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Otana "Tinea Sum" (Southern CA)

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The Man from Pomegranate Street: Roman Mystery 17 (The Roman Mysteries)
The Man from Pomegranate Street: Roman Mystery 17 (The Roman Mysteries)
by Caroline Lawrence
Edition: Hardcover

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet, 13 Jun 2009
For four years, I have waited eagerly for this book to come out. I have daydreamed extensively about possible endings for the series. I have marveled at the trouble Flavia and her friends manage to get themselves into, and wondered however they would untangles themselves from all their difficulties by the ending of the last book. And, like the many fans who have been rooting for Flaccus ever since the tall, dark and handsome poet appeared in book nine, I have hoped for Flavia to marry the man of her dreams.

To be honest, I was a little afraid that because of my high and demanding expectations, I would be disappointed with the book.

I needn't have worried. Not only were my expectations met, but they were far exceeded. Whenever I thought I knew what would happen next, the author took my assumptions and turned them on their head. I felt completely absorbed in the action, as if I were solving the mystery along with Flavia. Even more astounding is the way Lawrence deftly wraps everything up in the end. She leaves the reader quite satisfied, while at the same time leaving just a few slightly loose ends. No cliché endings here! I suspect we may see some of these loose ends addressed in the Flavian Trilogy.

On top of all of this, throughout the book we are held in delightful suspense about the identity of Flavia's future husband. I really cannot recommend this book highly enough. Caroline Lawrence has outdone herself. Her books are always good, but this one in particularly goes above and beyond "good." I strongly advise you to read The Man from Pomegranate Street -- you won't regret it!


The Prophet from Ephesus: Roman Mystery 16 (THE ROMAN MYSTERIES)
The Prophet from Ephesus: Roman Mystery 16 (THE ROMAN MYSTERIES)
by Caroline Lawrence
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Just Keep Getting Better, 14 April 2009
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. As always, Lawrence has seamlessly woven into her work a wealth of historical details, and in this particular book, biblical allusions. Instead of being intrusive, these details only add to the depth and fullness of the novel. Everything is very accurate, and even the most casual reader is sure to pick up some historical knowledge (though he or she may not realize it at the time!). The Prophet from Ephesus offers the reader an intriguing glimpse into early Christianity as well. Without being preachy or cheesy, Lawrence addresses issues of Jonathan's faith that have needed to be resolved.

A distinctive characteristic that sets her books apart from other historical fiction is her knack for describing settings. Lawrence does not simply rely on visual details--she paints a multisensory masterpiece of scent, sight, and sound that swiftly draws the reader into the novel. When reading her descriptions of places, one receives the impression that Lawrence has been there before (and she has). All of her books have this remarkable quality, but The Prophet from Ephesus is beyond exceptional in this regard.

As far as the plot goes, the series is clearly arcing towards an imminent climax. Romance, excitement and tension climb higher and higher, and at the end of the book, the reader is left hanging off a cliff. Personally, I am torn between longing for the next book to come out, and not wanting the series to ever end!

The Roman Mysteries may be children's books, but in no way does Caroline Lawrence dumb them down for her audience. C. S. Lewis once said, "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." By that criterion, The Prophet from Ephesus is a definite success.


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