[BOOKS] ⚣ The Thieves of Ostia By Caroline Lawrence – Saudionline.co.uk

10 thoughts on “The Thieves of Ostia

  1. says:

    So I ve been reading a book on Roman triumphs by one of the best classicists writing today, Mary Beard, who holds the chair in classics at Cambridge I noted in her bio that she has a fairly entertaining blog titled A Don s Life, to which she adds something about once a week So I eagerly went there and found that she mentioned this excellent series by her old classmate in classics Caroline Lawrence, and highly recommended it So I immediately tried the first one, and it really was quite a treat Aimed at 10 13 year olds, the series recounts the adventures of four children in 79AD, running around helping each other solve mysteries There is a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter she calls them scrolls , and she smuggles in quite a lot of lore about Roman life in general and the Latin language in particular The kids are very appealing, and there is just enough real violence to keep the stakes high There are 16 of these books so far, they ve been made into a BBC series that s in at least its second year, and I liked this first one well enough to start the next one almost immediately I guess serious study of the Roman triumphs will just have to wait for a while.

  2. says:

    Middle grade Roman historical fiction Sign me up The sooner I can get Clare reading about my very favorite historical time period, the better This will do very well while we wait for her to be old enough for I, Claudius or Kate Quinn The first volume in a lengthy series does several things very well, including Lawrence s impressive evocation of the sights, sounds, and smells of the Roman port town of Ostia I also appreciated that Lawrence doesn t sugarcoat the grittier parts of Roman life for her young heroes or her readers, and she includes many dark themes extreme poverty, suicide, the death of a child, and slavery , making clear her respect for her audience, youthful though it may be Take, for example, the plot thread that involves heroine Flavia Gemina purchasing an African slave girl to save her from a much worse master or mistress Lawrence could easily have had Flavia free Nubia immediately, but that wouldn t really be true to to the character of a well to do Roman girl or the world she lives in Since Flavia treats her as a friend and equal, I have to assume that Nubia will be a freedwoman before too many books have elapsed, but I appreciate that Lawrence presents a fairly realistic if a little extra rosy situation While the characters and dialogue are occasionally a bit flat and I solved the mystery almost immediately, I m plenty charmed enough to keep reading and I can only imagine that these books will get vivid and interesting as the series goes on.

  3. says:

    I had the privilege of meeting Caroline Lawrence about two years ago, and I went and bought this, the first of her books, at once, which is something I nearly always do after meeting an author Given that my pile of To Be Read books is never less than 50, and I have a young family, I didn t get around to reading it until yesterday, when I got a chance while on holiday What a treat it was The Thieves of Ostia is a delightful and well written read, full of accurate yet lightly woven in descriptions of 1st century AD Roman Italy The heroine, the courageous Flavia, is a curious girl with than a touch of the detective s skill As the story progresses, she makes friends with Jonathan, Nubia and the mute beggar boy, Lupus These three become her willing co sleuths as Flavia tries to discover who is killing dogs in her neighbourhood.The book is short, fast paced and full of wry humour The descriptions of life in Ostia, from its temples, houses, forum and harbour, to the people who lived, worked and died in it, are richly detailed Lawrence has not, as I suspected she might because of her intended audience , shied away from the grim realities of life in ancient times Mild spoilers ahead Thus we read about the deaths of people though rabies, see a suicide, and watch as wild dogs are shot down with arrows These topics are dealt with with a delicate yet straightforward touch, in a manner that is entirely suitable for younger readers, but which also presents the brutal reality of life 2000 years ago For this, Lawrence is to be commended highly I for one will be heading for the second volume of the series, as soon as possible

  4. says:

    I read this to my little boy as his bedtime story He s still a little young for it, but enjoyed it nonetheless So this review is from me for the adults than anything.I visited Ostia a number of years ago with my wife and was extremely taken with the place Now, having just read this book, I can feel that wonder all over again With the memories of the city, reading the book felt so vivid and real, I could picture every nuance and detail as if I were watching on the screen or even experiencing it myself The atmosphere was simply stunning and I am so impressed with Caroline s capturing of the essence of ancient Ostia.On top of that, while this is a children s book, the story has dark and tense places and the author pulls no punches when dealing with scary subjects, bringing them to the fore as part of the story without making them unsuitable for her readership The plot of this book and its main characters are masterfully put together and when we reached the end and I read the last page or two, Caroline has thrown in such a conclusion that it makes me want to go straight into the next book though we shall be reading her new book, the Sewer Demon first.All in all, this is a great book for kids, educational, fascinating, funny and fast, but remains a great read and a wonderful story for the adults out there too particularly the Roman loving ones I would heartily recommend this as a parent child read.

