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Early 1980s Vienna. Recovering from a near fatal shooting, Aurelia Mitela, ex-Praetorian and former foreign minister of Roma Nova, chafes at her enforced exile. She barely escaped from her nemesis, the charming and amoral Caius Tellus who grabbed power in Roma Nova, the only part of the Roman Empire to survive into the twentieth century.

Aurelia’s duty and passion fire her determination to take back her homeland and liberate its people despite her lover Miklós's desire to protect her. But Caius’s manipulations have isolated her from her fellow exiles, leaving her ostracised and powerless . But without their trust and support Aurelia knows she will never see her beloved Roma Nova again.

Then Caius sends a hit squad to murder her...

Part political thriller, part deadly personal rivalry, part military adventure, this is Roman fiction brought up to the 20th century and delivers noble ideals, passionate love, desperate choices, sacrifice, constant twists and turns and snappy dialogue with a dash of humour in a timeline not so different from our own...

If you enjoy reading mystery books for women driven by female protagonists wit heart and courage, this could be for you!

– B.R.A.G. Medallion, October 2017
– Discovered Diamond April 2017
– Bookmuse Recommended Read
– Historical Novel Society reviewed

338 pages, Kindle Edition

Published February 1, 2019

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About the author

Alison Morton

30 books141 followers
Alison Morton writes award-winning thrillers featuring tough, but compassionate heroines. She blends her deep love of France and Ancient Rome with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, historical, adventure and thriller fiction.

"Grips like a vice - a writer to watch out for" says crime thriller writer Adrian Magson about Roma Nova series starter INCEPTIO. All six full-length Roma Nova thrillers have won the BRAG Medallion, the prestigious award for indie fiction. SUCCESSIO, AURELIA and INSURRECTIO were selected as Historical Novel Society’s Indie Editor’s Choices. AURELIA was a finalist in the 2016 HNS Indie Award. The Bookseller selected SUCCESSIO as Editor’s Choice in its inaugural indie review.

Alison now lives in Poitou in France, where part of her latest book Double Identity is set and is writing a sequel as well as continuing her Roma Nova series.
Sign up to Alison's newsletter for a FREE ebook: http://eepurl.com/ckNeFL

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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Nicky Moxey.
Author 12 books39 followers
April 27, 2017
Another tour de force from Alison Morton - the 6th book in the Roma Nova series is again a nail-biting read, with the stakes being the destruction of the whole Roma Nova political setup. Heroine Aurelia is in exile, and has to gather support and defeat the dastardly Caius, or see everything she loves and has helped to build, lost. If this is the first Roma Nova book you've read - go and get the others; you won't regret it!
Profile Image for Shomeret.
1,041 reviews200 followers
April 17, 2018
When author Alison Morton sent me Retalio, the last book of the Aurelia trilogy, I thought I would have no problem reading and reviewing it in a timely manner. This past week has been infernally busy, so it took me far longer to read Retalio than I expected. Yet it was so suspenseful that I hated having to set my Kindle down.

When I read about the condition of Roma Nova under the rule of fascist dictator Caius Tellus in an alternate version of the 1980's, I was reminded of accounts dealing with Khmer Rouge Cambodia. They too had a nationalist ideology involving restoring Cambodia to the way it was in ancient times. Anyone who had skills or an education was regarded as a threat to this goal and was eliminated. Caius wasn't as extreme, but he did attempt to do away with any women who had any skills or education. This was massively genocidal and predictably resulted in societal collapse as it did in Cambodia. I wonder if Khmer Rouge Cambodia existed in Roma Nova's alternate timeline. If so, the fall of Pol Pot in 1979 would have been a recent event that should have caused potential followers of Caius to hesitate before committing to his cause. Unfortunately, relatively few people learn any lessons from the experience of a distant country which usually isn't regarded as relevant.

I am hoping that Alison Morton will take a more historical direction when she returns to Roma Nova. I would love to see novels dealing with the founding of Roma Nova, and the origins of the matriarchy.

For my complete review see http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2018/...
Profile Image for Elizabeth Ducie.
Author 27 books82 followers
June 28, 2017
Aurelia Mitela is in exile, recovering from a near-fatal shooting, and heartbroken at the thought of Caius Tellus sitting in the Golden Palace ruling over a country taken with violence and ruled to breaking point. Can she and her allies, including teenage imperatrix, Silvia and Aurelia's Hungarian partner, Miklas, find a way to retake Roma Nova and restore the peace of the former regime?

