Destitutio Quod Remissio

Christian - Historical Fiction
334 Pages
Reviewed on 02/19/2015
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Author Biography

Brett Armstrong has been exploring other worlds as a writer since age nine. Years later, he still writes, but now invites others along on his excursions. He’s shown readers hauntingly sorrowful historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Day Moon and Veiled Sun), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Where he heads next is as much a discovery for him as readers. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Destitutio Quod Remissio by Brett Armstrong is a historical novel, an epic tale of one man’s persecution. Marcus Servius, a Roman Senator, spent years building up his life and his wealth. But it’s all about to come tumbling down as he is exposed for what he is – a Christian. He loses everything; his whole life, his possessions, and the wealth he worked so hard for are taken from him, but the loss of his wife is the worst, too much to bear. A poor and broken man, Marcus prays for deliverance from the hands of his persecutors. He disguises himself and undertakes a dangerous journey to look for a man named Ben Truvias. Ben leads a hidden church and is the man responsible for converting Marcus. He gives Marcus hope and a new direction. But will Marcus discover who outed him as a Christian? Is his life in danger the closer he draws to the truth? And which should he choose – revenge or forgiveness?

Destitutio Quod Remissio by Brett Armstrong had a definite wow factor to it. It’s a strong story about a subject that is perhaps a little too close for comfort right now, given world events, but I have to say Mr. Armstrong has done a fine job here. It’s a really well written book, clearly the product of a great deal of work and research and it shows. It was one of those books where you put it down at night wondering what’s going to happen next and where the book is going to take you. Amazing story, excellent writing.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Destitutio Quod Remissio by Brett Armstrong is a story of the power of redemption. Marcus has lost everything because he is a Christian. In just a few months the world had gone mad. His wife is dead and his home is a pile of smoldering ash. Marcus once was a prominent Senator, speaking convincingly in the Roman forum. Now, he is alone and desolate. Marcus heads for Rome, on a quest to find his betrayer. Marcus enters Rome in disguise, looking like a pauper, a filthy peasant. No Christian is safe from the Emperor’s cruelty. Marcus finds refuge within a small, hidden church. His life was a maze, and his time was running out. Fighting off thoughts of revenge, Marcus is determined to serve Christ completely. He has nothing to lose. “Shattered, repaired and then transformed,” Marcus stands before the Senate. What remains to be seen: who will be moved by his profession of faith? What will tomorrow hold?

Brett Armstrong composes an impressive account of the persecution of Christians during the reign of Diocletian. Destitutio Quod Remissio reveals the power of faith, to stand strong, to resist the grip of fear when facing imprisonment and death. Armstrong weaves scripture within the text, especially the writings of Paul, impacting the story’s relevance. The setting of the story is ancient Rome. Armstrong paints his scenes with brilliant figurative and sensory brush strokes. The reader feels the depravity and the fear of the characters among the multitudes in Rome. This effect is balanced by the depiction of immense wealth and beauty of the affluent. Armstrong illustrates the narrative with strong and insightful metaphors and analogies. The supporting cast of characters shape, mold, and give aid to the dynamic growth of the protagonist. Marcus’ character develops with each turn of the page. The narrative moves steadily, and has a few surprising twists and “aha” moments. The plot action peaks and gradually descends, bringing forth a resolute and promising end.

Faridah Nassozi

In Destitutio Quod Remissio by Brett Armstrong, Marcus's life as he knew it ended the day he returned home to find his entire estate had been set on fire, destroying everything he held dear. In just an instant, he became a fugitive with no one to trust, so he turned to the one place where he knew they would not turn their backs on him - the church. However, the church had already acted on his earlier warning about an impending war by the state against Christianity and they were in hiding, and this put a dent in his survival plan. Marcus was determined to find answers. It would be hard and it would be dangerous, but he needed an explanation as to the source of the tragedy that had befallen him. But with the Emperor's decree against the church now in full force, he was an enemy of the state and survival was not going to be easy. If he was to find the answers he needed, he was going to have to look in some dangerous places. But as a Christian, what would he do if he found the answers he so desperately sought?

Set against the background of ancient Rome, Destitutio Quod Remissio by Brett Armstrong tells a compelling story about a man's loss, suffering, betrayal, faith, self-rediscovery and purpose. The plot is thick with tension, mystery and suspense, delivering a gripping historical novel that had me reading nonstop in a bid to see how it all played out. The language and writing style were very appropriate for this type of novel and the era in which it was set, and the descriptive style, made it very easy for me to vividly imagine the setting and characters that brought this incredible story to life. I truly loved following Marcus on this extraordinary journey and witnessing the different transformations he went through as he adapted to his changing circumstances.