Ann's Reviews > Rubicon

Rubicon by Steven Saylor
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's review
Oct 12, 2011

really liked it
Read from October 12 to 23, 2011

I picked this book up off of the take a book/leave a book shelf on a cruise ship. I haven't read any of the other books in this series.

While I did have the sense that this was the nth book of a series and that there were little asides long time readers would have gotten that I didn't, I didn't feel lost in the book. There's enough background given that as a new reader, I connected with the characters and the plot.

It's not a "normal" mystery, per-se. While there is a murder and the main character has to uncover the killer, that plot is rapidly overshadowed by the Roman civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey. Pompey's nephew is killed in Gordianus courtyard, prompting the Great One to order Gordianus to find the killer. As incentive, he conscripts Gordianus's son-in-law.

To make matters more complex, Caesar has crossed the Rubicon, kicking off the Roman Civil War. Gordianus's adopted son is one of Caesar's trusted advisers.

The book becomes more of a story about the stresses the war placed on Roman families--as often they found themselves on both sides of the conflict--and what chaos can do to a man.

I quite enjoyed the book, and will probably seek out the others in the series.

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