08 May, 2015

The thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence

The thieves of Ostia is set in the Classical time of the Roman Empire. Flavia Gemina, the precocious young daughter of a merchant captain, aims to solve a small mystery for her father, but soon ends up involved in a much greater mystery. Along the way she meets new friends and discovers a whole new side to the Roman port in which she lives.

The thieves of Ostia is the first in Caroline Lawrence's The Roman Mysteries series and is both an easy and entertaining read aimed at a younger audience. Flavia and her friends lead the reader through the streets of Ostia in an adventure ranging from the light-hearted setting of the Roman house and market life of Ostia, to the dark and sometimes more macabre setting of the catacombs or slave docks.

While the story itself builds gradually to a Scooby-doo-esque climax, the seamless effort with which Caroline Lawrence moves her characters around Ostia while providing facts about the ancient Roman world made this book both easily digestible and educational.

The thieves of Ostia will appeal to children and adults looking to either introduce themselves to a little ancient history or dip their toes into a little crime and mystery. The tone I believe is aimed at a learning mature young reader as it does touch on themes such as religious tolerance, slavery and dealing with loss (but hey, rock 'n' roll, it was ancient Rome!).

We've got the series on DVD too!

Title: The thieves of Ostia
Author: Caroline Lawrence

Recommended by James W, Sir Edmund Hillary Library Papakura

James W somehow managed to get a degree in History and Ancient History. His passions include sitting quietly and keeping your feet off the furniture.

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