Getorix: Games of the Underworld

Written by Judith Geary
Review by Heather Domin

The second 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 in Rome.

Set in 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.