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Historical Fiction Review and Book Give Away – Semper Fidelis


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




Leave a comment for a chance to win a hard bound copy of RUTH DOWNIE’S SEMPER FIDELIS compliments of Bloomsbury, Ruth and the PBS blog.  A winner will be chosen at random. Good Luck!





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17 Responses to “Historical Fiction Review and Book Give Away – Semper Fidelis”

  1. Jean L. (MeanJean) says:

    This series was unknown to me until this morning. It sounds really interesting so I would love to win a book and read it to see if I might like the rest of the series.
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  2. Valerie D. (6thdaughter) says:

    This book sounds like it makes the Roman Empire interesting!

  3. Desmond W. (desmond) says:

    Count me in, please!

  4. Lori B. says:

    I would rather pay for a book than win a free sofa!

  5. Barbara (spacekitty) says:

    Sounds like a great series to me! I’ll have to look for it at the library, although it would be awesome to win a copy! 🙂

  6. Bonnie (LoveNE) , says:

    Well I too, have never heard of this series, so thank you once again Jerelyn for writing such inspiring reviews! I will have to give a try to yet another of your suggestions!

  7. Gail R. (gailrod) says:

    I saw Semper Fidelis & coming from a family of Marines I did a Semper Fi doubletake!
    I am intrigued with historical fiction & would love to read this.

  8. Kelly P. (KellyP) , says:

    Jerelyn – agree with you completely that the characters are what keep these books interesting and fresh. They are a perfect complement to each other; yet, I must admit that I harbor a slight preference for Tilla.

  9. Brenna B. (demiducky25) says:

    Yet another series to add to the TBR pile- this sounds very interesting! 🙂 Thanks for introducing us to this series. 🙂

  10. JonnieAngel says:

    Go Army!

  11. Jeanne L. (bkydbirder) , says:

    I’m not up to date on this series yet, but so far, I’ve loved the books and the characters are outstanding! Great writing too, I might add…;)

    Definitely looking forward to reading all of them – they are wonderful entertainment!

    Thanks Letty!

  12. ANNA S. (SanJoseCa) says:

    I love Ruso and Tilla!

  13. Carol G. (clynsg) says:

    Also hadn’t heard of this series. Would love to win this book, and fully plan to look for them from the beginning, since that is how I prefer to read a series.

  14. Bonnie S. (HikingNurse) says:

    This a great series! I agree the humor is the best part. Would love to read more of Russo and Tilla!

  15. Lindsay N. says:

    This looks like a great book– would love to win!

  16. Aimee (peculiarway) says:

    I should know better than to read your reviews, Letty…they always make my WL grow! ;p

  17. R E K. (bigstone) , says:

    This is my first read by this author. Easy, quick read. I like the hero – Ruso, and love his independent thinking and acting wife, Tilla. I would love to win a copy for my library.

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