I am not usually one to put down a book without finishing it, but for Romanitas I made an exception. Not only was this a first, but Romanitas is also the first time that I found myself actively willing a speedy death upon the protagonists, if only so that we might shift emphasis onto something more interesting. This book should have been a blinder, the concept offers so much, yet the execution is execrable. Dreary prose, boring characters, dull sequences of endless travelling, and on and on and on... Yes, this may be the first of a trilogy, but that doesn't excuse a throughly sub-standard book. How can a book about slaves running for their lives, joining a fleeing emperor-in-waiting, evading checkpoints and searches, after starting with a crucifixion on the banks of the Thames, be so crushingly dull? That, if nothing else, is an achievement.