Shortlisted for the 2016 Historical Novel Society Indie Award.
Late 1960s. Sent to Berlin to investigate silver smuggling, former Praetorian Aurelia Mitela barely escapes a near-lethal trap. Her old enemy is at the heart of all her troubles, and she pursues him back home to Roma Nova, but he has struck at her most vulnerable point - her young daughter.
Late 1960s, Roma Nova, the last Roman colony that has survived into the 20th century. Aurelia Mitela is alone - her partner gone, her child sickly and her mother dead - and forced to give up her beloved career as a Praetorian officer. But her country needs her unique skills.
Somebody is smuggling silver - Roma Nova's lifeblood - on an industrial scale. Sent to Berlin to investigate, she encounters the mysterious and attractive Miklós, a known smuggler who knows too much and Caius Tellus, a Roma Novan she has despised and feared since childhood.
Barely escaping a trap set by a gang boss intent on terminating her, she discovers that her old enemy is at the heart of all her troubles and pursues him back home to Roma Nova....
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Apart from the fact that Alison Morton is a top quality writer, her books are engrossing and her characters so believable, I absolutely loved the Audible version of Aurelia. I am registered as partially sighted, so reading books is becoming a struggle, with the pleasure of the experience fading as rapidly as my sight - but I now have the 'book at bedtime' experience renewed, and what a book to renew it with!
Full marks Ms Morton for a wonderfully exciting book and full marks Audible for producing it in this format!
Aurelia, apart from the other books in the wonderful Roma Nova series is, I think unique. It is an exciting thriller - but who else has created New Rome? Only Ms Morton.
High praise for author, reader and audible. I hope the other Roma Nova books will also be on Audible?
- Helen Hollick
"Eyes and ears open, and mouth shut."
A small part of the Roman Empire survived and prospered into present day, retaining much of the mores of the old society. Roma Nova, however, is far more matriarchal and when her mother dies, Aurelia becomes head of the Metella, first of the twelve original leading families. Previously a major in the Praetorian guard, she is sent to Germany on a diplomatic mission - to spy. And it does not go smoothly ...
This, the fourth in the Roma Nova series, is an exciting adventure featuring a fully three dimensional powerful woman and set in the cleverly constructed alternative historical world of the 1960s. A prequel to the previous three books, it is completely stand alone with no previous knowledge required. It is told in the first person so that the listener is right there inside Aurelia's head, experiencing the action as it happens as well as her emotional reactions as it occurs. The whole carries a feeling of authenticity throughout, both in Aurelia herself and the other characters encountered as well as in her world.
Julia Teal's narration is impeccable, her pronunciation crystal clear, the pace brisk but never rushed. She is Aurelia. There is some differentiation of voice, or accent, for other protagonists, but not much, making this more a reading than a performance, and one which is pleasant on the ear. However, for this listener, there was something missing: more than the sometimes odd emphasis in certain Latin words which led to an odd pronunciation, the entire reading never quite came alive, never spoke directly to me. But this is simply personal preference: in no other way can she be faulted.
As someone who has loved tales of ancient Rome and all things Roman since reading, The Eagle of the Ninth, as a child, I heartily salute this innovative series which brings old Rome into the present day. So skillfully is it done, it would be easy to forget that Roma Nova exists only in the minds of author and reader and cannot be located on a modern map. It is also peopled with real, life-like characters and the exploits and adventures are, likewise, exciting and realistic. Great idea, great series, excellent book and a most enjoyable listen. Highly recommended.
- Norma Miles