The Assassins of Rome by Caroline Lawrence, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Assassins of Rome

The Assassins of Rome

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by Caroline Lawrence

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Jonathan goes on a secret quest to Rome, and Flavia, Nubia and Lupus set out to find him. Their dangerous mission takes them to the Golden House of Nero where a deadly assassin is rumoured to be at work - and they learn what happened to Jonathan's family during the terrible destruction of Jerusalem nine years earlier.


Jonathan goes on a secret quest to Rome, and Flavia, Nubia and Lupus set out to find him. Their dangerous mission takes them to the Golden House of Nero where a deadly assassin is rumoured to be at work - and they learn what happened to Jonathan's family during the terrible destruction of Jerusalem nine years earlier.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
An interesting and exciting read that is extremely well researched. It is packed with accurate detail of everyday Roman life. The story is so well paced and involving that you don't realise just how much information you are absorbing—SCHOOL LIBRARIAN

The author's classical and Hebrew scholarship underpins the lively, modern tone of the thrilling adventures of four young detectives—Nicolette Jones


Children's Literature
If you are looking for mystery, risk, intrigue, scandal, and lost love this book is for you. This historical fiction is about four young people who end up going on an adventure to Rome to solve an important mystery. Interesting historical details are mentioned, such as how to write a message without paper, and what the chariot races were like. The book is very wholesome until the end of the novel, when the main character, Jonathan, comes face-to-face with his mother who he thought had died when he was a baby. His mother told Jonathan about an affair she had with another man, and after a lot of coaxing from Jonathan she decided to stay with Nero (the ruler of Rome) rather than returning home with Jonathan. The focus of adult issues at the end of the book helps to tell the historical aspects of the destruction in Jerusalem, but could have been discussed in a more age appropriate manner. The author is articulate, and does a good job of describing scenes and people to paint a beautiful picture in one's mind. Part of the "Roman Mysteries" series. 2003, Roaring Brook Press, Ages 8 to 12.
— Nicole Peterson
The Roman Mysteries series continues as Flavia Gemina and her fellow sleuths Nubia, Lupus, and Jonathan join for new adventures in the ancient city. Lawrence offers a detailed and unique perspective of Roman society, combining everyday life and mythology with wicked villains and intriguing mystery. The Assassins of Rome begins with Jonathan disappearing in Rome with his uncle Simeon, a Jewish Zealot who fought the Romans during the conquest of Jerusalem. Simeon had perfected the skill of wielding a deadly curved knife, earning him a reputation as a notorious assassin and a danger to Emperor Titus. Jonathan puts himself in jeopardy but follows his uncle to Rome because he believes that his long-lost mother is in Titus's palace. When Jonathan is captured and sentenced, his friends infiltrate the palace to find him. He learns the truth about why his mother did not leave Jerusalem with the rest of the family and why she remains in Rome. A brief history of the Jewish Roman war, slavery, and internal Roman politics add to the flavor of the book. The appealing young characters in this series have developed throughout the books. The novels have a suspenseful, movie-like pace that will keep readers interested. The books in this series can stand independently, but new readers might become confused by the mention of characters and events from earlier volumes. Maps, a glossary, and the Last Scroll in each book provide historical foundation for the stories. Readers with an interest in history will better enjoy this cloak-and-dagger mystery series, but the set can also serve as an uncomplicated introduction to the Roman period. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M (Readable without serious defects; Will appealwith pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2003, Roaring Brook, 190p., $16 and PLB Ages 11 to 14.
—Eileen Kuhl
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Amateur sleuth Flavia Gemina and her friends Nubia, Lupus, and Jonathan return in the fourth book (Roaring Brook, 2003) in Caroline Lawrence's Roman Mysteries series. They are celebrating Jonathan's birthday and are told that Jonathan's uncle Simeon has just arrived for a visit and is telling tales of assassins hired to kill Emperor Titus. Simeon is on his way to Rome and Jonathan begs to go along with him, believing that his mother may be one of the Jewish women that Titus is holding captive in his palace in Rome. The pair leave Ostia for Rome, secretly followed by their friends. Jonathan eventually finds his mother, and Flavia, Nubia, and Lupus solve the mystery surrounding the assassins and discover that many rumors about Titus are false. Each chapter alternates between the two adventures, which converge at the end of the book. Justine Eyre provides a skilled reading, giving the friends distinct voices and deftly handling the diverse accents of the minor characters. In most instances, the pacing is excellent, but the pause between the two story lines is too brief to fully alert listeners to the change. Chock full of rich details about Roman life in the first century, this is an exciting and fun listening experience.-Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Orion Children's Books
Publication date:
Caroline Lawrence's The Roman Mysteries Series, #4
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Caroline Lawrence is American. She lives with her husband in London and is an active speaker at schools and festivals. She was the winner of the 2009 CLASSICS ASSOCIATION PRIZE for 'a significant contribution to the public understanding of Classics'.
Visit Caroline's website at and follow her on Twitter @CarolineLawrence.

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