Cast Not the Day

Written by Paul Waters
Review by Mike Ashworth

The central character of this book, set in the middle of the 4th century AD, is Drusus, a young British nobleman of Roman birth. The story opens with his father being summoned to Trier to answer charges before the Emperor. Drusus is sent to stay with his uncle in London. Much of the population in Britain still worship the old gods and the Christian church, with the support of the Emperor, is attempting to bring about the destruction of the old beliefs by force, persuasion having failed. Drusus finds himself involved not only in religious but also in civil conflict as civil war threatens to destroy the British way of life.

This is a vivid and dramatic portrayal of Roman life in Britain as the Roman Empire begins to crumble. The characters are all well drawn, vibrant, and believable. The love affair between Drusus and Marcellus is sensitively portrayed while the Christian bishop whose lust for power is at the centre of the conflict is no caricature of religious intolerance. The dialogue and the descriptions of London are effective without overpowering the reader with masses of detail. An enjoyable read.