book in Judith Geary’s popular Getorix series finds the young Celt in Rome, treading the line between slave and free,
where he watches out for his Celtic slave compatriots as well as his best friend, Lucius, the son of a powerful Roman general.
When Lucius is suddenly abducted in a public raid, Getorix is first suspected of collaborating with the kidnappers, then charged
with rescuing Lucius and solving the mystery. Enlisting the help of Celtic and Roman friends, Getorix dives into a tangled
web of deception and intrigue that threatens not only the lives of himself and his friends, but the very balance of power
100 BC during a period of intense political upheaval that would eventually change the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire,
Games of the Underworld is a fast-paced and exciting story filled with great dialogue and lots of historical detail. Rome
is brought to life as a living, breathing city; everyday life and complicated politics are woven into the story without feeling
crammed in, and readers of all ages will be able to relate to the characters. The first Getorix title, The Eagle and the Bull,
was approved for use in classrooms, and it’s easy to see why. Very enjoyable and very recommended."--Heather Domin,
Historical Novel Review, Feb. 2012
Midwest Book Review:
the sequel to Getorix: The Eagle and the Bull, Getorix, a former Celtic slave, plans to leave Rome for his native country,
where he intends to return his deceased father’s signet brooch to its rightful place. But before he can do so, his friend
Lucius, son of a Roman general, is kidnapped by a Celtic band posing as Romans. Lucius’s mother implores Getorix to
save her son, and he sets out to find Lucius aided by Keltus and Brosch, two Celtic slaves from Lucius’s household,
and Senias, a druid prophet. Getorix discovers that the kidnapping was at the behest of Consul Marius, a Roman general and
very powerful man. When the warehouse where Lucius was being housed burns to the ground, most assume the body found is that
of Lucius, who was rescued by Getorix and Keltus. But Lucius’s mother does not want this secret known to Marius so Getorix
plans to escape with him to Gaul but the two seem doomed to become pawns in a political struggle to oust Marius.
Very few authors have
the skill to pull their reader into the time and place as if they are actually there, walking along the streets, experiencing
sights, sounds, and smells. Judith Geary does this with much finesse, which this reviewer finds even more admirable due to
the fact that she writes about ancient history circa 100 BCE. Her portrayal of the political turmoil in Rome at that time
through characters and scenarios is fascinating and informative. The plot is fast-moving and suspenseful and readers will
be reluctant to put the book aside.” – Christy Tillery French, Midwest Book Review
All About Women
"Judith Geary has done it again. In her first novel,
Getorix: The Eagle and the Bull, we are introduced to Getorix, a young Celtic warrior
of fourteen. He and his father are captured when the Romans conquer his people. His father is unceremoniously executed in
a dark dungeon and his body dumped into the sewers of Rome. Getorix is spared only to be tendered as a slave to the thirteen
year old son of one of his Roman conquerors. He is robbed of the right to die a noble death alongside his father, thus entering
“Otherworld” as a man. The story takes the reader on a journey through the rich history of the Roman Republic
in the years leading up to Julius Caesar’s rule. Getorix, who will be no one’s slave, must weigh the demands of
honor against his nascent friendship with the Roman boy, Lucius, who would be his master.
This is the second book of the Getorix series, GETORIX: Games of the Underworld.
Getorix is now an escaped slave who plans to travel to Gaul to return his father’s emblem, symbolically returning his
father to his homeland in honor. Getorix and the Roman boy, Lucius, who by this time have become trusted friends, meet to
say farewell before Getorix begins his journey. As Getorix presents Lucius with a parting gift, a replica of his father’s
brooch, Lucius announces he would like to join Getorix in his exodus from Rome. Suddenly, they are publicly attacked by raiders
dressed in Celtic garb and Lucius is taken prisoner. Getorix is implicated in the attack. He suspects Romans are behind the
assault, even though the raiders themselves are Celtic. The question is why? And why was Lucius singled out to be kidnapped?
While it may seem I’ve entirely given away the plot of the novel this is only the introduction to the story, taking
place within the first three pages of the first chapter!
Thus begins a suspenseful tale of intrigue into the inner workings of Rome, from the rat infested sewers of the underworld
to the luxurious trappings of the ruling class. Getorix enlists the help of Keltus, (a Celtic slave and bodyguard to Lucius),
Senius, (a Druid who has some ability to divine the future), and Brosch, (a young Celtic slave who is in love with Lucius).
Together, they attempt to fathom the changing loyalties of both friends and foes in a desperate scheme to rescue their friend
from those who wish to use him as a pawn in their own ambitious grapplings for power at the pinnacle of the Roman Republic.
With deceptive ease, Judith Geary leads the reader through a maze of Roman politics and religious thought. We learn
the differences between Roman and Celtic gods and the disparity in perceptions of honor between the two cultures and between
the classes. The story is chock-full of details of Roman life during this historical period, interwoven so skillfully in the
fabric of the pages the reader, caught up in the unfolding drama, is unaware of the impeccable research that went into the
creation of this superbly ambitious novel. The story is peopled with characters from history as well as fictional characters
sprouting from Geary’s fertile imagination. Suspense is established in the first pages, sweeping the reader along with
the mounting travails of the young protagonists until the very end. There is no rest for the weary in this captivating tale
of friendship, loyalty, love, political intrigue and honor. Will Getorix survive to return to his homeland? Read Getorix: Games of the Underworld and find out." -- Danielle Bussone, All About Women