Margaret's Reviews > A Gladiator Dies Only Once

A Gladiator Dies Only Once by Steven Saylor
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's review
Sep 08, 10

bookshelves: historical-fiction, mystery, romans, authors-qrs
Read in July, 2005, read count: 1

A Gladiator Dies Only Once is the second collection of short stories in Steven Saylor's excellent Gordianus the Finder mystery series, set in ancient Rome in the 1st century BCE.

The short story format doesn't allow Saylor to develop plots with the complexity of those in the novels, but the stories are satisfying nonetheless, not least for the exploration of aspects of Roman life and culture which haven't come up in the novels. These range from gladiators, in the title story, to chariot racing and the manufacture of the curious Roman condiment called garum. As always, the appearances of historical personages are convincing, and again, Saylor introduces people who haven't appeared in the novels, most notably the politician Lucullus and the rebel general Sertorius.

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