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Terra Incognita Audiobook

Terra Incognita: A Novel of the Roman Empire

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Publisher's Summary

It is spring in the year 118, and Hadrian has been emperor of Rome for less than a year. After his long and reluctant investigation of the murders of a handful of local prostitutes, Gaius Petreius Ruso needs to get out of town. With that in mind, he has volunteered for a posting with the army in the far reaches of Britannia - a calmer place for a tired man.

But the edge of the Roman Empire is a volatile place; the independent tribes of the North dwell near its borders. These hinterlands are the homeland of Ruso's slave, Tilla, who has scores of her own to settle there: Her tribespeople, under the leadership of the mysterious Stag Man, are fomenting a rebellion against Roman control, and her former lover is implicated in the grisly murder of a soldier. Ruso, once again unwillingly pulled into a murder investigation, is appalled to find that Tilla is still spending time with the prime suspect. Worse, he is honor-bound to try to prove the man innocent - and the army wrong - by finding another culprit. Soon both Ruso's and Tilla's lives are in jeopardy, as is the future of their burgeoning romance.

Terra Incognita shines light on a remote corner of the ancient world, where Ruso's luck is running short - again.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend us your ears: listen to the first book, Medicus.

©2008 Ruth Downie; (P)2008 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A lively sequel to English author Downie's historical mystery Medicus....Immensely satisfying." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Who would guess that life and death in the far reaches of the Roman Empire could be so darn funny?" (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (597 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Abigail arlington, VA, United States 09-09-11
    Abigail arlington, VA, United States 09-09-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Even Better Than The First"

    I think this is the book I will tell people to read when recommending the series and I will be recommending the series. The first book had some few parts that needed a little polishing (still was a GREAT read) but this is near perfection. It has everything I like in a mystery, adventure, intelligence, wry humor, great characters, a noir feel, and writing compelling enough to keep you up way past your bedtime. Downie is particularly skilled in her characters and keeps them believable to period while still appealing to modern sensibilities. I am a history buff so I love the Roman/Britania backdrop but even if you hate historical books you'd like this. The story is compelling without any moments where you'd be embarrassed when if someone strolls in while your listening. (As opposed to say Pillars of the Earth which could frequently be embarrassing in the many long and explicitly sexual moments) Simon Vance reads this so well you forget him completely and dissolve into the story. He's also less nasal in this than in other books which some reviewers havent liked. He's one of my favorite narrators. This would be a great book for a car trip, especially one where you are worried about falling asleep. I should know as its 430 am right now but I couldn't stop listening. I only wish there were more than 4 books in this great series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 02-17-11
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 02-17-11 Member Since 2006

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intolerably stupid"

    I liked the first book in this series- for some reason it sparked my imagination about that time period and I found the characters entertaining, so I was excited to listen to this one. It falls flat in my opinion. Perhaps the author should have just left well enough alone.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Staunton, VA, United States 02-08-11
    Kathryn Staunton, VA, United States 02-08-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Ruth Downie proves what's past is prologue!"

    I stumbled upon Medicus in the public library’s audio book stacks and discovered the sequels on Audible. Ruth Downie makes ancient Rome accessible to the modern reader/listener in so many ways. The clever parallels she draws to our own times proves that human behavior is timeless. Simon Vance nuanced characterizations breathe life into Ruso, Tilla, and all of the characters. BTW--If you want another good Simon Vance-read audio book, try The Religion by Tim Willocks.

    This book is sheer fun. Can't wait to read more Ruth Downie

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Williams Philadelphia, PA USA 07-10-10
    L. Williams Philadelphia, PA USA 07-10-10 Member Since 2011
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    "The further adventures of Ruso and Tila"

    This book continues the adventures of a medicus in Roman Britain, Ruso, and his slave/companion, Tila. This book spends a lot of time on Tila, exploring her background and developing her character. One of the best things about this series on Audible is the fantastic narrator who does a splendid job in bringing the characters to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Lebanon, India 10-30-09
    Laurie Lebanon, India 10-30-09 Member Since 2010
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    "Gods above! They've done it again!"

    Great story, great reader...from the slimy snake from Rome to the malingering patients in the ward, to the puffed up local brewer, these characterizations are spot on.

    Kudos to writer and narrator!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • "The second book in a really good series "

    This is a good book for those who love stories of ancient Rome as well as murder mysteries.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norma Miles 04-30-16
    Norma Miles 04-30-16 Member Since 2016
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    ""Sorry not to help you, sir""

    The Roman medicus, Ruso, travels north with his female slave and finds himself embroiled in a messy murder, a possible native uprising and the ravings of a seemingly mad resident doctor to the Legion. Who killed, and beheaded, Felix? What happened to the head? And, in the absence of the actual culprit, who will be executed for the crime?
    I first read this book under the title, Ruso and the Demented Doctor, and revisited it this time with the audio version narrated by Simon Vance. Mr.Vance has a very pleasant reading style although the performance of the female voices did become irritating at times. Also, at the beginning of the reading, there is a complete, and long, list and brief description of the cast of players to come, useful in the print version but simply annoying in the audio version where reference later is not easy.
    This is not the more usual fighting-with-the-legions type of story, nor one based around known historical personages or events. It is a murder mystery set in an Anglo Roman background and filled with colourful characters involved in an interesting plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Continuation of a Fun Series"

    I loved the first book in this series, and the sequel did not disappoint. This follow-up continued to deepen the character development. As a fan of Roman history, I loved how the author made Roman Britain come to life. I'm not a fan of the mystery genre, so I can't comment on the quality of this book compared to other mystery novels--but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Simon Vance did a great job narrating. This is definitely worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Horner Racine, WI, United States 05-28-13
    Horner Racine, WI, United States 05-28-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Now I'll buy the series"

    I ordered this mostly because it was offered in a 3-for-2 special. I found it very engaging. Not being expert in Roman Britain, I cannot comment on the historical accuracy, but it seemed plausible enough to carry the story. I am looking forward to Book #1 and the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Austin, TX, United States 01-01-11
    Susan Austin, TX, United States 01-01-11 Member Since 2015

    AmazonBookLover

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "CSI Brittania"

    This book is the second in a series of 4 (so far) books by Ruth Downie about Gaius Russo and his slave/lover Tilla. I enjoyed the first book (Medicus) very much and plan to download other books in this series. Russo is a Roman doctor in Roman occupied Brittania and something of a detective. I enjoyed the crime solving aspects of the book, similar to modern whodunnits, but mostly I enjoyed learning about the Roman culture and doctoring skills of the time period (sometime during the second century). The narration of the book is very good. Overall, this is a great listen as is the first book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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