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Monthly Group Reads > JULY 2016 - Arms of Nemesis by Steven Saylor

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message 1: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Jun 16, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Our discussion thread for the July group read of book two in Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series.

Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa, #2) by Steven Saylor by Steven Saylor


message 2: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Jun 16, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Question for all those who have read this book already. Can it stand alone. Does a reader have to read book one to understand Arms of Nemesis?


message 3: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments Terri wrote: "Question for all those who have read this book already. Can it stand alone. Does a reader have to read book one to understand Arms of Nemesis?"

It can stand alone, but the previous book in the series, Roman Blood, is one of my favorites. Hopefully you'll like Arms of Nemesis so much you'll run right out and get it.


message 4: by Kimber (new)

Kimber (kimberlibri) | 785 comments Vicki wrote: "Terri wrote: "Question for all those who have read this book already. Can it stand alone. Does a reader have to read book one to understand Arms of Nemesis?"

It can stand alone, but the previous b..."


Completely agree. I love this series by Saylor.


message 5: by happy (new)

happy (happyone) | 2672 comments I esp like the early ones. And I agree this can be read as a stand alone.


message 6: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments That seals it. :-) Seems it can stand alone and it might be a good read too.


message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane | 3455 comments I've read the whole series maybe 5 years ago--certainly pre-GR. I remember nothing except I liked it. I feel this novel could be a standalone; so far anything he's given enough back info on characters to satisfy me. He does mention Roman Blood while talking about Cicero's 1st case. I took that as a gentle prod to read it.


message 8: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 103 comments I read most of this series several years ago as well, and not in a particular order. The characters and their relationships change and develop as they tend to do in a series, but it certainly doesn't hurt to read the second one on its own.


message 9: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments That's interesting that you read them in no particular order, Patricia. They would have to stand alone in style to be able to do that.
It is good when an author can manage every book in their series to be read on its own.


message 10: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen (eab2012) I have issues with reading books out of order. My brain doesn't like it. However this series is slightly different. Some of the books aren't novels, just collections of short stories. There are references to some of the short stories in the full length novels but you won't be lost if you haven't read the short stories first. Saylor basically brings up previous events so he can say, "But if you want to know, go buy the book. I'm not going to tell you what happened".

All that aside, this is my favorite mystery series. Ever. Just the original novels. I'm not overly fond of the prequels that have been coming out lately.


message 11: by happy (new)

happy (happyone) | 2672 comments I have to agree about the prequels.


message 12: by Laura (new)

Laura Gill | 35 comments I don't know, I really liked Raiders of the Nile. It was different, more of an ancient Greek pulp romance than a mystery.


message 13: by Kimber (new)

Kimber (kimberlibri) | 785 comments I love, love, love this series too but have only read one of the prequels. I was just so happy to get some more Gordianus that I don't think I paid proper attention to the text. I'll have to go back and re-read The Seven Wonders and then the other prequels to see.


message 14: by Jane (new)

Jane | 3455 comments This was a reread after many years. In my opinion, Gordianus is not my favorite Roman mystery series but this Gordianus was worth rereading. Sorry to whoever said they didn't think Ruso was their cup of tea, but he's mine.


message 15: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Kegler | 10 comments I haven't read this series so, I'm looking forward to it. I like reading books in order so, I will probably read the first one as well.


message 16: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments Jane wrote: "This was a reread after many years. In my opinion, Gordianus is not my favorite Roman mystery series but this Gordianus was worth rereading. Sorry to whoever said they didn't think Ruso was their c..."

So who is your favorite? Is it Ruso? What I like about the Gordianus series is the connection to the history of the late Republic and all the wonderful real characters of that time.


message 17: by Jane (new)

Jane | 3455 comments Ruso's my favorite--characterization. Plus, he and Tilla are post-Julio-Claudian, which is my preferable time period in Roman history. 1st book is in reign of Trajan, then further along in a later volume, Hadrian. I like Ruso and Tilla as a couple; they complement each other.


message 18: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (dward526) | 290 comments Inter-library loan on this one....
And now, we wait.


message 19: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Nicole wrote: "I haven't read this series so, I'm looking forward to it. I like reading books in order so, I will probably read the first one as well."

Great. :-) Feel free to share your thoughts on the first book as you read it.


message 20: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Daniel wrote: "Inter-library loan on this one....
And now, we wait."


Only a few days to go, mate. :-)


message 21: by Terry (new)

Terry | 7 comments I picked this one up and started it tonight. This is my first by this author and in this series, hoping for a good one.


message 22: by Laura (new)

Laura Gill | 35 comments I love the early books in this series, especially this one. My problem with the later books is that Gordianus shows up at all sorts of important events with important people, and at this rate I'm afraid he'll have an excuse to be in Pompey's Theater when the Ides of March goes down.


message 23: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (bibliohound) Have just started this, I really enjoyed the first book and so far am liking this one too. Thought the scenes on the boat were described really well.


message 24: by Terry (new)

Terry | 7 comments I'm about 1/3rd of the way through now. I'm enjoying it too. Interesting characters so far.


message 25: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Good to hear the feedback, guys.


message 26: by May (new)

May (mayzie) | 815 comments I decided to read the 1st Book first, and am thoroughly enjoying it.
Cannot wait to read "ARMS OF NEMESIS" next.


message 27: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments May wrote: "I decided to read the 1st Book first, and am thoroughly enjoying it.
Cannot wait to read "ARMS OF NEMESIS" next."


