Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tabula Rasa (Gaius Petreius Ruso #6) by Ruth Downie

Historical Mystery

What Goodreads says:

The medicus Ruso and his wife Tilla are back in the borderlands of Britannia, this time helping to tend the builders of Hadrian's Great Wall. Having been forced to move off their land, the Britons are distinctly on edge and are still smarting from the failure of a recent rebellion that claimed many lives.

Then Ruso's recently arrived clerk, Candidus, goes missing. A native boy thinks he sees a body being hidden inside the wall's half-finished stonework, and a worrying rumor begins to spread. When the soldiers ransack the nearby farms looking for Candidus, Tilla's tentative friendship with a local family turns to anger and disappointment. It's clear that the sacred rites to bless her marriage to Ruso will have to wait. Tensions only increase when Branan, the family's youngest son, also vanishes. He was last seen in the company of a lone and unidentified soldier who claimed he was taking the boy to see Tilla.

As Ruso and Tilla try to solve the mystery of the two disappearances - while at the same time struggling to keep the peace between the Britons and the Romans - an intricate scheme involving slavery, changed identities, and fur trappers emerges, and it becomes imperative that Ruso find Branan before it's too late.

I always love visiting Britannia and seeing Ruso and Tilla again.  From the first they have seemed an usual couple.  When we first met Ruso he was a young curmudgeon, always unhappy.  Tilla on the other hand tried to make the best of everything.  Now six books later they are still settling into their marriage and still are a great couple to follow.  Ruso is happy to be away from his family and Tilla is still looking for some connection to hers. 

You can see from the blurb that there is a lot going on in Tabula Rasa.  The plot brings in some new characters as well as visiting with some old favorites.  Look for new possibilities and maybe a new setting for the next book and an important new character who only makes an appearance at the end of this book.

Once again Ruth Downie has mixed the Roman history in Britain with that of the native’s of Britannia and come up with a great story filled with information about a little known period of history.  Mixed in with that are two mysteries for Tilla and Ruso to solve.  I loved hearing what has happened to Ruso and Tilla but now I will have a long wait until the next book comes out.

While Tabula Rasa is book 6 in the series it can work as a stand-along.  However it is much better if you have read the first books in the series.

Bloombury published Tabula Rasa by Ruth Downie in 2014.


I received a ARC of Tabula Rasa from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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