  5. says:

    The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence is an exciting book with suprises around every corner This adventure takes place in the times of the late roman era and happens at the time of a murder A boy s watchdog was slaughtered and his head was stolen Four children find a witness and are lead to believe that a man did it, a man whos daughter was recently murdered by a dog with rabies Can they find him in time before he slaughters dogs The moral of this story is that a hero can come from anyone and it is shown in the story because no one would have thought that four kids would figure out who the murderer was I thought this book was exciting and very energetic I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys thrills and chills.

  6. says:

    This was a huge childhood favourite series of mine and I loved rereading these characters

  7. says:

    I missed these in my own childhood, but would have loved this sort of series It s a wonderful first book to a series set in Ancient Rome, always a favourite period for primary students, and involving children solving mysteries and murders.With Sherlock so popular at the moment, the detective genre should receive a boost, and the fact that this is quite instructive on life in Roman times as well as including a murder and several personable young amateur sleuths is in its favour.Wealthy Flavia and her new neighbours find dogs killed in their street Alongside the slave girl she rescues and a mute beggar boy, the quartet set out to find who has killed them and why, and of course, involving themselves in a bigger and dangerous mystery.I loved the historical detail, about every aspect of life from food and houses to slaves and books The children are well written and not too eager or unrealistic in their language The audiobook version I read is well narrated with a talented actor giving distinct voices to all of the characters.Great start to a series I would read if I were the right age, probably 9 12.

  8. says:

    I waffled on whether to give this a two or a three star rating I liked it, but I also had reservations Sometimes kids books fall into this weird limbo of being simultaneously cozy andnot, and, even when I was a kid, that sort of uncertain tone put me off a bit On the one hand, you ve got slavery, prejudice, slaughtered dogs, and a kid who d had his tongue cut out , and on the other hand, the kids escaped every danger they were in almost too easily But I did like it well enough to try another in the series.

  9. says:

