Friday, July 11, 2014

Semper Fidelis by Ruth Downie

I loved the immersion into Roman Britain Ruth Downie provided again with "Semper Fidelis." The protagonist once again is Gaius Petreius Ruso, or Ruso; with his wife Tilla playing another strong role. Ms. Downie does a wonderful job of painting life in Roman Britain and Semper Fidelis is no exception. Her portrayal of Ruso, the Emperor Hadrian and his wife Sabina, Tilla, Geminus a Centurion, and the rest of the cast were all well developed and real. The mystery surrounding deaths of recruits and a cursed legion proved far too much for Ruso's curiosity to ignore. Leaving his duties as supervising doctor he began questioning the circumstances of death and disappearance. Along the way his wife Tilla discovers information pertinent to the plot endangering her life. Ruso faces jailing, torture, loss of social status, and the loss of his wife in this well written mystery. In a subtle hint the story ends in what I believe to be a wonderful surprise for both Tilla and Ruso.