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Review - "A Mist of Prophecies," by Steven Saylor

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Steven Saylor - A Mist of Prophecies

"A Mist of Prophecies," by Steven Saylor

The Bottom Line

In "A Mist of Prophecies," Gordianus enters the world of the ambitious and prominent women of Rome, as he tries to find which one of them murdered his lover, the young and beautiful prophet Cassandra.
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  • Saylor uses a new format with flashbacks
  • Historical women are given their own stories
  • Shows the effects of politics on normal Romans


  • Bethesda's illness remains a mystery
  • Gordianus has not reconciled with his son Meto
  • Sections repeated to integrate past and present


  • In "A Mist of Prophecies," Gordianus interviews the ambitious and prominent women of Rome.
  • Cassandra appears out of nowhere, apparently capable of telling the future.
  • With his wife mysteriously ill, Gordianus enters into an extramarital affair.
  • Clodia reappears, but sans her signature scent and with graying hair.
  • People are divided as to whether Cassandra is a skilled actress or has the falling sickness.
  • With Caesar and Pompey at each other's throats, life is in turmoil in Rome.
  • Riots and plots, inflation, usurers, and food shortages make life in 48 B.C. Rome very difficult.
  • A clandestine meeting explains why the series is called "sub rosa."
  • Gordianus is officially retired, but is compelled to find who killed his lover.

Guide Review - Review - "A Mist of Prophecies," by Steven Saylor

Gordianus the Finder is a very human, retired hero who extracts information from the prominent ancient Romans with whom he interacts. He has already lived through major events in the history of the late republic and is now waiting for the next stage in the revolution. Meanwhile, life in Rome is hard and very expensive for the average citizen, like Gordianus, especially when his wife is deathly ill.

A change from the riots and sickness presents itself to Godianus in a beautiful, exotic package, Cassandra, who, mysteriously, seems to fall in love with the old man. Guilt about his wife and his disowned son plague Gordianus while Cassandra lives, but when she dies, a new burden of guilt is added, but this time, it is one that he can fix.

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