By author Roger Haydon Mitchell, The Day of the Labyrinth is the overall title of a series of fictionalised, or "fantastic" histories. Grappling with the political realities of war, violence and selfish ambition as they interface with peace, friendship and belonging, they investigate the potential of love as an alternative way of being.

Rooted in the author’s years of research into the interplay between radical justice and dominating sovereignty in four key episodes of western history, they begin with the encounter between embodied love and empire in the days of Constantine the great.

Reviews and comments

  • Wow! What an amazing novel you have written! I totally loved it!
    It’s a great story, great theology and the way it shows the thrill and adventure of learning to follow love profoundly, no matter what personal risk and material loss it brings is inspiring. The strong sense of belonging that the ecclesia have reflects the longing of our own generation. The angels and Beatrice gave the book a special extra dimension that is subtle enough to offer a genuine sense of connected reality. The imagery between the equal cross and the labarum helped to clarify strongly the differences between selfish power and self-sacrificing loving power. Thank you so much for producing a book that I would happily recommend to a follower of another faith, an atheist or an agnostic as well as, of course, Christians.
    I am looking forward to reading the sequel!
    Hilary Marshall, online psychotherapist, spiritual director and writer
  • Both the story and the writing are really enjoyable. The author describes well and the action flows. The characters are accessible and there is an ongoing challenge for the reader in the threats of both culture clash and family relationships.
    The blindness and dreams together give it a quality of fantasy similar to Madeleine l’Engle’s books particularly as the main character is a young female. I like the way the author depicts children like l’Engle does and C S Lewis did in the Narnia Chronicles.
    Jane Schofield-Almond, history teacher and publisher
  • This book reflects the author’s passion for understanding the inextricable cogs between the church and all forms of empire. Informed by the depth and height of his theological, philosophical, historical and political research, this novel takes its readers instead into a fascinating story of a labyrinth that has its source some seventeen centuries ago. In it we are led inexorably on a series of transitions through the incredible, the real and the historical, where angels, demons and myths intertwine, attract and repel each other. Entering this labyrinth does more than inspire your imagination, it compels you to continue reading, to discover the end, and forces a personal reflection on what we are still fighting against in the 21st century.
    Samuel Rhein, lecturer and publisher
  • Time will tell whether this book brought me back to Christianity. Be prepared to be torn back to a time when to be a Christian was to be a rebel: against empire; against violence; against the notion of personal gain. A marked contrast with all that Christianity has become a symbol of in our times. Mitchell takes us on a journey between illuminatingly-researched history and fantasy, digging into Christianity’s deep past to give radical presence to eternal social and political questions: Can love and hierarchy coincide? Can we build a new world in the shell of the old? What does the righteous path look like?
    Dr Timothy Stacey, Researcher, Urban Futures Studio, Utrecht University and Co-Founder and Co-Director,

(For more…)

Book One: The Blind Seer and The Gift of Love

Based around the popular French legend of Saint Quentin and Eusébie and the author’s disturbing research findings about the apparent Christianising of Rome, this novel choreographs the compelling journey of a diverse group of companions in their attempt to subvert the Roman Empire with justice and love. Aimed at averagely or more intelligent nine to ninety year olds, it will probably be PG to under twelves alongside such books as Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

Review and comment from Connie Dryfhout

This enchanting novel had me transfixed. My two day journey through this creative adventure engaged my whole being. As such It became an experience that involved my heart and all my emotions along with my mind. I loved how it kept beckoning me on and carried me through to the end.

The period of history set in the time around 400 A.D. was fascinating. It was a delight to meet mythical beings as well as angels, and all the diverse characters. The Minotaur is such a symbol of patriarchy for me. In the culture in which we live, these stories are validating and instructive in how to recognize these ever-present dominant tendencies. It is good to learn through the experiences of others how to cut the effects of those traits through ancestral lines.

Here we are in 2024. Every time we turn on the news we hear of nations rising up against oppressive regimes, people dying, refugees fleeing, and what remains are uninhabitable places. Into this current lived reality for all of us, this novel, “The Day of the Labyrinth,” is presented to our senses. What a gift! Is there a world religion that does not have at its heart a hope for harmony and peace brought about through love? When we connect with the beauty of the mountains and trees, the dolphins and the seas, the wind and the chickadees, is there not an awareness of how life could be? Could we live with enough and enjoy the love which surrounds us?

Many of us find ourselves between framing stories, the old has left a bitter taste and the new has not yet emerged, or has not yet proven to be any different. I invite you to come on a journey through this remarkable story. Although it happened years ago, the story is endlessly cyclical. It is then. It is now. It is them. It is us. How does a love that is the longing of every heart go so wrong? For that is what we all crave, isn’t it? And therein lies the rub. What do we crave? At the very hidden core of our heart’s motivation, can we stay on course to seek the way of sacrificial love? At a crucial junction in life, when our differing sets of relationships present us with two options, which will we choose? Will we be able to see the insidious thread that pulls at our craving and leads toward a trajectory that gets us off the course of love for others at the cost of ourselves?

The subtitle of the book is “The Blind Seer and the Gift of Love.” This is genius. For love to truly be a gift there can be no hidden agenda related to selfish needs and goals. What hope such a setting brings to the world’s current situation.

This story has woven tremendous historical research with imaginative possibilities. The author has done a wonderful service to us by bringing to life a historical time and events that have perhaps until now only reached our minds. I was moved by the peace and shalom that was present in places. Yet there was intense sadness, tears, frustration. In the end I am left with the wonder and the hope of a love so intense that keeps on beckoning.

Connie Dryfhout, community activist and elder, Meadowvale, Mississauga, Canada