Welcome to Egretia, a fantastical land created by the imagination of author Assaph Mehr, based on his love for all things which bespoke of ancient Rome including the Asterix comics. His love and his passion for Rome was so evident in the prose that he could show me the harsh and vivid tapestry of those times including the magic and the gods.
Enter Felix, an investigator extraordinaire who had some magical talents remaining from his days of learning. The story had him being called to investigate the unusual occurrences happening in the Insulae, the flats of Lucius Valerius whose tenants were either dead or driven away by the dark curses. This book had him finding the reasons, the perpetrator, and the final courtroom drama.
The plot was intricate enough in some ways to keep me gripped into the story, especially in the latter half. Though set in Egretia, it had the stamp of ancient Rome, where magic and scriptures, lead tablets and incantations, potions and sacrifices, all abounded and tied in together to make this story a potent mystical read.
Felix, as the main character, was intelligent yet highly passionate, he was clear in matters of magic yet befuddled in matters of heart, his plans were good on paper, yet had its own twists when in action. Therein lay his charms. He was quite a foxy character. The other characters played their parts, especially the ladies. They had their wills and the ways and quite a clever mind to weave their ploys in the scenes.
The book took me 4 days to finish and my niggles came with it. The story had a lot of Latin words interspersed within the prose. For a person who hardly knew some words, it took me repeated readings to get the gist of the words. I found the flow of the story breaking in my mind, and I couldn’t see this book like a movie. And I found the book a bit wordy especially when the tension in the plot ought to be maintained.
But those were my own limitations of the language, the book had a Sherlock – Perry Mason flavor to it along with magic and ancient Gods, which made it quite an enjoyable read. I kept imagining the plot written in modern English, and I thought that it would make a fantastic story with global appeal.
I received a copy from the author, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
Assaph has had his nose in a book since he was five, so it wasn’t surprising that he turned to writing. All those years reading on ancient Rome, sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries while practicing various martial arts, travelling the world, and working odd jobs lead to some interesting combinations in his stories.
Assaph now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, kids, cats, and – this being Australia – assorted spiders. By day he is a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night he’s writing – he seems to do his best writing after midnight.
Author Contact Details
A rich landlord finds tenants are abandoning his apartment buildings, spouting tales of horrific events and whispering that the old gods – the numina – came alive and cursed the buildings.
Enter Felix, a professional fox. Dressed in a toga and armed with a dagger, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Whenever there is a foul business of bad magic, Felix is hired to sniff out the truth. Now he must separate fact from superstition – a hard task in a world where the old gods still roam the earth.
In Numina continues to explore the fantasy world of Egretia. It borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.
Publication date : 1st September, 2018
Publisher : Purple Toga Publications
In Numina on Amazon
Murder In Absentia (book 1 of the series) on Amazon
Historical Fantastical Thriller
Interesting! I really like the pretty unique setting you are describing here for this book. Though admittedly I think with the latin words, I would really struggle too (as I hardly know any Latin at all myself). Still, 4 stars is a pretty good rating, and as always you wrote a wonderful review for it 😘❤️😊
It was easy to understand the context, but with so many Latin words, at one point by brain said – uff enough trying to make me work!!
How’s your health? Are you getting better? Back to normal?
And your vacation? Having fun? Going outta town?
Lol…I think my brain would say that after reading only one word 😂😂 Yeah, can understand what you mean though. It’s okay to work a bit, but if you continually have to do that, it might be enough to make you eventually start to dislike it 😊
It’s getting better for sure. Definitely have recovered enough to be here again, and am for now just taking it slow. Really sweet of you to ask: thank you 😘❤️
Well, I’m going to be using my vacation mainly to catch up on some things, and just relax. Read some books, watch some anime, do some blogging…just 3 weeks of R&R. Will probably go out some days, but mostly I intend to just go with the flow so to speak 😊
How are you doing yourself?? Are things going okay with you?? 😊
I have my good days and bad days where I really hate everyone. On the whole trying to be pragmatic but sucking royally in that…
Health is as my mood… So I think falling ill is more to do with stress.
