on 14 June 2009
Let's get one thing clear - at the time of writing, I am 17, and I've been reading these books since around the time of the fourth book, The Assassins of Rome, which came out in late 2002. Ever since, I've been hooked and determined to read through to the end despite apparently growing out of the 'recommended' reading ages given by Amazon and such places.
I have not been disappointed. Though the books were published over a span of eight years whilst the story is spread over two, the characters and the themes definitely mature throughout the series, and the final book is not excluded from this. In fact, some of the darkest and cleverest scenes yet in the series definitely provide a route for anyone to be enthralled in the words on the page. I found myself finishing the book at roughly 3am last night.
Fans of the series will be desperate for various loose ends to be tied up, and they will not disappointed by the results. Imagine a situation progressing in the book - as you read, you slowly imagine three different ways it could unfold, only to see all of them have a chance to unfold and then being shocked as a fourth solution bounds onto the stage. The various twists and turns of this book keep going right up until the last page, surprising you as they happen but ultimately rolling together and making sense at the end.
If you are new to the Roman Mysteries series, I would strongly recommend you start at Book 1 (Where else?) and read onwards. Reading a random mismatch of the books in no particular order will only spoil your enjoyment of them, potentially giving away spoilers that you haven't read in previous books yet and just generally confusing you - even I found myself flicking back to a previous book to reaffirm what had happened at one point.
But the summer is approaching, so I recommend you order all 17 now and make your way through them over the coming months. The length of each book is roughly similar and easily readable (No gargantuan Harry Potter beasts here), whether you've been reading for many years, or you're just approaching the world of reading for the first time.
on 13 June 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!
on 12 June 2009
My entire family has been devoted to this series since The Thieves Of Ostia, and for good reason. They are unique, exciting, well researched, heart wrenching as well as heart warming and a utter pleasure to read.
I've literally put it down about a minute and a half ago after reading it all in one go. And I defy anyone to put it down once they start reading too. An absolutly outstanding ending to an equally outstanding series.
Roman Mystery fans will not be disappointed
And if you haven't read any of them, I seriously advise you to buy them all at once and find a comfortable chair.
on 11 June 2009
Roman Mysteries fans have waited for and feared this moment. The seventeenth, and last, mystery is here. The Man From Pomegranate Street lives up to all our hopes. The four detectives have to solve the murder of Emperor Titus, and they desperately need to clear their reputation with Titus' younger brother Domitian. Flavia and Nubia have spent many books in love with Flaccus and Aristo, but will it all end happily? A wedding for Flavia has long been promised, but what if she is married off to someone else? A rival for Flaccus turns up to muddy the waters somewhat.
And after solving so many mysteries, the young detectrix comes to the conclusion that she may not be as good at this business as she had thought.
This series provides not just great adventure and some romance, but educates as well. You won't be disappointed by The Man From Pomegranate Street, and anyone who has not read the earlier Roman Mysteries has a treat in store.
on 11 June 2009
This is a great book! It has the perfect balance of mystery, adventure and humour. Anyone who enjoys a good book will love this and the whole series. For a series finale... this book rises to the occasion incredibly. :o)
on 23 June 2009
Caroline has done it again and so the series ends. Many of the reviewers have beaten me to what I wanted to say. I would add that I really enjoyed both the sensational and sensible investigation into Titus' mysterious death, offering a sting in the tail. I would hesitate to speak for all Classics teachers but this series has done so much more than we could ever hope for to promote the study of those most glorious and underestimated subjects, Latin and Ancient History, weaving in history, social mores, geography, humanity, mythology and linguistics to name a few. We owe her so much and I confess I have had to adapt my own course to embrace the fresh research she has brought us over the last few years. Books for 9-12? No, the breadth is far, far wider. If I may end on a Jussive Subjunctive, floreant Flavia, Nubia, Jonathan and Lupus.
on 30 June 2009
The only sad thing about this book is that it is the last one in this wonderful series but Behold! as we might see more of Flavia, Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus.
As in all the other books again there is a tricky mystery to be solved, scenes that make you want to laugh and some that could even bring some tears in your eyes.
It all cumulates to a very satisfying end.
on 8 August 2009
My 12 year old daughter can't get enough of the Roman Mysteries and was eagerly awaiting this latest book in the series. She said it was GREAT.
on 29 July 2009
IN BRIEF IT IS A BRILLIANT BOOK FOR MY BOYS IN PARTICULAR TO READ. THEY KEEP GOING BACK TO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN.
I HAVE READ SOME ASPECTS AS WELL AND WILL SAY IT HAS A WONDERFUL LAYOUT AND EASY READABILITY.
WILL RECOMMEND IT AS A FAMILY TREASURE.
on 25 October 2009
In this conclusion to the Roman Mysteries series, Flavia and her friends return to Rome in AD 81 to learn of the death of Emperor Titus. The death occurred under mysterious circumstances, and many wonder if Titus truly died of natural causes, or if he was assassinated by one of his many enemies.
This is the biggest mystery yet for Flavia, Jonathan, Nubia, and Lupus, but they are determined to solve it, hoping that doing so will clear their names with the new emperor, Domitian, who is Titus's brother. However, trying to clear their names by solving the mystery ends up putting the friends in more danger, and they may not like some of the answers they find.
The Man from Pomegranate Street is a wonderful conclusion to the Roman Mysteries series, full of adventure, danger, mystery, and for some of the characters, romance. I've been reading this series since the first book was published, so I was very excited to read this final book and find out what happened to all the characters. Particularly I wanted to find out who Flavia would marry and I was not disappointed in the answer! Fans of the series are sure to want to read this book, it is an excellent conclusion that will not disappoint. For new readers who think the series sounds interesting, I recommend starting with book one, The Thieves of Ostia.