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Extended Audio Sample Terra Incognita: A Novel of the Roman Empire Audiobook, by Ruth Downie Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.82 out of 53.82 out of 53.82 out of 53.82 out of 53.82 out of 5 3.82 (22 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ruth Downie Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Medicus Investigations Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9781400176670
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It is spring in the year 118, and Hadrian has been emperor of Rome for less than a year. After his long and reluctant investigation of the murders of a handful of local prostitutes, Gaius Petreius Ruso needs to get out of town. With that in mind, he has volunteered for a posting with the army in the far reaches of Britannia-a calmer place for a tired man. But the edge of the Roman Empire is a volatile place; the independent tribes of the North dwell near its borders. These hinterlands are the homeland of Ruso's slave, Tilla, who has scores of her own to settle there: Her tribespeople, under the leadership of the mysterious Stag Man, are fomenting a rebellion against Roman control; and her former lover is implicated in the grisly murder of a soldier. Ruso, once again unwillingly pulled into the murder investigation, is appalled to find that Tilla is still spending time with the prime suspect. Worse, he is honor-bound to try to prove the man innocent--and the army wrong-by finding another culprit. Soon both Ruso's and Tilla's lives are in jeopardy, as is the future of their burgeoning romance. Terra Incognita shines light on a remote corner of the ancient world, where Ruso's luck is running short-again. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Downie’s attention to day-in-the-life period details, judiciously doled-out twists, and dry British humor make Terra Incognita one hell of a toga party.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • Simon Vance gives Ruso a voice that combines conceit, genuine concern, and growing frustration, while making a large cast of characters instantly recognizable. AudioFile
  • “This well-researched novel places Downie alongside such established masters of the Roman historical as Steven Saylor and Rosemary Rowe.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Alively sequel…Ruso rocks. Let’s hear it for those Romans.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet Martin | 2/9/2014

    " Getting better and better, although I am waiting for Tilla to get a bit smarter. Simon Vance, as ever he does, makes a good book even better! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 2/6/2014

    " Dr. Ruso continues with his relentless investigative style in this second mystery in the series. Tilla is closely involved as in the first book. I like the dialogue and the relationships among the characters. There are humorous touches with anachronisms such as the We Sell Everything shop in England at the time of the Roman invasion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Asantorelli | 2/1/2014

    " great book going to read some more of her writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Houserlc | 1/16/2014

    " Good enough to buy another book in the series. Interesting setting, in Roman Britain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Straker | 12/29/2013

    " This second novel in the Ruso series bears many resemblances to the first and hence has a "been there, done that" feel to it. More significantly, the Ruso character simply isn't growing or becoming more interesting; on the contrary he's turning into a bit of a ninny. His relationship with Tilla, presumably the lynchpin of the series, just doesn't work for me. They've supposedly become intimate by the time this adventure takes place, but they've got about as much chemistry as two strangers at a bus stop. I got this book for free so I can't complain too much but I doubt I'll be reading any more in the series regardless of price. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kari | 12/22/2013

    " Fun story telling, but stretching historical facts a bit too far. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Luisa | 12/11/2013

    " Just ok. Not a page turner. The first book was much better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allyson | 12/1/2013

    " I found it to be an exciting page turner with exciting characters and a thrilling plot with unexpected twists. I can't wait to read more by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee | 11/28/2013

    " Yayyyy, I liked it. Has satisfied my craving for ancient mysteries whilst I wait for Mastiff or whatever its gonna be called now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Delta | 11/8/2013

    " Even better the second time round. I enjoy the thread of humor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elena Martinez | 11/5/2013

    " Not quite as great as Medicus, but still an enjoyable read. I felt the love story was a little distracting from the other plot lines. I am looking forward to the third installment in the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth Tedford | 7/20/2013

    " I really enjoyed this second book in this series! The author writes really well and I have to say that she makes Roman Britain more interesting than the non-fiction book I was reading about it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce | 11/26/2012

    " Second in the series, Ruth Downie captured me once again with her depiction of a Roman doctor posted among the uncivilized tribes of Britannia. Reminiscent of a similar series by another Englishwoman, Lindsey Davis. Love them both. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 9/12/2012

    " Fun view of life in Roman Britain and in the Legions, plus a mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monique | 10/10/2011

    " In all of these I love the characters but feel there is a bit too much frantic activity- why are people constantly bursting in? I did read them all at one time, on a series of long plane flights, but I ended up feeling like Ruso just needs to get some rest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 8/25/2011

    " This series is pretty good but it Does Not Compare to the Lindsey Davis - Falco novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 5/21/2011

    " I'm loving this new mystery series by Ruth Downie about a Roman army doctor named Ruso, who finds himself in the wilds of Britannia and in unexpected possession of a slave. Make sure to start with the first volume, Medicus. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 3/30/2011

    " I didn't enjoy this one as much as Medicus. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 3/1/2011

    " Easy night reading suspense in a Roman Empire setting. I found it interesting because of her take on the Roman lifestyle. Somewhat predictable with slightly under-developed characters, but it was still entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 2/20/2011

    " I've really enjoyed these novels of the Roman Empire, the doctor / reluctant detective Gaius Ruso, and his housekeeper, Tilla.

    I'm looking forward to the next one, "Persona Non Grata." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 2/3/2011

    " Really good read: interesting characters, plot, setting. Well written, with plenty of laugh out loud moments. Plus written by a librarian! Can hardly wait to start on the next in the series. Keep 'em coming! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 1/20/2011

    " as good as the first -- even better when it comes to Tilla, who becomes a real character. Funny, practical and superstitious. "

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About the Author
Author Ruth Downie

Ruth Downie won the Fay Weldon section of BBC3’s End of Story competition in 2004. She is the author of the highly acclaimed Roman Empire series, which began with her first novel, Medicus. She is married with two sons and lives in Milton Keynes, England.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.