Destitutio Quod Remissio


Christian - Historical Fiction
334 Pages
Reviewed on 02/19/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

From an early age, Brett Armstrong had a love for literature and history. At age nine, he combined the two for his first time in a short story set in the last days of the Aztec Empire. After that, writing’s role in his life waxed and waned periodically, always a dream on the horizon, till he reached college. At West Virginia University, he entered the Computer Engineering program and spent two years pursuing that degree before an opportunity to take a creative writing class, for fun, came along. It was so enjoyable, he took another and in that course he discovered two things. The first was the plot for a short story called Destitutio Quod Remissio, which the others students really seemed to love. The second, he realized he absolutely loved writing. For him, it was like the proverbial light bulb coming on. In the years since, describing that epiphany has been difficult for him, but he found the words of 1924 Olympian Eric Liddell are the most eloquent expression for it: “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” God gave Brett a passion for writing, and so feels His pleasure when writing.

After a few years passed, Brett got his Computer Engineering degree, but also completed a minor in each of his real passions: history and creative writing. During that time he began the novelization of Destitutio Quod Remissio and entered the 2013-2014 CrossBooks Writing Contest, in which the book won grand prize. As of March 2015 he completed a MA in English and Creative Writing.

Currently, he lives in Saint Albans, West Virginia, with his beautiful wife, Shelly. In the summer the pair gardens together, and each day Brett continues writing his next novel.

    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.