The Scribes from Alexandria: Book 15 (The Roman Mysteries) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top Customer Reviews
Separated from Nubia, Flavia and the boys make it to the library of Alexandria, where both help and danger awaits them. As wanted posters go up and soldiers begin a systematic search, the trio of friends begin a journey up the Nile River with the help of two Jewish youths. They are on the trail of Nubia, rumored to be in the company of a eunuch and traveling toward her homeland. Their only clues are left by Nubia's companion Chrysis: a range of codes, riddles, anagrams and hieroglyphics that are written in graffiti on various landmarks downriver, all of which promise to lead them to a great treasure awaiting them at the end of their journey.
Part treasure-hunt adventure and part escape-and-evade thriller, "The Scribes of Alexandria" is perhaps one of the most sophisticated installments in Caroline Lawrence's history-mystery series. Having dealt with steadily darker material as the books go on, it is with "Scribes" and its direct predecessor that the reader really gets the sense that our protagonists' lives are in grave danger. There are a number of close calls, and terrible consequences await should they be captured - and adding to the stress is the fact that they have no idea why they are so persecuted. Alone and afraid, even their guides do not seem to be entirely trustworthy, for there is a strange animosity between the mysterious Chrysis and the sullen Seth that the children cannot quite understand.
The action moves between Nubia's lonely journey toward her country (believing that her friends have drowned) and Flavia, Jonathan and Lupus's pursuit of them. Along the way, the reader is treated to a tour of the Nile and all its wayside pyramids, sphinxes, tombs, temples, and wacky towns that worship anything from dogs to sharp-nosed pike. It's a fascinating look at Ancient Egypt, and as usual, Lawrence does careful research to ensure that it's all accurate (and provides an afterword that assures us of the legitimacy of some of the stranger aspects of Egyptian life).
Neither does Lawrence shy away from the reality of violence and difficulties in this time period. Death is swift and immutable, and the protagonists are in very real danger as they traverse the country. Yet along with pain and despair comes beauty and hope, as does the inevitable end of their endeavor. Awaiting them is an unusual treasure, the resolution to the mystery surrounding their guides, and a bittersweet epiphany for Nubia.
Still, the final four books in this series are very tightly woven together, and there are several threads left over here and from The Beggar of Volubilis that will be resolved in the final two books, starting with The Prophet from Ephesus.
Nubia, in the company of a scribe from the Library of Alexandria named Chryses, begins a journey to her homeland. In the meantime, Flavia, Jonathan and Lupus discover Nubia's intentions and, enlisting the help of another scribe named Seth, follow Nubia sailing up the Nile.
Chryses, who is a eunuch, has a kind of adversarial relationship with Seth, who believes Chryses may be responsible for the death of another scribe. Chryses also has a treasure map and leaves clues for Seth in the form of a riddle so he can follow along with Flavia, Lupus and Jonathan. Will Flavia and company be able to catch up with Nubia to let her know they are alive? There is also danger just a step behind the four children in the form of Roman soldiers acting on orders from the governor to capture them.
The Scribes of Alexandria has some wonderful descriptions of ancient Alexandria as Seth shows Flavia, Lupus and Jonathan around his city and there are also beautiful descriptions of the journey up the Nile that the three detectives take with Seth and his cousin Nathan up the Nile. We learn quite a lot about Egypt in the time of the Flavians and the distrust and hatred between cities that worship different gods. This is among the most memorable books in the Roman Mysteries series.
I have to say there is some willing disbelief as even today a group of 12 year olds setting off across Egypt would be difficult, but Caroline carries this off.
Kudos to the author for not holding back. By contrast, I was dismayed to read the reviews of Wind in the Willows on Amazon, where the original Graham Greene text has been edited for political correctness and has had references to Badger's guns etc edited out! May this never happen to Ms. Lawrence and the four friends.
As with all her books in the series, The Scribes from Alexandria offers us a glimpse into the ancient world -- this time finding our dauntless detectrix, Flavia Gemina, traveling through Egypt, hot on the trail of a runaway scribe from the famous Library of Alexandria.
Caroline Lawrence even provides an accompanying, illustrated "Latin Alphabet in Hieroglyphs" so that you can try your hand at being a scribe by writing your own name in ancient Egyptian style.
This book is another triumph for Caroline Lawrence -- and another joy for her readers!
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Ancient Civilizations
- Books > Children's Books > Mysteries & Detectives
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Ancient Civilizations
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > United States
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Mysteries & Detectives > Detectives