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Cast Not The Day

by Paul Waters


Young Roman nobleman Drusus lives an easy, pleasant life in Britain until the Emperor Constantine dies, and his three sons become uneasy joint rulers.† Suddenly there is war, and Drususí fatherís star falls at court, the victim of jealous enemies.† Drusus sees his world turned upside down, and must make some hard choices to stay alive in a very different political climate.

Mr. Waters has a talent for getting under the skin of his period and showing us a ground level, warts-and-all view of Roman Britain.† Drusus makes for a compelling narrator and protagonist, one day in favor of and part of the ruling class, and the next trying to stay out of trouble.† This is not a period often written about in fiction, and it makes a pleasant (and informative) change from the 1st century, especially as the author seems to not only know his facts, but be able to spin his tale with them as an integral part and bring them to life.† There are parallels to our own time here, with the protagonist cursed to live in "interesting times" and stay on top, despite invasions, trouble at the top, and local unrest.† If you think that this is just a blood-and-guts military adventure, while there is plenty of that in here, there is also a good dose of romance, making it a book likely to be enjoyed by both sexes.† If Mr. Waters continues to write books of this standard, he will be following in the footsteps of writers like Robert Graves, Mary Renault and Alfred Duggan.

The Book

Macmillan UK
6 February 2009
023053032X / 9780230530324
Historical Fiction / 4th century AD Britain
More at US || UK
NOTE: Some violence

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009