Semper Fidelis by Ruth Downie
Review by Jerelyn H. (I-F-Letty)
Like old friends come to visit.
I’ve missed Ruso and Tilla, and I am so glad to spend time with them once again. Ruth Downie’s thoroughly likeable characters are back, and nothing has changed. Tilla’s advocacy for her native countrymen will inevitably cause troubles for Ruso. Ruso has rejoined the 20th legion and not all is well, the native recruits are suffering from “accidents” and unexplained deaths, is the 20th legion cursed? What does the Centurion Germius have to do with this? Is the Tribune Accius covering for his elder brother? And if that isn’t enough, the Emperor Hadrian is coming to Britannia, and Ruso has been told to stop asking questions, (like that’s going to happen).
For me the mystery is secondary when I read Downie’s books. They keep me turning the pages, but it is her humor that I find irresistible. I love Downie’s quirky characters, and the honesty that she brings to Tilla and Ruso’s relationship. An officer of the Empire married to one of the barbarian hoard, he sees the iniquities of the natives, and is at a loss as how to balance these two worlds. Tilla’s view of things is very black or white, and having been raised in a society where women are more or less equal finds it difficult to be a subservient Roman wife. She wants to be more than the wife of the Medicus, but how to bring this about is a problem.
I am a true fan of this series, and Semper Fidelis is a great addition to continuing story of the Medicus Ruso and his lovely wife Tilla. 4.5 stars
The Medicus Series
Book one: Medicus
Book two: Terra Incognita
Book three: Persona non Grata
Book four: Caveat Emptor
Book five: Semper Fidelis
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