on 26 November 2003
This, the seventh book in the series, is undoubtedly the best Roman Mystery yet. At a blistering pace, it tells of Jonathan's worry that his father might have a new love interest, and his plan to avert this by getting his father to Rome. There Jonathan's supposedly dead mother now lives in Nero's Golden House. Jonathan hopes that by some chance his parents will meet, so he writes to the young Emperor, Titus Flavius, and recieves an imperial summons to himself, Flavia, Nubia, Lupus and his father, requesting their presence in Rome.
However, upon their arrival, they find that not only is Mordecai (Jonathan's father) wanted to help cure the plague sweeping through Rome, but that the Emperor has had a dream foretelling that a Pandora's Box has been opened, and that all Rome will fall into ruin. The four friends must race against time to avert disaster in the capital of Italy, by finding the person who would open this "Pandora's Box." But can they do this before disaster strikes? And will Johnathan be able to help, or will he be too preoccupied with his mother, Susannah?
This is a story of hatred, love and betrayal, once again told with inspiration by author Caroline Lawrence. It is another of Caroline's books in the Roman Mysteries series, and is indeed better that all the others that have come before. Another superb, must- read tale from this astounding children's author.
on 3 November 2004
These books created by Caroline Lawrence, are just a great blend or action, history and adventure. I read the first book to a class of mine (Year 5) a few years back and it started a great bandwagon of reading these books throughout the room. The chapters are short and always end with a cliffhanger, so there is the gripping thought and desire to read on.
The text is bigger than what is expected, so those who struggle to read will feel like they have accomplished something when they put the book down.
The thing that I like about this book and the series as a whole, is that from Book 1, the characters develop. There are four main protagonists (and a few dogs to boot) and as you can guess, the story it set in Italy when Rome was the height of cultural perfection. Each of the characters are extremely individual and well crafted, and as mentioned, grow up and change as the books continue.
The series is easy to get into and simple to read, there is even an A-Z of key words at the back that explain some of the Roman words in the book.
Very simply, the book is like a Roman Famous Five. This is unfair on Lawrence as she creates a world that is ancient and yet easy to see, as well as characters who you genuinely feel for and wish to succeed.
I heavily recommend the series and think that it is a good read for those children who are just starting to brave reading on their own. On saying that, I am enjoying them and I am slightly older than 7!
on 12 June 2005
Every book that Caroline Lawrence writes is based on a character in the roman mysteries series. This book was based on Jonathan. Jonathan and his friends Lupus, Nubia and Flavia go to Rome to solve a mystery for the emperor Titus. During solving the mystery, Jonathan gets an urge to show something to his father. Something very important. Something that has to do with Jonathan's family. In this book, Berenice(said to be the empress) was told by emperor Titus to leave the city returns once again. I rated this book 5 because it has all the actions and adventures that a great book should have!!!
on 20 November 2007
One of the best so far!Im nine years old and LOVED IT! The four detectives(Nubia,Lupus,Johnathon and Flavia)go to Rome because the Emperor Titus has a secret misson for them:to find who opened the Pandora's Box. But Johnathon is distracted by a secret mission of his own! He is trying to get his supposeingly 'Dead' mother to meet his father who is there to cure pationts with the fever.But then everything goes terribly wrong...