Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “SPQR VIII: The River God's Vengeance” as Want to Read:
SPQR VIII: The River God's Vengeance
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

SPQR VIII: The River God's Vengeance (SPQR #8)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  364 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Ancient Rome, in this accurate and evocative series, is just as politics driven as any major American city -- possibly even more. Decius Caecilius Metellus has, through a series of rather wild adventure, and in the act of tracking down killers and other reprobates, barely escaped annhilation several times. Now, newly elected to the office of aedile, the lowest rung on the ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about SPQR VIII, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about SPQR VIII

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 531)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Christopher Taylor
A satisfying volume of the SPQR series. The characters continue to grow and solidify and by this book the main character of Decius is more mature and solid a figure. The slow development of Roman history in the series is satisfying, particularly for someone familiar with the broad events of the tumultuous time period.

Roberts deftly handles the complex politics of Rome and as much of its culture as we understand and can be conveyed in fiction. The matter-of-fact attitude toward religion and super
Very good, as usual. I adore this series, combining my love for the Ancient Rome in the 1st century BC with my love of detective stories. Additionally, I definitely enjoyed the character development featured in this book, especially when it comes to Decius, feels very organic. Well done.
Joyce Lagow
Now aedile, an elected office which basically oversees the maintenance and repair of Rome's streets, sewers, and public buildings as well as the supervision of brothels, Decius Caecilius Metellus is frantically busy as well as frantically worried. As aedile, if he is to have a prayer of winning the important election to praetor, he must put on during his year in office lavish games and celebrations, guaranteed to beggar him financially. Many candidates obtain financial help from wealthy benefact ...more
Quick, light, fluffy mystery set in late Republican Rome. The protagonist, the Aedile Decius is an appealing character. Aediles were low-level civil servants in charge of public works, games, and brothels. In this mystery, a newly built 'insula' [tenement apartment building] has collapsed and the tenants have been killed, including the owners, a charmless, brutal couple. Decius sets out, with his trusty slave, Hermes, to investigate the crime and also possible building code violations. At the sa ...more
The author does a very good job setting the stage for each of these books. Details about the city, names of the roads, types of buildings (temple, apartment block, gladiator training school, etc) are given so the reader feels a part of the story. The occasional humorous comment ("sheerness" of a woman's dress or the "perfection" of her breasts) leaves no doubts in readers' minds that the author is a male! And the never-ending family "political" discussions and machinations remind me of my own fa ...more
Georgina Ortiz
Not as enthusiastic with SPQR VIII as I was with the previous installments in this series (e.g. Nobody Loves a Centurion). Maybe because I did not care too much for the topic/theme explored (Roman politics is too much like Philippine politics—nothing new about the extent of Roman corruption for me). However, I still liked it, and there were still a lot of shining moments for Decius. Plus, I wouldn't recommend skipping even one book in this series.

Again, the Kindle version of this book leaves MUC
This eighth in the Decius Metellus series features the attention to detail of everyday life in ancient Rome that we have come to expect. Again in order to seek justice, Decius finds himself pitted against very powerful citizens of the state and it is not clear until the end whether justice will in fact prevail. The character of Decius is a very well written and very appealing one. We want to see him triumph over all his obstacles. Fortunately, he usually does.
Lance McMurchy
This book was quite a struggle. I can understand what Maddox was trying to do, but it didn’t seem to work like he maybe he wanted to do. Dealing with law surrounding building construction and the role the aedile, I think, was not going to be an easy task to work it in to a story - it just got a bit too complex. Thus it didn’t create the interest to draw the reader into the story. I still continue to read his books. Some are just better than others.
I really enjoy this series. It certainly isn't in the same class as Colleen McCullough's series on the fall of the Roman Republic, but then it doesn't have the same objective. This series is lighthearted fun. Mr. Roberts does know his subject (the Roman Republic) although I don't think he has done extensive research on some of the characters. That's OK. For one thing, we see them through the eyes of Decius Metellus, the hero of the story.
Roberts' research continues to impress. Here Decius looks into corruption in the building trade in Rome. Here Roberts investigates the very foundation of Rome. From the inside of the Cloaca Maxima to the lupunaria, Decius works to find out who leveled an insula killing hundreds and how far the building corruption extends. All this while waiting for Rome to flood. Excellent.
The ending was alllllllmost a Deus ex Machina, Roberts missing it by a cat's whisker of set up earlier in the book and Decius looks into corruption and murder in the building trades.

Overall not a bad book, but very slow paced and as usual most of the action happening in the last 15 or 20 pages.
Randall Orndorff
This is probably my favorite of the series because of the way it demonstrates Rome's belief in the gods, specifically ones forgotten by our popular culture. Oh, and the ending. That was great, too.
Barbara C
I found this book to be very dull, I could barely get through it. I read this out of sequence maybe I need to read this in order
Elena. (theresmiling)
My edition: German Audiobook - Audible exklusiv, gelesen von Erich Räuker
Wyntrnoire is currently reading it
Dec 23, 2014
Laurel marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2014
Hauk marked it as to-read
Dec 03, 2014
Madeleine marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2014
Argum marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2014
Carol marked it as to-read
Nov 30, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17 18 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Gladiator Dies Only Once (Roma Sub Rosa, #11)
  • Saturnalia (Marcus Didius Falco, #18)
  • Germanicus (Marcus Corvinus, #2)
  • Nox Dormienda: A Long Night for Sleeping
aka Mark Ramsay

John Maddox Roberts is the author of numerous works of science fiction and fantasy, in addition to his successful historical SPQR mystery series. The first two books in the series have recently been re-released in trade paperback. He lives in New Mexico with his wife.
More about John Maddox Roberts...
SPQR I: The King's Gambit (SPQR, #1) SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy (SPQR, #2) SPQR III: The Sacrilege (SPQR, #3) SPQR V: Saturnalia (SPQR, #5) SPQR IV: The Temple of the Muses (SPQR, #4)

Share This Book