Digital Reads Reviews

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My review

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.

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Book blurb

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.

Product Details

Publication date : 1st September, 2018

Publisher : Purple Toga Publications

Book Links

In Numina on Amazon

Murder In Absentia (book 1 of the series) on Amazon

Historical Fantastical Thriller

52 Responses

  1. 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 😘❤️😊

    1. 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?

      1. 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?? 😊

        1. 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

          1. 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 😊❤️

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!

    1. 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

    1. 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 😉😉😂😂

    1. 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

    1. 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?

      1. 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 😉

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