Monday, September 15, 2008

Roman Antics

Title: Terra Incognita
Author: Ruth Downie

Downie's second novel to feature Gaius Petreius Ruso, a Roman military doctor who unwittingly finds himself investigating crimes, is an entertaining read. Ruso, along with his servant Tilla, travels to the depths of Britannia for a change of scenery. Determined to leave behind his reputation for solving murders, it is unsurprising that he arrives at a location with a decapitated corpse. Military officials would prefer he stay out of it, but he finds himself talking them into letting him examine the body.

Soon he is deeply entrenched in the mysterious murder, trying to get the truth out of the previous medic who is acting insane and has confessed to the crime. Add to the mix an obnoxious local named Rianorix who seems to have some unknown prior more-than-friends relationship with Tilla, an untrustworthy deputy medic, and an antlered being presumed by the locals to be the god Cerrunnos, and you have a recipe for a delightful, entertaining story.

Readers who took Latin in high school, ahem Elizabeth and KET, will find this book particularly fun as it describes Ruso's trips to Roman baths, complete with him dashing through the hot bath, warm bath, and cold bath during the women's session.


posted by Kate at 8:47 PM


Blogger Elizabeth said...

Caldariums, frigidariums, and tepidariums, oh my! I miss that stuff. Headlock!

I remember your review of the first one, and how interesting it sounded. It's probably time I got around to reading it...

9/17/2008 8:08 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Did I review the first one? I actually do not recall doing so. It was quite good too though. I suppose it's odd to review book 2 and not book 1, but I suspect that may be what I did. The first book is called Medicus - start with that one. :)

9/18/2008 3:07 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I guess you didn't. Still, I heard about it somewhere...maybe from back in the days when I was actually listening to my NPR Books podcast.

9/30/2008 7:06 PM  

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