Aurelia is the fourth book in Alison Morton’s Roma Nova series. Set in an alternative historical context, the Roman Empire survives as a matriarchal society in a semi-mountainous area north of Italy. This is the only book I have read in this series so far, but it features a different character to those used in earlier volumes and works well as a stand-alone novel.
Written in the first person, Aurelia’s bold personality and brave, active life as a Major in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces engages the reader and promises plenty of action. But she is also a mother and the daughter of the head of one of the 12 ruling families. After Aurelia’s mother is involved in a severe car accident she must give up her military life and assume family and political responsibilities.
But soon Aurelia’s talents are put to use in diplomacy and espionage in the dangerous environment of Berlin, capital of Prussia. Here she encounters an old enemy and a mysterious stranger and she needs her wits about her. From then on the pace of the book is relentless and very exciting. Aurelia is the heroine we would all like to be.
I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this storyline but I tried it out of curiosity. This alternative world, familiar to us and yet so different is a unique backdrop to a thriller which would make a wonderful film.