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AURELIA (Roma Nova) Paperback – May 5, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
Book 4 of 5 in the Roma Nova Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Morton raises the bar on her Roma Nova series with a thrilling and intriguing history of what might have been. Effortlessly weaving fact and speculative fiction, AURELIA explores a 1960s that is at once familiar and and utterly different - a brilliant page turner that will keep you gripped from first page to last. Highly recommended." - Russell Whitfield, author of the Gladiatrix series

'What if the Roman Empire hadn't fallen? Alison Morton handles this intriguing premise with her customary panache in AURELIA.' - Ruth Downie, author of the Ruso Medicus series

"Yet again, Ms Morton delivers a fast-paced story set in a world slightly - but fundamentally - different from our own. Roma Nova as a country does not exist - not really - but Ms Morton paints this alternate world of hers with such colours, such details, that by the time the book has ended it comes as a surprise to return to a world without Roma Nova, without strong, impressive women like Aurelia Mitela. I am already looking forward to the next instalment - in fact, I crave a next instalment!" - Anna Belfrage, author of The Graham Saga

"Meticulously researched. Wonderfully imagined. Alison Morton's Roma Nova will stay with you long after you have closed the pages." - Liesel Schwarz, author of Chronicles of Light and Shadow;

"Brilliant! Alison Morton's alternative world of Roma Nova - a feisty soldier heroine plunged into the depths of criminal conspiracy, and mind-blowing action all the way to the tense finale. Aurelia is a fabulous read." - David Ebsworth, Historical Novel Society award-winning author

About the Author

Even before she pulled on her first set of combats, it had never occurred to Alison Morton that women couldn't serve their country in the armed forces. She joined a special communications regiment and left as a captain, having done all sorts of interesting and exciting things she can't talk about.Walking on 1st century mosaics at Ampurias (Spain) created by the complex, power and value-driven Roman civilisation made her wonder what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women, possibly military women.The Roma Nova alternate history thrillers are the result.Find out more at www.alison-morton.com, follow her on Twitter @alison_morton and sign up to Alison's newsletter www.alison-morton.com/contact/newsletter/
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Product Details

  • Series: Roma Nova
  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Silverwood Books (May 5, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781323836
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781323830
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,173,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I received this is exchange for an honest review--and went back and bought the first three!

Aurelia shows us how different the 20th century might be if women had been full participants in running countries over the centuries. She is a Major in the praetorian Guard of Roma Nova--and heir to the head of the first of the Twelve Families. She has always avoided Caius Tellus, a member of one of the other Twelve Families because he is mean to all of the other children, including her, doing mean, nasty tricks. But he wants to marry her!! And her mother is encouraging him!

Aurelia's mother dies as a result of an extremely suspicious car wreck and Aurelia become head of the family before she is fully prepared.

Something needs to change and she is sent to Berlin as part of a silver trade party. What happens there and after, is a tight suspenseful novel, well worth reading!

Heading back to read the first one!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have enjoyed Ms Morton’s three previous Roma Nova books, centred round Carina Mitela and her man, Conradus. I would even go as far as to say that I have developed a close relationship with these characters, which had me somewhat hesitant at being presented with a new Roma Nova instalment, but this time set several decades in the past and with Carina’s grandmother, Aurelia as the protagonist.
It took me like six pages to take Aurelia to my heart. It took me another ten pages to be utterly sucked into this fast-paced story, set in an unfamiliar Europe somewhere in the 1960s. What makes Ms Morton’s books so enjoyable is just how plausibly she presents a world slightly – but most fundamentally – different from our own. Tantalising bits and pieces of a Europe unmarked by “a short Austrian with a square moustache” come together to create a whole, a continent in which Roma Nova, proud survivor of the ancient Roman Empire, plays an active role.
In difference to her neighbours, Roma Nova is an equal-gender country – well, it has a matriarchal rather than patriarchal base, and women hold a number of high positions – but able men do as well. In the Europe of the 1960s, women were still mostly expected to embrace the traditional values of being a home-maker, and so Aurelia encounters a lot of preconceived notions when she is sent overseas to investigate who is manipulating the price of silver, Roma Nova’s foremost export.
Ms Morton is without any doubt one of the best dialogue writers I know – nothing ever sounds off-key.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book begins the back story of the first three Nova Roma books. While it stands alone, it would be more fun it you began with the first book (Inceptio). Excellent alternative history with an intriguing take on (reimagining of) gender roles. These books are so good that I bought them one after another over a weekend and read them back to back.

There are many novels that take as their starting point the assumption that a major historical event turned out differently: The South won the US Civil War, Hitler conquered Europe and kept it, the Spanish bested Drake or Napoleon won at Waterloo. Alison Morton’s four Nova Roma books take a different path. Instead of a different outcome, Ms. Morton imagines what happened if a culture survived.

The idea: A small corner of the Roman Empire survived, keeping some of the culture and religion of Rome – and Latin! – alive into the twentieth century, while the country itself – Nova Roma – had to change to accommodate technological changes. Like Switzerland, Nova Roma has never been conquered. Morton takes practices that were alive during Roman times, such as Senators having clients, and imagines how those practices morphed in almost 2,000 years.

There is a further twist, a twist that makes the books so imaginative. Unlike Switzerland, a patriarchal society, Nova Roma is a matriarchy, albeit a modern one.
So what is excellent about the books?
1. Use of history. Ms. Morton has thought out how today would be different if Nova Roma existed for the past 2000 years. BUT, this history is dropped into the plot in frozen blocks; instead, only when relevant is it mentioned.
2. Use of history. As far as I can determine or remember from my history and years of Latin, the little details of society then are accurate.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Starting a series with Book 4 may not always be a good thing – except when the content is laid out by a writer like Alison Morton. No wonder, Aurelia, Book 4 of the Roma Nova Series, is a Finalist for the 2016 Historical Novel Society Indie Award. Furthermore, Aurelia is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree for excellence in writing. (“Honoree” having nothing to do with “honorable mention.” This is the real deal.)

While there was plenty of action, the language flowed easily yet was intelligent; it didn’t need grisly detail or expletives to make you sit up a little straighter and hold your breath, wondering what was to come next. Toward the end, I actually became worried I might run out of pages before the story ended – I did not. But I was sorry to have come to the end of such an interesting speculative fiction premise.

Thank you, Alison Morton, for the enjoyable hours I spent reading Aurelia.
Inge H. Borg, Author of the “Legends of the Winged Scarab” Series.
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