Roman Mysteries #8: The Gladiators from Capua by Caroline Lawrence
Lawrence really brings the Colosseum to life – I caution parents of younger readers on this one – it is not for the faint of heart. Although, I know if your younger readers have gotten this far in the series, they’re not turning back. This book opens with Jonathan being trained as a gladiator – he’s changed his name and is trying to forget his old identity. Believing his mother dead and Rome burned at his hand, guilt keeps him from returning to his friends and family. But in true Roman Mysteries fashion, of course those friends would never give up on him. And so the rescue and adventure begins! Enjoy :)
Roman Mysteries #9: The Colossus of Rhodes by Caroline Lawrence
The friends set sail on Lupus’ new ship, formerly the Vespa – the slave ship Nubia travelled on. Lot’s of emotional moments for Nubia as well as for Lupus – who is hoping to find his mother. I was a little annoyed throughout the book with Flavia (hence the missing half star) because her usual singular focus kept placing more importance on their mystery (finding a kidnapper) rather than finding Lupus’ mom. It wasn’t just Flavia either. I could never tell if they really thought finding the criminal was more important or if they didn’t want to lose Lupus for good once he reunited with his mom. As for the rest of the story, I loved the descriptions of the seven wonders, and this book more than any other made me really want to visit Greece. You’ll have to read it to see if they find the kidnapper or Lupus’ mom.
Roman Mysteries #10: The Fugitive from Corinth by Caroline Lawrence
While still at sea as part of Captain Gemina’s trade route, the friends pick up Aristo, who has just spent time with his family in Greece. Aristo informs everyone that he’d like to stay with his family and he’d like out of his contract. Later when Captain Gemina is found stabbed and bleeding, and Aristo is found standing over him holding the knife, he is arrested. Aristo escapes capture and flees and the four friends chase after him to bring him to justice. The story of Lupus’ mom also continues, and it’s a good one. I really loved Nubia in this book. She continues to be my favorite character – she has all the qualities I wish I had, although I fear I’m much more similar to Flavia. As always, Jonathan continues to be a source of comic relief and reason in this book. This is one of the best Roman Mysteries – do you think Aristo did it?
I’m waiting on book #11 from the library – it’s taking forever. I hope I’ve convinced you to start reading these books already. The BBC has created a Roman Mysteries show…wish I could watch it here in the States. I’m looking forward to the DVDs. There’s a trailer on YouTube.