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Persona Non Grata: A Novel of the Roman Empire

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Persona Non Grata: A Novel of the Roman Empire Cover

ISBN13: 9781596916098
ISBN10: 1596916095
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The third novel in the acclaimed Gaius Petreius Ruso series by the New York Times bestselling Ruth Downie—this time set in ancient Gaul.
 
Ruth Downie is published as R.S. Downie in the UK, and this book is available there under the title Ruso and the Root of All Evils.

At long last, Gaius Petreius Ruso and his companion, Tilla, are headed home—to Gaul. Having received a note consisting only of the words “COME HO ME!” Ruso has (reluctantly, of course) pulled up stakes and brought T illa to meet his family.

But the reception there is not what Ruso has hoped for: no one will admit to sending for him, and his brother Lucius is hoping hell leave. With Tilla getting icy greetings from his relatives, Luciuss brother-inlaw mysteriously drowned at sea, and the whole Ruso family teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, its hard to imagine an unhappier reunion. That is, until Severus, the familys chief creditor, winds up dead, and the real trouble begins…

Engrossing, intricate, and—as always—wonderfully comic, Ruth Downies latest is a brilliant new installment in this irresistible series. This is everything weve come to expect from our charming, luckless hero.

Review:

"The third installment to Downie's Roman Empire series — the second-century saga of a witty and courageous army surgeon, Gaius Ruso, and his smart and loyal lover, Tilla, a barbarian woman from Britannia — continues in gripping fashion. Ruso returns to his family home in southern Gaul, summoned by a forged letter pleading for his immediate return. Once Ruso and Tilla return, Ruso is thrust into a dangerous quagmire involving a missing ship, huge family debts and, before long, the murder of the family's principal creditor — a crafty phony named Severus — who is poisoned in Ruso's home. While Ruso and his family are quickly suspected of the murder, Ruso and Tilla's attempts to solve the crime are hampered by interfering family members, a lying politician, a greedy banker and a pair of too-eager investigators sent from Rome. Ruso and Tilla must also deal with prejudice, envy and a new religion, Christianity. The plotting is clever and suspenseful, with subtle clues and lots of action, while the setting and supporting cast are vividly drawn. This is solid entertainment, nicely done. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

At long last, Gaius Petreius Ruso and his companion, Tilla, are headed home to Gaul. But with Tilla getting icy greetings from Ruso's relatives, a family member having mysteriously drowned at sea, and the whole Ruso household teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it's hard to imagine an unhappier reunion. That is, until Severus, the family's chief creditor, winds up dead, and the real trouble begins…

Engrossing, intricate, and—as always—wonderfully comic, Ruth Downie's latest is a brilliant new installment in this irresistible series.

About the Author

Ruth Downie is the author of the New York Times bestselling Medicus and Terra Incognita. She is married with two sons and lives in Milton Keynes, England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Sarena, August 22, 2009 (view all comments by Sarena)
Normally when I read a historical fiction novel the book is set in Medieval England, but a few months ago I found a series set in England (Britannia back then) during the Roman occupation. I read the first two in a matter of weeks but was not sure I would read the third; the second seemed a little bit of a disappointment. As fate would have it, I won a copy of the third from the publisher and just finished it this morning. I would have finished it last night had my eyes not finally given out.

Persona Non Grata is Ruth Downie’s finest installment of her Gaius Petrius Ruso series to date. Ruso is a medic (before there were proper doctors and surgeons we had medics) working with the Roman military.

Downie’s writing skills have sharpened since her first novel The Medicus. Here in Persona Non Grata we get fully fleshed out secondary characters, a great plot line and some really great scenes. My favorite scene involves Tilla leading a prayer at a secret Christos meeting. I almost laughed till I cried. We get to meet Ruso’s family including his ex-wife Claudia. The characters are all well written and often just as interesting as Ruso and Tilla. I came away understanding why Ruso would travel to the barbaric world of Britannia; with his family I would have too!
This time the mystery hits very close to home and so it made perfect sense as to why Ruso would investigate it. I applaud Downie for having written evil characters that mirror some of our own Wall Street swindlers (though I admit I do not know of any wall street swindlers that have committed murder…yet). I get sick of bad guys who are so far gone that they do not seem in any way plausible. Many authors forget that even the bad guys have to connect with the reader on some level. Here though the characters are mere shadows and not fully fleshed out they are understandable. Greed turns many men bad.

The only complaint I have with this series is the relationship between Ruso and Tilla his slave/girlfriend. I have written about this before but it bares repeating. The relationship just does not work for me. Downie does not work on the chemistry between the two. I know Ruso is really attracted to Tilla for her beauty but other than that I see no reason why these two are together. Fans of the series will be happy with the outcome of this book but it left me wondering why Downie did not spend a little more time developing chemistry between the two. Without giving too much away, I would have liked to have seen at least one sappy moment between the two or at least a scene in which Ruso finally figures out that he loves Tilla and tells her so. This would have made the ending all that much more satisfying and leaving this reader wanting more.

I hope Downie continues to write as I look forward to watching her evolve as a writer. If you have not yet read this series you are missing out. I highly recommend it to everyone who likes historical fiction.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596916098
Author:
Downie, Ruth
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Physicians
Subject:
Murder
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Murder -- Investigation.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Novels of the Roman Empire
Publication Date:
20090731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Persona Non Grata: A Novel of the Roman Empire Used Hardcover
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Product details 368 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596916098 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The third installment to Downie's Roman Empire series — the second-century saga of a witty and courageous army surgeon, Gaius Ruso, and his smart and loyal lover, Tilla, a barbarian woman from Britannia — continues in gripping fashion. Ruso returns to his family home in southern Gaul, summoned by a forged letter pleading for his immediate return. Once Ruso and Tilla return, Ruso is thrust into a dangerous quagmire involving a missing ship, huge family debts and, before long, the murder of the family's principal creditor — a crafty phony named Severus — who is poisoned in Ruso's home. While Ruso and his family are quickly suspected of the murder, Ruso and Tilla's attempts to solve the crime are hampered by interfering family members, a lying politician, a greedy banker and a pair of too-eager investigators sent from Rome. Ruso and Tilla must also deal with prejudice, envy and a new religion, Christianity. The plotting is clever and suspenseful, with subtle clues and lots of action, while the setting and supporting cast are vividly drawn. This is solid entertainment, nicely done. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
At long last, Gaius Petreius Ruso and his companion, Tilla, are headed home to Gaul. But with Tilla getting icy greetings from Ruso's relatives, a family member having mysteriously drowned at sea, and the whole Ruso household teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it's hard to imagine an unhappier reunion. That is, until Severus, the family's chief creditor, winds up dead, and the real trouble begins…

Engrossing, intricate, and—as always—wonderfully comic, Ruth Downie's latest is a brilliant new installment in this irresistible series.

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