Saylor, but found the ending a bit deus ex machina - too much unfolded too quickly to complete the story. Still, 99% of the book was excellent :)
Neil
Bit different to the other Finder books as this is more of an adventure than a mystery to be solved. Still enjoyed the story and the way he puts you into the ancient world of Egypt and all the wonders of Alexandria. Good story with great characters.
Scott
Good book. Sending off my interiew questions to him friday

Reading this book by an Austin author for a review or interview. Have only read one other book by him which was a good one.
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Steven Saylor is the author of the long running Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, as well as the New York Times bestselling novel, Roma and its follow-up, Empire. He has appeared as an on-air expert on Roman history and life on The History Channel.

Saylor was born in Texas and graduated with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and classi...more
More about Steven Saylor...
Roma (Roma, #1) Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa, #1) Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa, #2) Catilina's Riddle (Roma Sub Rosa, #3) A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5)

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