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

(Ancient World #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  957 ratings  ·  133 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, 342 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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3.86  · 
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 ·  957 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it

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
Natalie Cavernelis
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Always enjoyable but think I prefer the older Gordianus' adventures
Donald Luther
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ancient-rome
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)

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
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
May 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
Shirley Schwartz
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it
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
This is a rollicking adventure story that reminds me more of Scott Lynch. It has rich historical detail (as usual) and I enjoyed it, but it's not what I'm looking for in Gordianus books.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Sarah Ellis
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
super great fast pace adventure!! You cannot go wrong with a Steven Saylor novel!
Steven Saylor has a way of making the ancient world seem exciting and relevant today, by infusing his characters with emotions to which modern readers can relate. He also puts the characters into challenging situations that make readers care about the outcome. His dialog is natural and easy to read, and often amusing. He has done plenty of research, which makes the 88 BC world of Raiders of the Nile come alive. This is the second in the prequel trilogy that precedes his Roma Sub Rosa series feat ...more
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Young Gordianus the Roman has spent the last few years in Alexandria with his beautiful slave girl, Bethesda. On his 22nd birthday, while walking around the city, they come across a mime troupe with a girl named Axiothea who, at first glance, almost appears to be Bethesda's twin. The girls get acquainted and go shopping while Gordianus takes an afternoon nap. Upon awakening, Gordianus finds that both girls have disappeared!

Gordianus finds Axiothea at the villa of her wealthy supposed lover, who
After reading the second of Saylor's prequel trilogy to the Roma Sub Rosa books, I still prefer his earlier novels. While not as simplistic as "Seven Wonders" (which seemed to suffer from the connected short stories format), Raiders of the Nile is not as interesting from a historical standpoint as the Roma Sub Rosa series. There seemed to be less politics (other than just as a setting) and more two-fisted adventuring, which, while fine in its place, isn't what I want in a Saylor novel. Also, ste ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable and engaging period mystery!

This follows the exploits of Gordianus, a Roman ex-patriot living in Alexandria. He left Rome 4 years ago to tour the Seven Wonders of the world and found himself unable to return due to civil war in Italy. He has made the best of his life and works, when he feels like it, as a finder. In this book he ends up working for himself as his slave is kidnapped and he is the only one who cares enough to try and save her. I very much enjoyed this look at an anc
Mary Warnement
I finished this the night before leaving on a long weekend and marked its completion on my phone, which is not the easiest place for me to leave a review, even one as short as this. I hadn't read Saylor in years. Once he no longer used Cicero's trials as the basis of his mysteries, I lost a little interest, but I was really in the mood to return to the imaginary ancient world. Saylor did his first Sub Rosa series with detective Gordianus, but then went back in time to share G's origin stories. T ...more
David Samuels
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I think this book is mislabeled as a mystery. It's more of an adventure, and any mystery elements merely play in the backdrop (when they occur at all). The pacing and action itself is great, hence the three stars. But the prose fell short from what I've come to expect from Saylor. There were lots of times where repetitive phrases or awkward sentences pulled me out of the reading. If you're a big Gordianus buff, then go ahead and buy this. Otherwise, stick to the main mystery series.
Dennis Fischman
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first in the series because while there were plenty of dead bodies, there was very little mystery as to how they got that way. It was an adventure story rather than a whodunnit, and still, the resemblance between two of the major characters being unexplained was a big hole in the plot. For Roman Empire novels, I think I prefer the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsay Davis.
Jennie Rosenblum
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the third book of the young Gordianus and it feels like Saylor has hit a new groove with this character. It took the first two books for me to get reinvested with this younger version of one of my favorite characters - but I am there now. Saylor always comes through with an incredible rich, well researched book.
Anna Bergmark
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
The story is severely diluted. A hullabaloo among Egyptian bandits is not good enough. The bite and weight of the good old Saylor is missing in (pointless) action. Perhaps his written to many books or maybe he should simply have stayed in Rome. What ever...

This Arabian mess just doesn't cut it. It's under par with a vengeance.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I love Gordianus and was looking forward to reading the newer books, but I was a tiny bit disappointed in the ending of this one: it was just a bit too cliche. I also didn't find the characters as enjoyable as others, and the mystery fell a bit flat compared to Saylor's other books. It was still an enjoyable read, but I didn't love it as much as the other Sub Rosa books.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the Finder series. It's interesting to read about his early years. This is set in Alexandria. There are bandits and pirates and mistaken identity. It's not like the Roman series. It's a little more light-hearted. I'll have to read the first book in the series.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Steven Saylor does not disappoint.
I appreciate how Saylor made sure to make Gordianus more immature and arrogant in this book compared to his written-earlier-but-timeline-wise-later Roma Sub Rosa books.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy a good Steven Saylor novel!
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Liked the setting. Not sure how I feel about the character - likeable but uneven.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, crime
Much more focused on the story and travel than the original series, which looks at politics much more.
Marion Dautry
Aug 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was so focused on the sexism and the many allusions to paedophilia as if it's nothing to frown upon that I got surprised by the plot twist at the end, hence the one star.
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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 class

Other books in the series

Ancient World (3 books)
  • The Seven Wonders (Ancient World, #1)
  • Wrath of the Furies (Ancient World, #3)
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