International Writers Magazine: Review
am Spartapuss by Robin Price
I am Spartapuss
is quite squarely aimed at children, and is knowingly written.The
language is straightforward and easy to read, and the structure
of sentences is also quite simple. It is also entrancing and highly
from the point of view of Spartapuss a slave for the Feline
Empire in AD 36, working in a bathhouse. Through a series of comedic
events, he ends up as a gladiator, which is where the story really starts
to get interesting.
We experience the story through Spartapuss notes and letters,
written in his first-person point of view, and as such with a tongue
wedged firmly in cheek, and a somewhat naïve view of the world
which only makes Spartapuss himself more endearing as a character.
His views on the people around him are also very amusing, and on occasion
actually caused me to laugh out loud which is a particular feat
for a childrens book!
A sense of humour is one of the things that prevails throughout the
book whether its the simple puns on the names of people
and places from history to include cats and feline references, or as
mentioned, Spartapuss amusing view on the world.
At only 189 pages, the book is the ideal length for many children, and
will keep their attention for long enough. It is educational enough
about the Roman Empire without being boring or too serious, and will
arouse curiosity and questions, which I for one, would encourage. Kids
and I would say boys, especially would love the book for
its humour and the overall setting. If it has any flaws, I would say
that it could have been a little longer, but at its current length,
There are two other books following this one, Catligula and Die
Clawdius, written by the same author that continues the story. A
fourth is also in the works, named Boudicat. I would
be interested to see how the story develops in those books as well.
Doyle March 2008
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