    I recently discovered this series of 17 books, taking place in 79AD in Ancient Rome or Ostia and have steadily made my way through 14 of them in about a week before I stopped to take a breath and log a few thoughts on this series.As far as the first book goes, I would give the mystery rating of 3 stars, but the series as a whole, I would give it 4 stars This review will be for the series as a whole Don t keep reading if you don t want spoilers For someone completely new to reading Ancient Roman fiction, this was exactly what I wanted It was fast paced and contained lots of historical details, with real life people interspersed through it all It even has maps at the end of the book, along with a glossary for those of us who are newbies to this genre The books are approximately 200 250 pages each, and each lead into the next so that each book is like a really long chapter This worked for me, because I have the whole series For some unfortunate souls, that would really take away from the narrative because there are allusions to previous books that may leave you a bit lost I also wouldn t call it Roman Mysteries as much as they are Roman Adventures, because some books don t seem to deal with mysteries at all They are, however, chock full of Flavia s adventures around the place One thing I liked was that each book takes place in a different city, and each deals with a different historical element The second book Secrets of Vesuvius , for example, deals with the explosion of Vesuvius and what happened to Pompeii The fifth book Dolphins of Laurentum deals with the dangers of free diving at the time The eighth book Gladiators of Capua dealt with the games of the day, which was fun to read about The thirteenth book Slave Girl from Jerusalem talks about the burning of Jerusalem and the destruction of Masada, both of which I have visited, so that was a cool review You get the picture.What also works is the historical elements of religion and medicine of the time There s no talking about how ew, bloodletting, that s so terrible which is a concept I see time and again in er, less accurate fiction usually romantic fiction And in fact, there s kind of an interesting factoid of using cobwebs in open wounds to help keep it clean Also, for all that the Roman Empire was almost eerily organized, people dropped like flies Don t expect a totally fun, light hearted series for all that it s supposed to be for grade schoolers people die in EVERY SINGLE BOOK Oh yeah, and young girls are married at 12, which sounds gross now, but makes a terrible sort of sense since the life expectancy seems to be around 30 This first book sort of makes it seem like the series is going to be preachy, but from the second book on to the fifteenth, so far, it seems like the only one.What I felt started to fail was in the changing characterizations of the protagonists The first book sets up the four friends pretty well Flavia, 10, highborn daughter of a sea captain Jonathan, 10, son of a Jewish doctor secretly Christians Nubia, 11ish, slave captured from Africa and bought by Flavia and saved from a fate worse than death And Lupus, 8, who has a really raw deal, because his tongue has been cut so that he can t talk or eat properly Flavia is initially very clearly the protagonist By the third book, her viewpoint has been gradually taken over by Nubia, and by the tenth book, almost all internal dialogues are from Nubia s point of view I like Nubia as a character, but this shift is jarring to me, because we have been introduced first to Flavia, and I grew to really like her This shift was also accompanied by really unlikable behavior on the part of Flavia, and as an invested reader, it made me feel gradually disengaged Instead of trying to explain away Flavia s characteristics due to youth, inexperience, or background, you re immediately switched over to the sympathetic Nubia.Flavia and Jonathan are the main characters at the start of the series, but by book 15, they seem to be completely overshadowed by Nubia and Lupus Lupus is hot tempered, brave, incredibly quick and athletic, but by the end, he salmost a superhero of sorts Essentially a deus ex machina, since whenever they run into a brick wall, there s Lupus, who s able to get entrance ANYWHERE, find out ANYTHING, swim, jump, climb anywhere, escape murderous criminal masterminds ON HIS OWN He becomes the smartest one of the group, and who s able to figure out things our scroll loving Flavia cannot Did I mention he can free dive to a ship that no one else can and by the 14th book, he s also an acrobat of sorts It s just a tadunbelievable Luckily, the plots are fast moving enough that this isn t too glaring of an issue But poor Flavia and Jonathan It seems like most readers don t even like them by then.Another thing is that these are sort of depressing subjects that are dealt with A lot of children s mystery and adventure books deal with light hearted romps, but this series isn t one of them It s still very well written and educational oh, so educational and therefore to be recommended, however, a fun in the sun read they are not I know some of the characters tried to do humorous things which other characters found amusing, but they are, in general, not that humorous At all Like I said, lots of people die There s blood There are lots and lots of uber depressing things that go on that make you glad you don t live in Ancient Rome This is not a fantastical, Historical Times Are So Fun Let s Go There, book There are terrible things that happen at, basically, the drop of a hat, that include headaches no medicine , asthma, nearsightedness, death by dog bites, death by childbirth, death by gladiator games, death by war, death by sea, death by slavery, death bywell, need I go on Death by you name it, and it happens Like I said, lots and lots of deaths, and they aren t even the mystery part of these mysteries It actually startled me that the intended audience is supposed to be 10, but I suppose children lived such atrocities, so why are we shielding them from knowing about it So There you have it The series in a nutshell Well written, bite sized, accurate Ancient Roman Empire adventure mystery stories Recommended with caution.

  10. says:

    Brilliant childrensbook I would certanly recommend it for learning the English language to anybody between 12 and 16 and again when they are over 20 Between 16 and 20 years of age, people will either know their English well or find themselves to old for this like many teenagers and young adults do.Also a really nice tale to read to children under 10 before tucking them in.A good first mistery novel

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The Thieves of Ostia summary pdf The Thieves of Ostia, summary chapter 2 The Thieves of Ostia, sparknotes The Thieves of Ostia, The Thieves of Ostia 1d384b7 The Dogs On Flavia S Street Have Started Dying Mysteriously, And She Is Determined To Find Out Why Her Investigation Leads Her To Three Extraordinary People Jonathan, Her New Neighbor Nubia, An African Slave And Lupus, A Mute Beggar Boy The Four Embark On A Search For The Killer And That S When The Excitement Begins

  • Paperback
  • 160 pages
  • The Thieves of Ostia
  • Caroline Lawrence
  • English
  • 24 September 2018
  • 9780142401477

About the Author: Caroline Lawrence

Caroline Lawrence won a scholarship to Cambridge to read Classical Archaeology, then did a degree in Hebrew and Jewish studies at University College London She now lives in London with her English husband and teaches Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Art and French to children.Series