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Tabula Rasa: Roman Empire Series, Book 6 | [Ruth Downie]

Tabula Rasa: Roman Empire Series, Book 6

The medicus Ruso and his wife, Tilla, are back in the borderlands of Britannia, this time helping to tend the builders of Hadrian's Great Wall. Having been forced to move off their land, the Britons are distinctly on edge. Then Ruso's recently arrived clerk, Candidus, goes missing. A native boy thinks he sees a body being hidden inside the wall's half-finished stonework, and a worrying rumor begins to spread. When soldiers ransack the nearby farms looking for Candidus, Tilla's tentative friendship with a local family turns to anger and disappointment.
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Publisher's Summary

The medicus Ruso and his wife, Tilla, are back in the borderlands of Britannia, this time helping to tend the builders of Hadrian's Great Wall. Having been forced to move off their land, the Britons are distinctly on edge. Then Ruso's recently arrived clerk, Candidus, goes missing. A native boy thinks he sees a body being hidden inside the wall's half-finished stonework, and a worrying rumor begins to spread. When soldiers ransack the nearby farms looking for Candidus, Tilla's tentative friendship with a local family turns to anger and disappointment. Tensions only increase when Branan, the family's youngest son, also vanishes. As Ruso and Tilla try to solve the mystery of the two disappearances - while at the same time struggling to keep the peace between the Britons and the Romans - an intricate scheme involving slavery, changed identities, and fur trappers emerges, and it becomes imperative that Ruso find Branan before it's too late.

©2014 Ruth Downie (P)2014 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Like the other titles in the series, Downie's latest mixes an engaging story line, provocative characters, and a satisfying evocation of time and place." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (153 )
5 star
 (88)
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 (48)
3 star
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4.4 (134 )
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4.7 (136 )
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  •  
    C. L. Ortiz 08-07-14
    C. L. Ortiz 08-07-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    7
    1
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    "Love Downie as usual, but ANGRY with Vance"
    What did you love best about Tabula Rasa?

    Ruth Downie hasn't lost her touch.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I've loved the entire series, but for some reason Simon Vance apparently decided not to review what his character voices sounded like before doing this book. 2/3 of the way through the book, Albanus (a recurring character in all of the books) shows up and suddenly has a heavy accent?! It is the most distracting thing I've ever heard, and I actually stopped listening to write this complaint. Albanus is one of my favorite characters, and I've been waiting most of the book for him to arrive, and now I just want to throw something every time he talks. Seriously, Simon Vance is generally better than this, and I don't understand it. Even the minor characters that have only shown up once or twice before are correct to their original renditions, but Albanus, a major character, is so far off as to be unrecognizable. Why, Simon? Why?!


    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna H. Barnes BRENTWOOD, CA, United States 08-23-14
    Donna H. Barnes BRENTWOOD, CA, United States 08-23-14 Member Since 2012

    Telecommuter living outside of San Francisco, CA. I listen to books while walking my dog, quilting, and doing chores around the house.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my favorite book in the series"

    I have really enjoyed this series, but this one lacked the medical aspect that in enjoy.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Dedham, MA, United States 08-28-14
    Kate Dedham, MA, United States 08-28-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
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    184
    22
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    5
    1
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    Performance
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    "Great historical mystery with wonderful dry humor"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The time period is not commonplace and the characters are charming.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tabula Rasa?

    An unfortunate surgery.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Ruso


    Who was the most memorable character of Tabula Rasa and why?

    I always look forward to what Ruso and Tilla are up to.


    Any additional comments?

    Lovely mystery, characters and dry humor.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jerelyn 09-10-14
    jerelyn 09-10-14 Member Since 2014

    Pauli

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The best one yet."

    Tabula Rasa translates to “clean slate”… Well folks here we are another terrific tale in the Medicus series. I’ve said it before catching up with Tilla and Ruso is always a joy. But I have to say right out this offering is my favorite so far. By now I feel I really know them. Where they are as a couple and where they want to be. As always Ruth Downie writes with great humor and warmth, she conveys the difficulties dealing with each other’s cultures so believably. I recommend this book without reservation.
    While stationed to one if the forts during the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. Tilla has found a family of sorts, something she’s longed for, and which is a nightmare for Ruso, whose time away from his own family is just the way he likes it. I especially love the details of the building of the wall. No novel set in England can be written without the weather becoming a character. Downie make you feel the misery of what living in one of these camps during late fall must have been like. How the men and their followers must have longed to leave and go back to winter quarters, and to civilization, or what passed for civilization to the Romans in Britain. To exacerbate the situation Ruso secretary has gone missing, and a young Briton with ties to Tilla also goes missing and so Ruso is ordered to find out what happened to the boy, by his commander. They don’t need the locals up in arms any more than they already are, now do they? As always it’s great fun to watch the mystery play out, many characters from past books are present and add to the fun.
    Plus I could listen to Simon Vance read a phone book, he is perfection as usual.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warren Cary, NC, United States 09-02-14
    Warren Cary, NC, United States 09-02-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "perfectum fabula"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Tabula Rasa to be better than the print version?

    Never read a print version


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tabula Rasa?

    Search for 15 year old boy by Russo


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    On par


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The tri death ceremony


    Any additional comments?

    Perfect story

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Galadriel 08-11-14
    Galadriel 08-11-14 Member Since 2008

    I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    330
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    "A new entry in this wonderful series at last!"
    Any additional comments?

    When I read the first in this series, "Medicus," I just had to binge on all the rest of the Russo and Tilla books in a row. Creating wonderful characters and carefully researched settings, Ruth Downie combines mystery with history in a most satisfying and entertaining way. The clash of ancient Celtic and Roman cultures provides a background to her stories that I find endlessly fascinating, and this was no exception. Always beautifully read by Simon Vance - Only bummer is waiting for the next installment. Loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    virginia United States 05-25-15
    virginia United States 05-25-15 Member Since 2005
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    5
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    "Very entertaining"
    Would you listen to Tabula Rasa again? Why?

    In a few years when I forget how it ends, would read more by this author


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters were very well developed


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, all of them and enjoyed them all


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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