Books - Apr to Jun 17

July 17, 2017

You may be wondering where I've been. Sorry! But I'm back with a 3 month update of all the books I've read.


April saw me finish off the SPQR series by John Maddox Roberts. I would have loved more books, though I imagine it would have been even harder to get those. As it is there's some short stories of these characters which is finding almost impossible to track down.
Oracle of the Dead, number twelve in the series and The Year of Confusion, number 13; see's an ageing Metellus dragged into more murders, tunnels, politics of course and the last days of Caesar. Thoroughly enjoyable and a must series for any Roman fiction fan, if you can get your hands on it.

The Spook Who Spoke Again by Lindsey Davies is an eBook between books 2 and 3 of the Flavia Albia series. Focusing on Postumus, Flavia's brother, he goes back to his birth mother to live and gets embroiled in wondering which of the men visiting might be his father, and decides to investigate a murder no one else seems to care about. A pleasing diversion in the series.

Nefer the Silent by Christian Jacq is the first of the Stone of Light series. It centres around the Place of Truth, a village of workman who create the Pharaohs' tombs in the Valley of the Kings. In depth detail and intriguing plots, I enjoyed this however the idea of magic being actually real gets me a bit. I understand that "magic" then was due to lack of scientific understanding about everyday things on a lot of occasions, so the use of "real magic" leaves me a little annoyed; but not enough to not enjoy the book.


May saw me finish one of the longest books I've read, almost 700 pages and the rest in the series aren't much smaller. It's the reason I've been putting off reading them. But I did it. I got through the first book in what I believe is called the Pharaoh series by Wilbur Smith. River God is set much earlier than most of my Egyptian fiction so far; so much so that in this book the main character marvels at wheels. Detailed for sure, long winded at times? Unfortunately so. I could have enjoyed this book with much less, but I didn't not like it because there was so much more. It covers a long period of time, from a young daughter till her death, through one Pharaoh and ends with that Pharaohs' son in early manhood as Pharaoh. To be honest I'd be surprised that the main character [who is not a young man to begin with] is even alive in the next; but I've yet to find out.

The Germanicus Mosaic by Rosemary Rowe is the first in a series of Ancient Roman Britain. Following a Celtic former slave who is a now a pavement maker and citizen he gets himself embroiled in mysteries, usually murders, on insistence of his patron Marcus Aurelius Septimius. Libertus [the pavement maker] if often trying to get commissions for mosaics from people that either end up dead, end up being the murderer, or for some other reason. I'm sure eventually he might actually get to do his job between all the sleuthing. Set in the south of Britain when Commodus is Emperor I've not read much of either this period or this location. Loving it for so far.

The Wise Woman by Christian Jacq is the second in the Stone of Light series, following the events of the Place of Truth. This book features on the Wise Woman of the village, who is a doctor, spiritual leader, and basically mother for the village. Events continue, but we focus on her role in those events.

The Pirate Queen and The Pirate Prisoner by Terry Deary I found as ebooks online, and I enjoyed the Roman and Greek Tales I'd read previously. [Let's face it, I read them to up my Goodreads count].

Paneb the Ardent by Christian Jacq is the third in the Stone of Light series, and follows primarily the character of Paneb who you meet in the first book and his life is one of the main focus of the series. This one contains plots against the Pharaoh and upset of the village from outside [or inside] sources.


I started June with finishing off the Stone of Light series with The Place of Truth by Christian Jacq. Everything comes to a head and you find out about the people who are trying to destroy the village. Wraps up all lose ends, and you really don't know who the mysterious "traitor" is until the end.

I then decided to get through some thicker books on the shelves and fuelled by watching the second movie started the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E. L. James. Having watched the films first, the narrative being different [different events happen at different times] was interesting to read. I did to be honest skip a lot of the sex scenes throughout the series after the first book, purely because they are basically ALL THE SAME. I was more interested the stuff that wasn't in the film, the back story to it all that you do have to search for among the ... well trash. I do have the Grey fourth book [would you call it the fourth book in a trilogy?] but having read the reviews, I'm not sure I want to spoil the image I have of Christian. We'll see.

You know when you're ordering books on amazon and you have to find another one just to get free delivery? Well, although it has been in my saved items forever, I finally bought Ovid by David Wishart. The main character Marcus Corvinus is a cross between Falco from Lindsey Davis's series and Metellus from SPQR. He's well born, but basically spends most his time drunk and yet sleuths about. In this first book, he sleuths purely because of a woman [what's new]. Set in the period of the Emperor Tiberius.

And finally in June, I picked up Tutankhamun: The Last Secret by Christian Jacq in a charity shop while on holiday. Set in modern day [the 1950's] as opposed to Ancient times, this follows a lawyer who discovers his true identity while in Egypt and involves some spies, some car swapping and a big secret.

Goodreads Progress

I have read 32 out of 52, and 6 ahead of schedule.

Currently Reading 

The Chariots of Calyx by Rosemary Rowe.

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