Retalio is the book I've been waiting for since the day I first read about Roma Nova. It's the sixth in the series that began with a trilogy about Carina (originally Karen), and then moved backwards half a century for a trilogy about her grandmother, Aurelia. Alison Morton's writing gets better with each book and the characters get stronger. A fascinating series with a gripping premise. And Retalio is the best yet. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys historical fiction or alternative histories.
Author 10 books9 followers
December 16, 2020
The third book in the Aurelia Mitela alternate reality thriller trilogy.

A year ago, Aurelia Mitela was secure and happy in her life. She was the foreign minister of Roma Nova, a former special forces major, and as a Countess she was also the head of her family. Her daughter has married and moved to EUS. But after Caius Tellus usurped the throne of Roma Nova and ruthlessly pursued everyone in the legitimate government, Aurelia barely escaped with her life. Now, she’s officially an exile and thanks for Caius’ very public lies, even the small group of other Roman Novan exiles think that she’s betrayed her country and her honor. They want nothing to dow with her. Even her former friends have turned away from her which breaks her heart. Only her lover Miklos still believes in her.

Aurelia is still recovering from a near fatal shooting but she must stand up to the other exiles and convince them that even with their small resources, they must start a plan to retake Roma Nova. But Caius sends both assassins and legal teams after her. She turns to her old allies, both political and personal. But many won’t help her, at least publicly.

The final book in the trilogy continues shortly after the end of the previous one, Insurrectio. It’s mainly political intrigue but Aurelia has assassins after her and she goes on a scouting mission to Roma Nova.

Caius was a smooth manipulator in the previous books. Now, he shows his ruthless side. He believes that women are too emotional to lead and enacts laws that force women not only to step down as business owners and soldiers, but make them legally beholden to a man; husband, father, or brother. Not surprisingly, the independent Roma Novan women loath this and Caius’ soldiers enforce the laws brutally. Aurelia sees this from a distance but it’s still quite disturbing. Of course, many men are against these laws, too.

This is set in 1980s so it’s also historical fiction. It’s fast-paced and entirely from the first-person POV from Aurelia. This was an excellent ending to the series.
Profile Image for Debbie Young.
Author 35 books201 followers
June 18, 2017
Now's the perfect time to read this politically charged alternative history...

i read this book around the time of the French and British national elections, when, coinciding with the age of President Trump, my political sensitivities were much sharper than usual. It was a timely reminder of the horrors of what can happen and how fast when a populist, egomaniacal dictator supplants a humane democracy. But it's also an inspiring and spirited story of resistance and rebellion.

I don't know whether the timing of my encounter with this book is the reason, or maybe the timing of the writing of it post Trump's election, but this one felt much more political than the previous five in the series. while also a natural and inevitable sequel.

The key characters by this stage in the series were already well developed, so it was even more of an action adventure story (not my usual reading matter), so the further advance of the main characters is slight and would be unnecessary, but Morton still show her character development hand here with the portrait of Silvia, the teenage girl who ha empress status thrust upon her by hereditary default when she is more of an age to be out partying with her friends. I found her portrayal particularly sensitive and moving.

This book, though, is more about the society as a whole than about individuals, and about a nation's place in and relationship with the world. Accordingly there is a vast cast of characters ranging across several countries, including my native Britain. (I loved the episodes set there, with echoes of James Bond). I was therefore glad of the list of dramatic personae at the start to help me keep up (less easy to use with an ebook, though, which I was reading). The only book I've had to use one of these for before is Tolstoy's "War and Peace", and this book isn't anywhere near as long.

All in all, "Retalio" is a fitting end to a series that's doubled in size, like bread dough left to prove, from an initial planned trilogy to six books (is there even a word for a series of six books?!) I can't help wondering whether the ending has been left slightly open to allow the author to return to familiar territory, but either way, I'll look forward to seeing what's next from the pen of this accomplished novelist, a Briton now living in France. Somehow I can't believe she'll be giving up her Roma Novan passport voluntarily.
Profile Image for Rosie Amber.
Author 0 books115 followers
July 26, 2017
Retalio is book #6 in the Roma Nova series. Once again the book is set around the 1980s in a fictional Roman Empire existing in an alpine setting.

Aurelia Mitela, ex-Foreign Minister, is currently exiled in New Austria. Accused of betrayal and collaboration by fellow exiles because of a clever twist of facts by revolutionary Caius Tellus, Aurelia is isolated. Caius plans to completely destroy the old order and the rule of the twelve families, replacing the female dominated nation with one where males are the new leaders.

