Back at his post as a doctor in the 20th legion in Roman-occupied Britain, Ruso uncovers a new danger even closer to home than the neighboring barbarians.
As mysterious injuries, and even deaths, begin to appear in the medical ledgers, it's clear that all is not well amongst the native recruits to Britannia's imperial army. Is the much-decorated centurion Geminus preying on his weaker soldiers? And could this be related to the appearance of Emperor Hadrian?
Bound by his sense of duty and ill-advised curiosity, Ruso begins to ask questions nobody wants to hear. Meanwhile his barbarian wife Tilla is finding out some of the answers -and is marked as a security risk by the very officers Ruso is interrogating.
With Hadrian's visit looming large, the fates of the legion, Tilla, and Ruso himself hang in the balance.
©2013 Ruth Downie (P)2013 Tantor
"Downie injects a modern who-done-it twist into the imperial action." (Kirkus)
The series is moving right along with Tilla and Ruso diverted to a posting far away from the Emperor's planned itinerary... in order to run right into the imperial procession. I think this outing features the best mystery of all the books and I'm delighted to say that my favorite character, Tila, is as delightful as ever. I did miss Albanus. Can't he somehow become attached to Ruso so he can stay where the action is? Valens makes a return performance as well as Ruso's arch enemy Mettelus. As always, the dialogue is humorous and the relationship between Tila and Ruso hasn't grown stale at all. It's at the heart of all the books.
All I can do is hope that Ruth Downie is busy working on the sixth in the series. She left us with a slight cliff hanger. Totally recommend.
whats odd is I never like the new one when it comes out. Its never as good as the last one, which I always come to love. And I love this one now. These stories are a lovely weave of historical fiction, muder mystery, fantasy heroism, and postcolonial politics. For some listeners it may just be a murder mystery with an exotic backdrop, and is certainly enjoyable on that level, but there is a lot more to the narrative if you are open to it. Thats the difference between good and great. These are great. Can't wait for the next one. Do we get to go to Rome ? is Justinus still alive? Will they ever have children? Oh I cannot wait
Avid reader and audiobook listener; I love paranormal lit, mysteries, historical fiction, romance, Brit-crime novels and thrillers.
I'm not sure how this one got released because it isn't even close to being in the same league as previous books in the series. The characters that I have come to love, Ruso and Tilla, are just "blah" in this one, as is the storyline. Where is the witty banter between them, not to mention the chemistry? They do spend a great deal of time apart (it's almost written as two different, though somewhat intertwined, storylines), but when they are together, there's just......nothing. Where is the cleverly-written plot? Yes, there were some "interesting events" that Ruso had to suffer through, but for the most part I never got the sense that he was in any real danger. The setting is a training base for new recruits, which I guess doesn't really lend itself to riveting storytelling. I found the plot to be uninteresting and a bit confusing. It didn't hold my attention at all. Maybe I missed some important bits because of this, but at times I found it difficult to follow what was going on. In the end, I didn't really care about why Geminus did what he did nor about what happened to him because of it (don't want to leave any spoilers).
As usual, Simon Vance does a terrific job. He is one of my favorite narrators, which is the ONLY reason I even listened all the way to the end.
If you are a fan of the Medicus series, I suggest giving this one a miss. I was quite disappointed in this book. So much so that I may not continue with the series unless the next one is considerably better.
Yes especially anyone interested in the Roman era. This book was very good targeting the other areas of the Roman empire.
How sophisticated the Roman empire was behind the scenes, although making sure it was a tough exterior.
It would have to be the doctor.
Earning your Gladius
I would like to see this book turned into a movie or a mini series.
The wait was worth it. This might be my favorite of the series. Ruso, the medicus, and his barbarian wife Tilla are as entertaining as ever, though the theme of the story and the main actions are anything but a comedy. Roman Britain comes alive in this story of cruelty, murder and political cover ups. The visit of the Emperor Hadrian and his wife Sabina is especially interesting and led me to do some follow-up reading on the pair. Simon Vance is the perfect Ruso. I can't wait for the next adventure with Ruso and Tilla.
The story continues and the characters are developing. Russo and Tilla have learned to trust each other at last. It is a great read, and Vance is a superlative narrator
Absolutely, and I've already recommended the rest of the series, which has become one of my favorites. The practice of ancient Roman medicine is really fascinating, and Ruso is a reluctant hero who is often grumpy, usually justifiably so, and bewildered by Britons in general and his wife in particular. He has money problems, is misunderstood by his family back home, and has to endure work politics that can turn deadly.The characters are showing a lot of growth as the series progresses, but Ruso and Tilla still continue to work through their mutual culture-shock, and that can lead to some amusing and often tense situations. The emperor Hadrian & his wife are interesting additions to the story this time. I'm always sad when I finish a Medicus book because I know I won't get to be with these characters again for what always seems like a very long time.
Tilla interacting with the Queen.
He IS the voice of Ruso; I hope he keeps reading the all the upcoming books. He does a good job differentiating the characters with tone, accents, etc. and can do a nice job with women's voices without sounding silly or exaggerated.(except for Ruso's step-mother, who is imperious and sometimes quite silly.
I giggled often & laughed a few times, which is always good in an otherwise serious story. It isn't the sort of book to engender extreme emotion, unless you count being overjoyed at the chance to meet up with these characters again.
I LOVE this series.
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