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Itinera Petri: Flammae Ducant: Liber Primus (Latin Edition) (Latin) Paperback – Large Print, September 27, 2015
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Patrick's prose is written for an intermediate-level Latin student. Students who have had exposure to basic Latin grammar can read this text with a degree of fluency. His sentences are clear and straightforward, and the plot will engage students right from the beginning. The characters, without giving any details away, are varied and interesting, and each one provides another twist to the story's development. Limiting the verbs to the 50 Most Important Verbs demonstrates how Latin's vocabulary can express many meanings in different contexts.
Dr. Patrick's contributions to the Latin-teaching and Latin-speaking community have continually influenced instructional strategies and methodology. I have begun to incorporate many of his ideas into my own teaching, and have seen students' ability to understand the language increase. By delivering comprehensible messages to students in the target language, students are more vested in their learning. I hope to use this book in the future with my Latin 3 students, or at least, encourage them to take a copy of it from the class library and read it on their own for enjoyment. Maximas gratias Roberto ago.
It's really not. We never learn enough about Peter to really care about him as a character. His only motivation is to "follow the flames" because a voice in his head told him to. What is his personality? What does he want out of life? What are his passions? We don't know. All we know is that he listens to voices in his head. So he goes on this journey, and encounters various obstacles that could be exciting and dangerous, but the flames take care of everything for him. Fighting a monster? The flames will save you. Meet some sick people? The flames will cure them. There wasn't much suspense or drama to start with, and the fact that Peter does exactly nothing for himself undercuts what little there is.
A minor annoyance is that we don't have a clear idea of where this story is set. Peter's mom owns a house in which family members have individual bedrooms with beds and mirrors, so we're probably not in a Roman villa. Kings and amulets are more commonplace than aspirin, so this probably isn't modern day. It seems like we're in some generically medieval time, but there really aren't enough details to figure out where or when the adventures are happening.
Overall, we have characters we don't care about, going on quests that lack any sense of urgency, in a world we know nothing about.
In terms of Latin, the vocab is understandable, and the grammar isn't overwhelmingly difficult, but the style is repetitive and dull. Basically every sentence has its verb at the end. If you want students to be exposed to the possibilities of the Latin sentence, and how word order can be used to shape emphasis and play with expectations, look elsewhere.
I'd love to see compelling new stories written in Latin. This book didn't live up to my hopes.