Roman Blood, the first in the series, is terrific, and you get to learn how Gordianus adopted Eco. One of the highlights of the series is how Gordianus' unusual family keeps growing.


message 28: by Kimber (new)

Kimber (kimberlibri) | 785 comments Laura wrote: "I love the early books in this series, especially this one. My problem with the later books is that Gordianus shows up at all sorts of important events with important people, and at this rate I'm a..."

Ummm......No comment :D


message 29: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments This is the third or fourth time I've read this, and I have to confess that I don't remember whodunit. I guess it's good that a few of my brain cells are freed up for other things, and that I can enjoy the denouement all over again.

I really like Gordianus' relationship with Eco, how he can interpret what Eco's "saying." It was a bit surprising how little Crassus is in the book, at least up to the halfway point, which is where I am.


message 30: by May (new)

May (mayzie) | 815 comments I just finished ROMAN BLOOD. I really enjoyed it. Actually needed Cicero to clarify those last few details ... had not quite figured it all out. Hope to start ARMS OF NEMESIS tonight.


message 31: by Tina (new)

Tina (javabird) | 58 comments I finished the audiobook and really enjoyed it - I'm planning to continue reading the rest of the series.


message 32: by Terry (last edited Jul 11, 2016 09:53AM) (new)

Terry | 7 comments I finished last night. (view spoiler) I liked it enough to consider picking up some others in the series.


message 33: by Jane (new)

Jane | 3455 comments Vicki wrote: "This is the third or fourth time I've read this, and I have to confess that I don't remember whodunit. I guess it's good that a few of my brain cells are freed up for other things, and that I can e..."
This is off topic somewhat but I wonder if we get our word "crass" from Crassus?


message 34: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments Jane wrote: "This is off topic somewhat but I wonder if we get our word "crass" from Crassus? "

Just got this from an online dictionary -
1535-45; (< Middle French) < Latin crassus - thick, dense, fat, heavy

In Rome, the third name or cognomen usually referred to a personal characteristic. It had been attached to his family, so I don't think we know who it was originally applied to. Maybe he had an obese ancestor.


message 35: by Terry (new)

Terry | 7 comments Terry wrote: "I finished last night. [spoilers removed] I liked it enough to consider picking up some others in the series."

I think my comments sound more negative than I meant them! I really did enjoy it.


message 36: by Laura (new)

Laura Gill | 35 comments Terry wrote: "Terry wrote: "I finished last night. [spoilers removed] I liked it enough to consider picking up some others in the series."

I think my comments sound more negative than I meant them! I really did..."


No, no. I fully understand what you were saying. As for the guilty party, I didn't get much sense of him/her in the story, either, but his/her words about slavery and being a freedman certainly echo throughout later books.


message 37: by Terry (new)

Terry | 7 comments Thanks, Laura. That theme certainly carried through this book.


message 38: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (bibliohound) Just finished. Preferred Roman Blood but still enjoyed this one. I wasn't so keen on Baiae as a setting, preferred the bustle of Rome, but it was a good mystery


message 39: by May (new)

May (mayzie) | 815 comments I feel like I am trudging through "ARMS OF NEMESIS". The story is not moving as quickly as "ROMAN BLOOD"....


message 40: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments May wrote: "I feel like I am trudging through "ARMS OF NEMESIS". The story is not moving as quickly as "ROMAN BLOOD"...."

The characters in Roman Blood were more interesting, particularly Cicero and Tiro, his secretary. Also life in Rome is more interesting than life in the seaside villas. But I did like this book a good bit, and particularly the portrayal of Crassus. I can believe he would have acted as he did in the book.


message 41: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (bibliohound) I agree that Crassus is well written, you do get the impression that Gordianus is on a knife edge when dealing with him


message 42: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments One of the things I like best about the series is the way Gordianus' unusual family keeps growing, with a preview of the next addition at the end of the book.


message 43: by Laura (new)

Laura Gill | 35 comments May wrote: "I feel like I am trudging through "ARMS OF NEMESIS". The story is not moving as quickly as "ROMAN BLOOD"...."

The pace and suspense really pick up toward the dreaded "event" at the end.


message 44: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Nice to hear that some people have read the first book during this group read of Arms of Nemesis and enjoyed the first book, Roman Blood enough to continue on with Arms of Nemesis.

It is nice to hear, because that is one of the reasons we do these group reads in A&M. To help people find reads they enjoy!

Keep us posted on what you think of Arms of Nemesis. The discussion thread stays open always, so even if you don't get to 'Arms' this month, you are always welcome to come back to comment when you do eventually get to it.


message 45: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Kegler | 10 comments So bummed that I was not able to get this book from my library. I'm going to put it on my list to read this year with Roman Blood.


message 46: by May (new)

May (mayzie) | 815 comments Must admit that I enjoyed ROMAN BLOOD much more than ATMS OF NEMESIS. Very glad I read both... and would not have without the push of the July Group read. Thank you!!


message 47: by May (new)

May (mayzie) | 815 comments PS: that was "ARMS ..."


message 48: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments I hope people are encouraged to read the whole Gordianus series. The next one, Catilina's Riddle, is about the uprising led by Catilina, and is pretty good. I think my next favorite after Roman Blood is A Murder on the Appian Way, #5 in the series.


message 49: by Laura (new)

Laura Gill | 35 comments Vicki wrote: "I hope people are encouraged to read the whole Gordianus series. The next one, Catilina's Riddle, is about the uprising led by Catilina, and is pretty good. I think my next favorite a..."

A few characters from Arms of Nemesis turn up in Catilina's Riddle.


message 50: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Kegler | 10 comments I finally found this book at the library and loved it! It actually made me want to watch the most recent Spartacus series. Amazing series by the way! I watched it on Amazon Prime. I will definitely check out Saylor's next book in this series.


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