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Persona Non Grata: A Novel of the Roman Empire

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Ruth Downie

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 … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Ruth Downie
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
1 review about Persona Non Grata: A Novel of the Roman...

Ruso and the poisoned man

  • Jan 24, 2010
In this third installment of an excellent series, our protagonist, Ruso, is called home to find that his family is facing a severe financial crisis. When he is negotiating with the instigator of this crisis, who is now the husband of Ruso's former wife, the man dies, and Ruso concludes that he was poisoned. Of course, everyone tends to believe that Ruso is the poisoner, and things seem to go from bad to worse.

This is well written, and the plot kept me interested from beginning to end. Ruso's female companion from Britain faces a crisis of trying to accommodate herself to the mores of Southern Gaul, and not falter in the face of disdain from Ruso's family. The female head of the family, Ruso's step-mother, is determined to get him married off to a wealthy widow, and that only complicates Tilla's problems.

Things move along very quickly. There are a few subplots, including one about a connection between one of Ruso's sisters and a young gladiator, and we get a glimpse of how the early Christians conducted themselves in the face of dislike by the rest of the people. Of course, everything comes out all right in the end, and we are left eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series. May it come soon!

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