This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie

Terra Incognita

by Ruth Downie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4972229,295 (3.77)44



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 44 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Loved it...two great characters, Ruso and Tilla, so engaging and funny and perfect for each other. ( )
  almin | Jul 29, 2018 |
Ruso goes north so Tilla can visit her home area, with nearly fatal results. There are some similarities to novels where an innocent gets entangled in a local political nightmare, but not quite the grimness. The story flowed smoothly and at developments were pretty natural. I am still enjoying the characters. ( )
  quondame | May 21, 2018 |
I do not know what it is about this series of books. I like them very much, in fact this is the second one I have read, but I have the same problem with each one. It takes me a very long time to get into the book. This one languished on my to-read pile for months. I picked it up, read a few pages, moved on to another book. I re-started it at least eight times.

But once I started it in earnest, it only took me a few days to read it. It marks the return of Dr. Gaius Petreus Ruso, a member of the Roman legions stationed in Britannia. He is marching with the legions to a northern outpost with his trusty slave/housekeeper/lover Tilla at his side. He had been a bit bored in Deva and wanted to see some action.

The region they are headed is also Tilla's original home. She is, as always, difficult to handle for Ruso – even more so now that she is on home turf. They wander into a new mystery when a soldier is killed and beheaded in an alley. The head is missing, the doctor who runs the outpost has lost his mind, the hospital is in disarray and someone called “The Stag Man” by the locals is sabotaging the legion.

Ruso as usual bumbles into the middle of things and figures out what is happening. Tilla and he reach a new level in their relationship and readers will learn a little more about Tilla which helps round out her character a bit more.

The chapters aren't long – three or four pages so its not chapter length that holds me back. It is however historical fiction and you have to be in the mood to read that kind of book. Not on the same level in any way but “The Name of the Rose” gave me the same challenge. Getting into the language and historical period just took me a long time.

This book offers a lot to readers – mystery, historical fiction of an era not often represented and great characters. It is also a series (!) with at least one more book that I know of available so those that fall in love can be assured of at least three books before suffering withdrawal. ( )
  ozzieslim | Mar 2, 2016 |
The first impressions of this book, normal length, short chapters. There is a list of important characters, its organization is interesting, with headings such as 'hindered by', 'assisted by', 'endangered by', 'not missed by', and such. Some of the characters have odd names such as Ingenuus, Postumus and Innocens, although if there was some hidden meaning there, I missed it.

Terra Incognita is the second book in the Medicus Ruso series. Gaius Petreius Ruso is a doctor in the Roman military service. The book is set in 118 C.E. Britannia. Ruso has an inquisitive personality and is observant of details. Although not involved in a murder investigation, even asked to keep his distance, he is compelled to study the matter and to seek answers to his questions, especially when they lead where others choose not to look.

The victim, a Roman Centurion, was beheaded, and his head is missing. An antlered man is seen about and hints that the gods are involved abound. The Roman unit's doctor has claimed to have done it, but it doesn't fit Ruso's understanding of events, the military wants to punish one of the locals. Plenty is at stake.

The book is enjoyable and seems well-researched. Bits of culture and history abound through the story making it easy to become immersed. The mystery is good and well as the solution. This is a fun read. ( )
  Nodosaurus | Jun 29, 2014 |
Cozy and moderately amusing.

Favorite line:
"'I've always thought,' [Ruso] said, 'That the wider view is an excuse not to look too closely at the details you don't want to see.'" ( )
  librarianarpita | Nov 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Nec tecum possum vivere, nec sine te / I can't live with you--nor without you. ---Martial
To Bill and Lyn Hancock
First words
He had not expected to be afraid.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Published in UK under the title "Ruso and the Demented Doctor" and in US under the name "Terra Incognita"
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Gaius Petreius Ruso, a medicus with the Roman Army in Britannia, volunteers for a posting in the northern hinterlands where rebellion is being fomented by the tribesman of his slave-lover Tilla.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

In the spring of the year 118, Gaius Petreius Ruso has been stationed in the Roman-occupied province of Britannia for nearly a year. After his long and reluctant investigation of the murders of a handful of local prostitutes, Ruso needs to get away, volunteering for a posting with the army in Britannia's deepest recesses. These hinterlands are the homeland of Ruso's slave, Tilla, who has scores of her own to settle there. Her tribespeople are fomenting a rebellion against Roman control, and her former lover is implicated in the grisly murder of a soldier. Ruso is appalled to find that Tilla is still spending time with the prime suspect. Worse, he is honor-bound to try to prove the man innocent--and the army wrong--by finding another culprit.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.77)
2 7
2.5 5
3 36
3.5 20
4 74
4.5 8
5 23

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,035,286 books! | Top bar: Always visible