Tuesday 20 November 2018

Roma Nova Extra by Alison Morton

A Discovered Diamond
shortlisted for Book of the Month


short stories e-book novella
Novella/short stories
Various time periods/locations

I thoroughly enjoyed this “Extra” to Alison Morton’s excellent Roma Nova series. My only slight grump being that I wish the stories had been longer because I loved them!

One of the reasons I am enthralled with the Roma Nova series (aside from the skilfully written plots, excellent writing and professional standard of production) is the concept of the whole thing: that Rome survived into the modern day and that the women are more dominant than the men. The customs are similar to those of Ancient Rome, (adapted to modern day of course) with Roma Nova Saturnalia sounding much more fun than modern Christmas. From the Praetorian Guard, the Vigiles, the important families, the Empress (a female, not a male emperor) down to the ordinary men and women in the streets, all are entirely believable. Add in the ‘thriller’ aspect of the plots and you get an exciting and engrossing read.

For Roma Nova Extra we meet some new characters – those from the past – and some familiar ones from the twentieth and twenty-first century setting of the main series of novels. The stories are short, I’d say a train journey to work or one story at bedtime length, but they are intended as quick glimpses into the years between the rest of the series – vignettes into a different world of highly interesting fictional characters. And the intention works perfectly.

One of the stories connects to Ms Morton’s contribution to the Diamond Tales Christmas series that we published here on Discovering Diamonds last December, and another is a slight adaptation of her story that appears in 1066 Turned Upside Down a collection of ‘what if’ short stories by nine different authors.

An enjoyable, enthralling read. Highly recommended.

© Helen Hollick
note: genuine review even though Alison Morton is known to me

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