Ruth Downie's entertaining first
novel is set in Roman Britain sometime early in the
2nd century AD. The Roman conquest of Britannia was completed about 30 years
earlier, and the fall of the Roman empire won't be
for at least another 200 years. In other words,
having divided and conquered the tribes of
Britannia and built Hadrian's Wall to keep the
inhabitants of Scotland at bay, the Roman soldiers of the 20th Legion are
sitting pretty without a lot to do except wait for
payday (every 3 months), flirt with the native girls
and get into trouble.
Into this setting steps the harassed, impoverished and newly divorced Gaius Petrius Ruso, fresh off the boat from Africa, newly appointed medicus to the 20th Legion. His hope is that this damp little island...
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