Reviews of The Roman Conspiracy

The Roman Conspiracy was published in 2005 and was well received by reviewers both amateur and professional; it was nominated for the Rocky Mountain Book Award and the Red Cedar Book Award. The Red Cedar judges were young readers themselves, so I put their reviews first.

Young Readers' Reviews

"Full of adventure and surprises, this book is the best of the Red Cedar Books! The book starts off pretty quick and its characters are unpredictable!! I recommend it to anyone who likes adventure, mystery, or history."
"I think the author is trying to tell us that you've got to fight your own battle. I give this book a 5/5 because I really got into the book and I wouldn't take my nose out of it unless the bell rang at school or had to do homework. "
"If you enjoy books with lots of action I am sure that you will like this book! This book has a lot of fighting and sneaking around.This was one of my favourite books out of all the red cedar books."
"Romans are so interesting. I learned tons. I loved how the author turned into fiction book. It was a 8 book."

Professional Reviews

Here's what professional reviewers had to say about The Roman Conspiracy:
Mitchell's classical adventure rivals Caroline Lawrence's "The Roman Mysteries" or Jane Yolen's "Young Heroes" series ... Fast-paced action, an authentic setting, and realistic characterization all work together to make this an exciting journey to the ancient world.

— School Library Journal

Jack Mitchell's The Roman Conspiracy is a compelling drama that sweeps readers into this historical moment with great verve. He does this partly by choosing an outsider to tell the story. Like the reader, Aulus, a boy from the provinces, is seeing Rome and all its wonders for the first time. Mitchell also cleverly integrates historical details into the story. And the novel's well-drawn teen characters . . . definitely make the novel much more accessible to contemporary readers . . . Mitchell is a good writer, and this book, like Karleen Bradford's Crusades novels, is a valuable contribution to Canadian-authored historical fiction.

— Quill & Quire

This absorbing story based in a Rome which was being torn apart from the inside is both fascinating and enlightening...The author very successfully makes a very different time and culture accessible and exciting

— Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review

... chockfull of mystery and intrigue.

— Atlantic Books Today

I think that this book is good for anyone studying Ancient Rome or even just interested in it and wanting to learn more. Also this book is good for anyone who just wants a good read

— Sarah's Stars Online Reviews

The Roman Conspiracy is a fast paced adventure story, with interesting characters and interwoven plots. The characters are well developed and the author provides enough information about the setting and time period that readers unfamiliar with ancient history will understand and enjoy the story... Recommended.

— Resource Links

Jack Mitchell is a young scholar who knows a great deal about ancient Greece and Rome. In The Roman Conspiracy, he's turned his learning into a marvellous tale with the forward drive of a chariot. There's adventure, intrigue, skullduggery, danger, and even a whisper of romance. The Roman Conspiracy should a find a place alongside books by such esteemed writers as Rosemary Sutcliff and Geoffrey Trease. Jack Mitchell is a welcome new voice in Canadian writing for young people.

— Bill Richardson of CBC Radio

The Roman Conspiracy is a good strong adventure story in the tradition of Rosemary Sutcliffe and Geoffrey Trease, with lots of action, [and] a likable hero..." Highly Recommended.

— CM Magazine

...a fast-paced adventure with something for everyone - humour, political intrigue, murder and a terrific battle scene complete with Roman legions and flashing swords ... Author Jack Mitchell demonstrates a light touch as he weaves a good story shot through with historical detail.

— Canadian Children's Book News

This fast-moving adventure story not only tells a strong story well, it also gives a lively picture of Rome and the period. Like Karleen Bradford, who brought the period of the crusades energetically and realistically to life for readers, Jack Mitchell has set his mark on the Roman period, and hopefully this is only the first of many stories. Both Canadian writers are in the classic tradition of Henry Treece, who wrote about the Vikings, Rosemary Sutcliffe, and of adult fiction writer Jack Whyte. It all promises to fill the gap in our non-Canadian historical novels. Good historical fiction helps to encourage an interest and enthusiasm for history, which makes The Roman Conspiracy a welcome addition.

— Okanagan College Newsletter

The Roman Conspiracy does convey the lived experience of this ancient culture through descriptive scenes and settings.

— Kliatt

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