The Key to Rome

The Key To Rome

By Sophie Masson

Cover and internal illustrations by Lorena Carrington

Published by Eagle Books, an imprint of Christmas Press, May 2023

ISBN 9780645378856

RRP: $19.99, 256 pages, trim size: 190mmx128mm

About the book:

Ancient Roman province of Britannia, AD 84

Twelve-year-old orphan Livia has to keep a promise made to her late father: to take a mysterious key to her estranged uncle Marcus.  She sets out with the key, her old horse Pegasus and her father’s doctoring kit, only to learn that her uncle has left for a town further north.

By the time she reaches it, her uncle has gone, and she can’t find out where–until a boy named Mato informs her that he knows. But he refuses to tell her unless she takes him with her.

As the two young people journey on the trail of Livia’s uncle, they start to suspect that the key holds a very dangerous secret. And now Livia and Mato must keep their wits about them, in a deadly game of cat and mouse. But figuring out who is friend, and who is foe, is the greatest challenge of all…

An exciting historical novel by multi-award-winning author Sophie Masson.

Cover and internal illustrations by Lorena Carrington.

About the author:

Born in Indonesia of French parents, who are themselves of mixed ethnicity: Basque, Spanish, Portuguese and French-Canadian as well as French, Sophie Masson AM was brought up in France and Australia and now lives in regional NSW. Sophie is the multi-award-winning author of over 70 books, for children, young adults and adults, many of which have been published internationally. Her most recent titles for young readers are Sydney under Attack (Scholastic Australia, 2022) Cock-a-doodle-doo(illustrated by Kathy Creamer, Little Pink Dog Books 2022) and Four Up In Lights (Christmas Press 2022). In 2019 Sophie received an AM award in the Order of Australia honours list for her significant service to literature. Her author website is at  and she blogs at

Photo of author by Lorena Carrington, 2023