Not content to stay in her new home, Aurelia works hard to build relations with other exiles, raise funds needed to support them, and make plans to take back her beloved country. Ever conscious that Caius will try to sabotage her plans or even snatch her, she marries her partner to gain Hungarian citizenship. Then she works on creating a resistance network using her own military training and the skills of the exiles.

In places I found this book heavy on the politics needed to retaliate against the revolution, but I did enjoy all the resistance work and the build up to the final invasion. The weeks of planning and training were realistic, and I thought the descriptions of Roma Nova under the Caius’s rule were well written, giving the reader a good picture of events and situations. Another good book in this series and for all those intrigued by my review, I recommend starting with book #1 of the series to get a real feel for the Roma Nova world that this author has created.
Profile Image for Paul Bennett.
Author 6 books59 followers
April 27, 2017
A vile almost inhuman character; a combination of Augustus's intelligence and the brutal madness of Caligula has overthrown the legal government of Roma Nova and replaced it with a distinctly male dominated presence. Forced to flee for their lives, many of the Roma Novans; including the indomitable Aurelia and the young Imperatrix, Silvia, begin the long, slow process of reclaiming their homeland. Throughout this alternative history series I have been fascinated by the author's ability to conjure up a world that is recognizable and totally believable, and she has done so once again. Not only are the political, and logistical nuances covered in a thorough, convincing manner, the portrayal of the internal conflicts and emotions of the characters had this humble scribe stopping occasionally to catch his breath. It is safe to say that Retalio is an excellent addition to this remarkable history of Roma Nova. The villain, Caius Tellus, as well as ranking high on my favorite fictional bad guys list, bears a certain resemblance to the current occupant of the White House, at least to me. An unintentional resemblance, I'm sure, but prescient nonetheless. A page turning delight (with the above mentioned pauses for breath taking), a heart racing tale of intrigue and courage. 5 stars
Profile Image for ChillwithabookAWARD With.
442 reviews14 followers
August 9, 2017
Retalio by Alison Morton has received a Chill with a Book Readers' Award.

"A unique and thoroughly thought out alternative Roman history concept, which combined with a good plot makes this book an absorbing read."

"A taut action drama ranging over politics, military and espionage, set in a plausible Roman society that has survived to the late 20th Century."

Pauline Barclay
Founder of Chill with a Book Awards
Profile Image for Helen Hollick.
Author 42 books505 followers
May 3, 2017
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
"A fantastic concept, skilfully written, utterly believable and one of my favourite books of the year." so says our #DDRevs reviewer - and I couldn't have put it better myself!
Ms Morton is a fantastic writer, who produces engrossing stories and a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining series.

Helen Hollick
founder #DDRevs
Profile Image for Bookmuseuk.
477 reviews13 followers
May 24, 2017
A read so painfully pertinent you could almost wish it were true. If you haven’t come across this alternative history series yet, I almost envy you. This is Roma Nova, what could have happened if the remnants of Roman empire was run by women.

But Roma Nova is now in trouble. One deceitful, vain and amoral man - Caius Tellus - has taken power and intends to ‘restore order’. In making Roma Nova great again, he reverses all the progress of decades and brings the land to its knees, driving a wedge between those loyal to the previous regime and his own macho cohort intent on rolling back progressive rights.

Aurelia Mitela, a senior government minister, is in exile in Vienna. But she is not alone. The people and ethics she defends are alive and well, and her supporters are legion. It’s time to get organised and fight to regain control of the country they love.

This is a love story for a country and its principles, as well as a relationship, a political and military adventure, a commitment to beliefs and a cast of unexpectedly detailed characters. Tension runs throughout as no one can be sure an ally is trustworthy until it’s too late. A page-turning pile-driver of a novel, it explores the nature of power, and those who use it for self-aggrandisement or common good.

Read it now, then go buy some horses.
Profile Image for M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews.
4,027 reviews327 followers
October 6, 2017
After the pulse-pounding action in INSURRECTIO, I was all pumped to start RETALIO, and it was just as bloody fantastic as I had expected. After escaping the tyranny of Caius Tellus (along other icky things) Aurelia has to fight to free her beloved motherland from the patriarchal assholes. Here we go, kiddies!

