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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

4.2 (869 )
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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
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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
  •  
    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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cascadiapnw 02-13-17
    Cascadiapnw 02-13-17
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    "More Murder in Northern Reaches of Roman Empire"

    I really enjoy historic fiction and this story, like Medicus before it, brought history to life. I enjoyed learning more about the northern reaches of Rome and how the native population responded. The characters were fun and their relationships sometimes humorous, sometimes touching. Narration was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-03-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great Book"

    Very interesting book. A mystery with a historical edge. I found this book surprising in the historical detail it contains. Very good characters. Hooked on them immediately.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    merocket 11-25-16
    merocket 11-25-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great story, voice talent, and engineering"

    I enjoyed it. Narrator has a dry wit like the main character, Ruso. The producer/director made a good choice using Vance. I will listen to the other books in this series, and I hope they have the same voice talent. Storyline is interesting and logical, like a detective story with a medical twist, but set in the Roman Empire. If you like historical fiction, give this a try. Don't miss the first book in the series Medicus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curious 11-25-16
    Curious 11-25-16

    I'm in the process of redoing all my reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well Written"

    As with the first of this series, Terra Incognita is very well written and engaging. I appreciated the meticulous research into a period that is most difficult to document. Downie's narrative and dialogue runs true and Vance's narration, as always, brings the characters to life. If I had one complaint it would be the interminable length of the books, though I see no way the stories could be told more concisely and still have brought ancient Britain so brilliantly to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Kingsport,TN USA 10-25-16
    Amazon Customer Kingsport,TN USA 10-25-16 Member Since 2017

    Biologist, Chemist, perpetual student

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    "An excellent Roman Historical Novel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Terra Incognita to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version but I have now bought 4 other books in the series.


    What other book might you compare Terra Incognita to and why?

    I have read Caesar's Gallic Wars in the Latin and English versions. The story is a good read/listen as a novel but it is also an excellent view of the early history of the Roman Empire.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    It added to the story's telling.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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