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on 7 May 2016
Not finished reading this yet but enjoyed reading the first four chapters to my family so much yesterday, that I thought I would post an early review!

Caroline seems to go from strength to strength with these books; there is a discernible improvement with each novel in the series; an increase in the depth of character, humour, pace and plot.

Great if you are looking for something exciting, yet clean and wholesome. We are, as parents, extremely wary of very much that it on the market these days. Much of what is offered to children through school catalogues etc seem to be full of vampires, black magic or sex, swearing and rebellion.

This book and other in the series so far (the previous installments; we haven't read the later ones) come highly recommended as very healthy, well written and enjoyable alternatives. Caroline Lawrence is very under rated as a children's author.

Thank you very much Caroline Lawrence!
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on 13 February 2010
I am now reading this book by Caroline Lawrence. I have read the other four books in the series before this one. I bought these books for my 12 year old daughter and she has devoured each book she has read in the series thus far with such enthusiasm.

This series is excellent. Caroline Lawrence is not only a superb story teller, but she is a highly qualified authority in the field of ancient history. Her books are as historically accurate as possible, but they do not read like history books. These books are absorbing, enthralling and are so believable. Caroline Lawrence is every bit the consummate story teller and she expertly weaves fictional characters into real historical events.

In addition, the author thoroughly researches and visits the places where her stories are set. As a result she uses the most superb 'eye witness' accounts of historical events. Her books are fantastic and she gives birth to wonderful characters who are so believable and 'real' that my daughter and I found ourselves really caring about what happened to them (even the fictional ones).

These books should be on every key stage 2 and key stage 3 classroom shelf in the country because they really bring ancient history to life in such a vivid and thoroughly engaging way.

Caroline Lawrence is up there with the best and most significant children's writers of our time. May she continue to write such fantastic literature for our children to sink their imaginations into!
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on 15 January 2003
Another Roman mystery arises! Set in 79 A.D, 3 months after the erruption of vesuvius.
Johnathon has had a birthday. He is deeply distressed when he finds out that an assasin is headed for his father! The assasin tells Johnathon that his dead Mother may still be alive! Now his friends, Flavia and Nubia face a tough decision, to follow Johnathon, or wait for Flavia's father, Marcus Flavia Geminia, to return to Ostia for adult advice?
A thrilling book, and historically correct. The character's have developed a lot from the first three books in this stunning series. I would thoroughly recomend this book to people who like mysteries. This book is the best Caroline Lawrence book yet and is aimed for the teenage years (12 - 15).
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on 6 December 2002
I am 16 and still found this book exciting despite being slightly above the age it is aimed at. It has a gripping story-line which will thrill any young reader, and is full of lots of surprises as well as being educational and historically accurate. It is a unique adventure story with the added interest of being set in Ancient Rome. Well worth the read, a perfect present, I thoroughly recommend it.
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on 6 December 2002
This is the best so far. Johnathen gos in search for his mother will he find her i wont tell you. His dad is also having problems for himself. I will not tell you any more but trust me this is a must for your book shelf.
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on 15 January 2010
Another good read in this excellent series. Caroline Lawrence thoroughly researches her subject, adds humour and excitement to give you a thoroughly enjoyable read. I recommend the whole series!
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on 30 November 2002
This wonderful Roman Mystery is probably the best yet. Johnathen is in search for his mother. Will he find her? If he does what will he do? You will have to read the book to find out.
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on 30 July 2016
My 8 yr old daughter loves this series and, as a bonus, it's historical roots tie in well with her Roman studies at school.
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