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One afternoon as Gordianus the Finder is crossing the marketplace, a beautiful young seeress staggers towards him and dies in his arms. Possibly insane, and with no memory of her past Cassandra - like her Trojan namesake - had been reputed to possess the true gift of prophecy. For such a gift there are many in Rome who would pay handsomely...or resort to murder. Cassandra had been the confidante of the rich and powerful, until she fell victim to vicious killer. Obsessed with Cassandra and her mystery, Gordianus begins to investigate. As the citizens of Rome nervously await news of the war and the political situation verges on chaos, Gordianus gradually peels away the veils of secrecy that surround Cassandra's life and death. What he uncovers has deadly implications, involving some if the most powerful women in Rome - Gordianus's pursuit of the truth not only endangers his own life, but could well affect the future of Rome herself.… (mais)
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Un bon opus de la série, bien construit, accessible avec ce qu'il faut de psychologie. ( )
  Nikoz | Nov 21, 2016 |
A beggar woman reputed to have a gift of prophecy collapses and dies in the forum at Gordianus's feet. Her last words were "She's poisoned me." Gordianus gives her a funeral and to his surprise some of the wealthiest, most powerful, and most notorious women in Rome come to witness the cremation. Was one of them the poisoner?

Interesting premise but disappointing execution. Lots of repeated material about the suspects and their backgrounds. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Dec 17, 2015 |
A Mist of Prophecies, by Steven Saylor, tells the story of "Cassandra," a beggar woman called by that name because she is given to odd fits in which she foretells the future. All the best women in Rome want to consult her, especially since their various husbands and lovers are either fighting in the Civil War between Pompey and Julius Caesar or are stirring up trouble in the city itself; nobody knows what the outcome might be of so much chaos. When Cassandra appears suddenly in the marketplace, foaming and crying and ultimately dying of poisoning in the arms of Gordianus the Finder, he is compelled to find out what happened, which means he must start to investigate some of the most powerful women Rome has ever seen.... This is the ninth book in Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series, all of which feature Gordianus as the main character, a sort-of detective living in ancient Rome and making his way by using his curiosity and intelligence to uncover the truths that others might want to remain buried. What is especially intriguing about this entry in the always-interesting series is how much it focuses on the women of the upper classes, a group about which historians really know next to nothing as the ancient Romans themselves didn't consider women to be important enough to be written about. This gives Saylor much leeway in his depictions of these women, but as he's a scholarly soul as well as a novelist, I think his ideas about their lives are probably quite sound. Indeed, one of my pleasures in reading this series is his end-notes, in which Saylor lays out his research for all the world as if it's a history text, not a novel, that we're reading - and yet, each book works well as a novel too, with compelling and fascinating individuals and real-life complications and problems. Highly recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Apr 5, 2015 |
In the later years of the life of Gordianus the Finder. Here Rome waits for Caesar or Pompey to emerge victorious from their civil war, and while Rome waits, people die in the city. In particular, a female seer, who has inveigled herself into the homes of Rome's most powerful women, and into the bed of the married Gordianus!

The reason this woman was poisoned was her involvement with Caesar. She was not in fact a seer, but an actress hired by the general to infiltrate the women of Rome as a spy. She becomes caught up in the political wheeling and dealing, and one of the players finds it necessary to assassinate her.

Gordianus investigates, finding eventually the guilty party. He receives a reward from Caesar's wife, and a new adopted son. Interestingly, again, the different portrayals of historical figures. For Colleen Mc, Calpurnia was entirely unimportant, for Saylor she schemes and plots, defending the interests of her husband.

At the end of the novel Gordianus and his wife set sail for Egypt, in a bid to find a cure for her illness.


This is the last Gordianus novel, to date. What shall I read now? I have been ploughing through Saylor for the past two months. ( )
  Traveller1 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Gordianus finds himself investigating the death of a young woman everyone called Cassandra since she was known for having fits and making prophesies. No one knew her real name or where she came from and Gordianus pays for her funeral. Amazingly enough, the seven most powerful women of Rome appear at her funeral pyre. Was one of these women responsible for her death? And why was Gordianus so dedicated to her final repose?

Caesar and Pompey are still absent from the city fighting to gain the upper hand and declare Rome for the prize. Inside the city are other factions ready to take advantage of a situation where the two kill each other and leave a power void. Among these are Milo, a past supporter of Pompey, and Marcus Caelius, Cicero's old protege. Intrigue is the order of the day.

This story was made a little darker and heavier by Bethesda's illness which just gets worse as time goes on and nothing seems to help. Gordianus is in financial difficulty, as is most of the rest of Rome.

Saylor again provides us with an intimate portrayal of Rome at this tumultuous time. ( )
  mamzel | Apr 14, 2012 |
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Cassandra: Apollo, Apollo! / Lord of the ways, my ruin / You have undone me once again, and utterly. Chorus: After the darkness of her speech / I go bewildered in a mist of prophecies. -Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1080-82; 1112-13
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One afternoon as Gordianus the Finder is crossing the marketplace, a beautiful young seeress staggers towards him and dies in his arms. Possibly insane, and with no memory of her past Cassandra - like her Trojan namesake - had been reputed to possess the true gift of prophecy. For such a gift there are many in Rome who would pay handsomely...or resort to murder. Cassandra had been the confidante of the rich and powerful, until she fell victim to vicious killer. Obsessed with Cassandra and her mystery, Gordianus begins to investigate. As the citizens of Rome nervously await news of the war and the political situation verges on chaos, Gordianus gradually peels away the veils of secrecy that surround Cassandra's life and death. What he uncovers has deadly implications, involving some if the most powerful women in Rome - Gordianus's pursuit of the truth not only endangers his own life, but could well affect the future of Rome herself.

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