Excerpt from The Enemies of Jupiter by Caroline Lawrence, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Enemies of Jupiter

The Roman Mysteries Series Book VII

by Caroline Lawrence

The Enemies of Jupiter by Caroline Lawrence X
The Enemies of Jupiter by Caroline Lawrence
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2005, 183 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2004, 215 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Scroll I

Jonathan ben Mordecai stared at the charred flesh. "It's horrible," he said to his friend Lupus in a strangled voice. "Horrible."

Lupus could not speak because he had no tongue. So he merely nodded.

The two boys were crouching before a brick oven and peering in through its arched doorway. A blackened haunch of venison lay on a platter among the glowing coals.

"Do you think maybe I left it in too long?" asked Jonathan.

Lupus nodded again.

Using a napkin, Jonathan gripped the platter and began to pull it out.

"Yeoww! It's hot!"

There was a resounding crash, and Jonathan stared down at burnt meat and broken pottery on the concrete floor of the kitchen.

"Oh Pollux!" Jonathan cursed and blew on his scorched fingers. "Now dinner is completely ruined. And it's all Miriam's fault!"

Lupus stared at Jonathan with raised eyebrows.

"Well it is! Everything's gone wrong since she got married and left home!" Jonathan stood up and tried to blink away the tears filling his eyes, so he could read what Lupus was beginning to write on his wax tablet.

YOU COULD SCRAPE

But before Lupus could finish, a big black puppy pushed between his legs, seized the burnt leg of venison in his teeth, and scampered back out of the kitchen.

"Tigris! Bad dog! Come back with that!" yelled Jonathan. "That's father's birthday dinner! Oh Pollux!" he cursed again. "This is a total disaster. It's going to be even worse than your birthday party last week. At least we had food, even if it was burnt."

Lupus nodded, then shrugged and pointed to his tongueless mouth, as if to say: I couldn't taste it anyway.

Jonathan gave his friend an affectionate glance. Less than a year ago Lupus had been a half-wild beggar boy with head lice and ragged fingernails. Now, with his hair oiled and combed, wearing a white birthday tunic, he looked like a young Roman boy of good birth.

From the direction of the atrium came the sound of the door knocker.

"That must be father," said Jonathan. "He probably forgot his key again. He's just in time for the total disaster that's supposed to be his birthday party. Could you let him in, Lupus? I'll start picking up these broken pieces of pottery before one of us steps on them and bleeds to death."

A moment later Lupus was back, followed by a dark-skinned girl in a lion-skin cloak and a fair-haired girl wearing a blue palla. Behind them came two adult slaves: a plump woman and a big, muscular man carrying a covered cauldron.

"Salve, Jonathan!" said the dark-skinned girl, and the girl with light brown hair said: "What happened?"

"Oh, hello, Nubia. Hello, Flavia. I dropped Father's birthday dinner and Tigris ran off with it and it's a total disaster."

"Don't be wretched," said Nubia, the dark-skinned girl. The back paws of her lion skin trailed on the floor as she knelt to help Jonathan pick up the shards of clay.

Flavia grinned down at Jonathan. "After Lupus's party last week," she said, "we thought you might need some help with the cooking. So Alma made her special goat stew with plums and pine nuts. Caudex will help serve it." Flavia stepped out of the kitchen into the columned peristyle. She looked around the inner garden. "Where's your father?" she asked, tapping a cylindrical package against her leg. "We have a present for him."

"He's not back yet," said Jonathan. "He's still out seeing his patients. Thanks, Alma." This last was addressed to the plump woman who was settling the cauldron among the glowing ashes on top of the hearth.

  • 1
  • 2

From The Enemies of Jupiter by Caroline Lawrence. Chapter 1. Copyright 2005 by Caroline Lawrence.  All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Roaring Brook Press.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Moth
    Moth
    by Melody Razak
    On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from the United Kingdom, and on that same day the ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Lonely People
    All the Lonely People
    by Mike Gayle
    Mike Gayle's charming novel All the Lonely People introduces us to Hubert Bird, an 82-year-old ...
  • Book Jacket: Perish
    Perish
    by LaToya Watkins
    It's a commonly cited fact that many perpetrators of sexual abuse, particularly men, are victims of ...
  • Book Jacket: Afterlives
    Afterlives
    by Abdulrazak Gurnah
    Afterlives, from Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, begins in late 19th century East Africa in ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Izquierdo
    by Rubén Degollado

    A masterful debut that weaves together the lives of three generations of a Mexican American family bound by love, and a curse.

Who Said...

Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.