Although not necessary, you might want to read Medicus before moving onto this one. Medicus does contain background information on the main characters and it might help you and make the characters more “rounded out”. Although you can read this one as a stand alone if you’d like. I enjoyed Medicus myself.
Terra Incognita has our army doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso in the Roman occupied region of Britannia, where he can find a little peace and quiet away from the chaos just experienced in the last novel. However, Britiannia isn’t the most quiet place at the moment. First it’s Tilla’s home, and where she originates from with her tribe. Second, her tribe is under the leadership of a mysterious character called the Stag Man who seems to be putting more fuel to a possible rebellion. Then a corpse turns up in an alley and it involves a mad doctor, Tilla’s old flame, and various shady characters of all sorts of types. Ruso then finds himself in the middle of this and it’s upto him to solve this mystery at the possible expense of giving up a growing romance with Tilla.
I sort of found this book to drag through the beginning and middle. Everything seemed to be going slowly and the plot wasn’t really grabbing my attention like the previous book did. I didn’t find it as witty or comical as the last one, although once Ruso’s friend Valens came into the picture, then everything started to lighten up (perhaps Valens is now going to be the official comic relief in this series). It did have some intriguing exciting bits in the beginning, because I was wondering who the Stag Man was and the chaos he was creating throughout the novel. Yet I just felt the plot not moving fast enough and my interest in it was starting to falter a bit. I found myself putting the book down and then coming back to it every so often. Finally I made myself finish it.
I have to say though, the ending sort of made up for the lackluster plot. It seemed all the action was built up towards the end and the intrigue was more obvious too. I have no regrets reading it. I noticed the moment Valens came into the picture, the book started to pick up a little. (Maybe it’s Valen’s job to save the plot). However, character wise, it was nice to see more of Tilla and I love her strength and stubborness. Of all the characters I like her and Valens the most. I think there’s still some work to be done with Ruso. To me he’s a flat character and needs more development. He’s just too two dimensional at the moment for me to really like him yet – at least his sarcasm and wit was still there which provided a bit of “flesh” for this character.
There were some funny parts but not as many as the first, it was a little more serious and darker this time around. It’s a different change as I was expecting another witty mystery. The story certainly could have been shorter.
Overall, it’s not going to stop me from reading the third one. I’ll keep going. The ending has me intrigued again as to what’s going to happen to both Tilla and Ruso. I’m hoping it’s better than this one, as it wasn’t that intriguing or falls short of being a great sequel. Nevertheless it had a good ending that was interesting enough to hopefully get fans to keep reading.
I give it a 6 out of 10.