This was an unexpected find - another piece of charity table serendipity. I haven't read the others in the series and so I had a bit of piecing together to do on the background of the various characters, but it does work as a one-off read as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the well-constructed colour and drama of the hippodrome, its excitement and danger. Lawrence didn't hold back from the reality of chariot racing - death and destruction were intrinsic to it. I really appreciated the depth of her research and her attention to detail. It is the case that the Nubians probably obtained the horse in relatively early times - before their Egyptian neighbours to the north - and so the character of Nubia was really believable and spot-on in terms of historical and archaeological accuracy. Lawrence wears her learning lightly, though, and whilst young readers will absorb an incredible amount of accurate factual knowledge from this book - and, I imagine, the others in the series - at no point does this learning get in the way of the excitement and action of the plot. It's a great read, and the diversity of the characters in terms of personality and background is worth a mention too, since it is easy for the reader to find one or more amongst them to whom they can relate closely.
I read this book because I have read all the preceeding books in the series. The Charioteer of Delphi is a wonderful book but possibly not the best place to start in the series as it is the thirteenth book. I enjoyed the Charioteer of Delphi immensely and new complex characters were introduced. This is one of Caroline Lawrence 's best written books, I like the way she doesn't patronise children by writing about children who are always perfect. It inspired me to read more about ancient Rome and Aristo's scroll at the back is very helpful.
This book is full of excitement and mystery. I love all of the Roman Mystery books.I have read all of them at least twice. It has historically accurate sections and you can learn lots. Some paragraphs or phrases make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I love the descriptions in the book and the action chapters. I can't wait for the next book in the series and hope that it will be as good as this one.
As ever the tales of Flavia Gemina & friends are gripping and tautly written. As with all the mid-later books in the series this one does assume that you have read prior stories in order but does re-explain a few key points. It brings Rome and its Empire alive in the same way that Lindsey Davies' Falco books do for adults so that readers and especially children unwittingly pick up some fun, educational knowledge on the way. A great series for kids and adults even.......