I am glad you are getting okay. Virus take the strength so rest up, lots of fresh air and fruits
It’s okay you know? You are allowed to have your bad days too: we all have them. So nothing to feel bad for if that happens 😘
I am sorry to hear about your health though. Stress can certainly do really annoying things with your body, that is for sure 😢
I hope the stress will get less for you, and that your health will improve again. If there is anything I can do, or you wish to talk: well, you pretty much know where to find me okay? 😘❤️
Thank you for your kindness, really mean that 😊❤️
Well you know where to find me too 😉😉 you get well soon and back to watching ANIME 😘💕
I definitely do 😘
And thank you so much, you really are the sweetest ❤️
Hahaha I am just barely okay
No…You are not: You are awesome, and I will keep reminding you of that, whenever I get a chance 😊
Hahaha I have proof, darling, that I am not 😉😉😊😊
Haha…well…I have proof that you are 😉😉😊😊
Na na I have better proof😘😘
Lol….is this going to be a contest now lol 😘😘😂😂
Great review 💕💖🙃
Thank you darling💕
Excellent review, this book definitely sounds like something I would enjoy. I have added it to my TBR list 🙂
Yayyy you go girl!!! 😘😘
Great review ❤😘😍
This has been in my TBR for quite a while!
Hope you know Latin😉😉😘😘
I remember a few words 😉😉😘😘
Whoa! excellent review, detailed. i can understand your problem with the Latin words, but really i learned to love the language when we sang it in European cathedrals. it’s a beautiful language. i would think in your line of work, you’d have a leg up on the rest of us! anyway, great review, and i’ll be on the lookout for it.
I do know some Latin medical words but not many and not like the ones in the book
Wow this is an amazing review! This book actually sounds like a book that is right up my alley. I love fantasy and I do love Roman-like settings. I can imagine that the latin interspersed throughout the story would have been a bit of an annoyance, as I usually find that with latin in particular I skim over it so I don’t pick up on what it means or is supposed to mean….if that makes any sense?? I will definitely be adding this one to my TBR!!
Laurie, I do the same, but with spells and other dialogs I would have loved to know the meanings. I got the gist of it.. Yet..
If this was written in modern English, it would have been fab. I have to ask author if he would in between his projects
What a detailed review! Loved it and glad you enjoyed the read! Despite all the Latin words you finished it! So it must be really good!
Yes except for Latin and being slightly wordy. The story was different and entertaining
Fabulous review! And the Latin would be a struggle for me as well!
Berit, I saw your Instagram profile, you are a mommy… Omg omg I thought you are tiny tot teenager… I love your enthusiasm in your comments. Thank you for being the FABULOUS you… I am just so in awe of you, right now. Hugs to you❤️❤️
Vicci, if this was you then I would love to know you further. Thank you. Not in a creepy way Vicci don’t be scared 😉😉😂😂
Lol this is Vicci, we are both Mommy’s
Depends which Insta profile you saw haha x
Hahaha I saw Berit’s… 😂😂🤣🤣
Haha this is Berit! Truth be told two of my kids are older than teenagers! But I appreciate that you thought I was that young, I think??? LOL 💕💕
Well you both sound very very young… Great vibes❤️
Well we are both quite old, LOL! But young at heart!💞
Sherlock with magic, but done right? Wow. This definitely sounds awesome! Wonderful review, Shalini.
Hey Lashaan… First of all thank you for all your comments, for reading my posts… Today is becoming a day of firsts.
Yes except for Latin words where I had to double back and decipher… The rest had a old worldly quality
I just have one question, to the author…. When does he sleep?
I have no idea but I think 5.5 hours before we do.. Since he is in Sydney.. Just probably naps for a couple of hours.. 😉😉😂😂
Ugh… Latin. Lol! I can understand that being rough. But, I do love the “Sherlock/Perry Mason” vibe you say it has!! A great review as always, doll face!!
Hey darling, you are awake after hoofing… How is the morning going?
Ugh…. Too much to do, too little time like always. Here I thought my new life would make more time… Yet, I still feel behind all the time. 😕
Me too.. I am not reading when I should be… Mind sluggish
Ya… I hear that… 😕
That could be very interesting “Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between.” 😉 Michael
Yp he was a foxy character
Put it on my shelf. Could be very interesting to read. Thank you, Shalini! Michael
Thanks much for the kind review!
Hey Felix, nice to see you here. It is wonderful when a main character visits me. How’s life in Egretia? What’s next for you? Any new mysteries?
Thanks – it’s my pleasure 🙂
In Numina is actually the second novel – you should catch up on Murder In Absentia too. Then there’s the current WIP: Aquae et Ignis, which will be a free novella. Coming in time for Saturnalia 😉
Yea… You are so foxy, Felix. Hope to see you soon😉😉