There's plenty to deal with on all fronts. Now that he is in power, Caius certainly flexes his new-found power in ways that just further confirm how much of a jackass he is. When Aurelia sneaks into Roma Nova for some intelligence, it was truly difficult for her to deal with having to deal with her second-class status and how casually women are mistreated under the new regime. Of course, this just leaves us readers rooting even harder for Caius's demise.

The childhood of Conradus Tellus is explored here as well and it's hard to not feel furious at the Tella women enabling Caius when he was abusing them and Conradus. Poor kid. We also learn more about what happened with Aurelia's daughter Marina, answering a few questions I had from the Carina books.

This series has been absolutely fantastic so far, with the Aurelia books even better than the Carina ones. The only thing that this book was missing, in my humble opinion, is a scene with a bunch of angry women looking on while Aurelia castrated Caius with a rusty cheese grater. But that's just me, I guess. :P
Profile Image for Juliet Smith.
95 reviews7 followers
August 14, 2019
Alison Morton has shown that her writing has improved by leaps and bounds since her first book. It was interesting to see the challenges of living in exile, and how the Roma Novans go about taking back their country from Caius. In addition, it was nice to get a glimpse of Carina, who is the heroine of the first three books. We also finally got the resolution for the mysteries of book four and book five. I'm excited for the novella about Carina and the series about the founding of Roma Nova.
Profile Image for gj indieBRAG.
1,487 reviews62 followers
October 4, 2017
We are proud to announce that RETALIO (Roma Nova Thriller Series Book 6) by Alison Morton is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
Profile Image for Angelica Bentley.
Author 1 book4 followers
January 24, 2018
Book Six of the Roma Nova series ramps up the action to screaming point and doesn't let up until the final chapter. Aurelia, head of the Mitela clan, and leader of the Twelve Families, is recovering in Vienna from the latest attack from Caius Tellus, her lifelong nemesis. Shot and left to bleed to death, she was saved by one of his enemy's agents, but her condition is critical. She is physically broken, but determined to survive. Her companion Miklós, the love of her life, offers protection and a comfortable home, but they both know that this is temporary. Caius's lies and manipulation have caused Aurelia to be treated as a traitor by her own people, slowly congregating in Vienna in an exile's colony. She needs to regain their trust before she can become a catalyst for action.

This is the story of the attempt by a small contingent of refugees to take back Roma Nova from the dangerously charming psychopath who has turned every woman into a slave and every family into a male-dominated dictatorship. The unspeakable brutality of Caius's regime has touched every single household, and Aurelia is confident that a well-planned action would be supported by, at least, the 50% of citizens who have been targeted.

With extreme courage and determination, a group of women and fair-minded men plot a take-back and eventual revenge. It was fascinating to follow the resource mustering, financial scheming, military build-up, strategic planning, and political manoeuvring which provided the pieces of the puzzle. The final scenes are nothing short of epic, and the eventual outcome proves that there is a price for every action, and for Aurelia, this price is particularly steep.

Alison Morton keeps a firm grip on a vast cast of characters, and her impeccable research and insider knowledge of military subjects lend the story a very realistic feel. As before, the pace of the action is fast and furious, characterization is impeccable, and the conclusion thoroughly satisfying. A brilliant read!
Profile Image for Caroline.
553 reviews6 followers
April 16, 2019
Another 5* read from Alison Morton this one wraps up aurelias story really well, I’m feeling a little sad that this is the end of the series hopefully there will be more to come
Profile Image for David Baird.
455 reviews20 followers
July 15, 2018
We are back with Aurelia Mitela in a world where Rome didn't fall completely and women have a much more prominent role in society. Not everyone is happy with this power divide..none more so than Caius Tellus.. a horrible worm of a man..

To truly understand the buildup to this novel you need to have read the previous two novels AURELIA and Insurrectio.

The government of Roma Nova has been overthrown and Aurelia is duty bound to help put things right..her people are being treated badly, many have died..and many more will. Caius will stop at nothing to have the power he craves even though the situation is highly volatile and he is slowly losing control.

It's a fast paced novel full of action as the resistance fight back to take control of Roma Nova. 

There's some great twists as the resistance struggle to come together and trust each other..who wouldn't have issues..after-all anyone could be working for Caius and one bad move could mean death for them all.

While this novel is a work of alternative history it feels quite real and plausible giving the very real political issues we are facing in the present day.

This series is all about ideals..knowing right from wrong and standing up to fight even when you know the cost may be too high. 

A great addition to anyone's library.
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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