The Sword of Attila: A Novel of the Last Years of Rome

The Sword of Attila: A Novel of the Last Years of Rome

4.7 11
by Michael Curtis Ford
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Only one man has the power and courage to preserve Rome from utter destruction-but to save the Empire, he must first overcome the Sword of Attila.

In an epic campaign that historians have called the most crucial in history, two great warriors match strength and tactics in a colossal struggle for the fate of the known world.

Ultimate authority in the

…  See more details below

Overview

Only one man has the power and courage to preserve Rome from utter destruction-but to save the Empire, he must first overcome the Sword of Attila.

In an epic campaign that historians have called the most crucial in history, two great warriors match strength and tactics in a colossal struggle for the fate of the known world.

Ultimate authority in the fragile Western Empire rests on the shoulders of one man. Adhering to the ancient code of honor on which Rome was founded, he wages a single-minded struggle against barbarian invasions and internal decadence to prevent a catastrophic reign of terror. Respected and feared by friends and enemies alike, he is Count Flavius Aetius, Supreme General of the Legions-better known to history as the Last of the Romans.

Facing him is a foe who has led his Asian hordes on a rampage of conquest and terror, from the barren steppes of the north to the very sands of Persia, ruthlessly destroying vast swaths of civilization. Now he and his army of fierce horsemen have penetrated deep into Europe and are poised to strike at the heart of the empire, the city of Rome itself. The entire world shudders at mention of this man's name-Attila the Hun. Horrified victims call him the Scourge of God.

On a sweltering June day in A.D. 451, the fates of these two titans of antiquity collide in a conflict of such massive carnage and heroism as to dwarf nearly every other single battle in history. Though little known today, this monumental contest on a remote plain in Gaul determined the fate of Europe-and the very course of civilization. In The Sword of Attila, Michael Curtis Ford once again demonstrates his mastery as a chronicler of battle, honor, and ancient worlds.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Roman general and Asiatic warlord trade places in childhood and find comradeship-before the tides of history sweep them into bloody conflict. Ford (The Last King, 2003, etc.) writes manly historicals, the kind that, being set so far in a safely distant past, allow his readers the vicarious thrills of taking part in gargantuan military campaigns and being present at momentous events without having to be entangled in all those modern political complications. And there's nothing wrong with that. This time out, Ford continues to mine the rich vein of antiquity and here, in fifth century a.d., comes up with Attila, a smart sort of Hun who gets sent as hostage (to enforce the keeping of a treaty) to the Roman court in Ravenna, where he meets Flavius Aetius, who, in turn, is soon hostaged to the rough wooden dwellings of the Huns. Raised in their respectively alien environments, the two men respond in markedly different styles. Ford delves deeply into Hunnish ways, providing extensive detail about how this fierce, nomadic Central European people lived-though he admits in a postscript that, given the dearth of almost any decent research on the Huns, much of this had to be made up-while practically ignoring Attila's young adulthood among the decadent Romans. After being returned to their native environments, these two natural leaders react somewhat differently, with Attila immediately returning to his Hunnish roots and Aetius keeping a hard-bitten Hun's perspective about him as he ascends to the rank of Roman general. Initially, it seems these two men will be able to forge some sort of lasting peace between their feuding empires, but outside pressures and the arrogance of power conspire againstsuch a friendly resolution. Thus, the stage is set for the apocalyptic Battle of Chalons, in Gaul, where over a million men battle to determine who will rule Europe. It's a massively long, brutal spectacle, supremely well-executed by Ford. Well-rounded it's not, but, again, Ford offers solidly researched and lustily violent military historical fiction.
From the Publisher
"A massively long, brutal spectacle, supremely well-executed...again, Ford offers solidly researched and lustily violent military historical fiction."—Kirkus Reviews

"An exhilarating journey into madness and destiny...this is first-class writing...impeccably researched, a surge of bloody excitement."—Salem Statesman Journal

"Michael Curtis Ford strips away the civilities of modern life. When you pull yourself out of the last page, you know you've been told one of our Story's huge moments, by a master storyteller, whose stunning sweep & involvement is only matched by his expertise in breathing alive again, our heroic & gory past.—rebeccasreads.com

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429904391
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/01/2007
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
180,825
File size:
451 KB

Meet the Author

Michael Curtis Ford is forty-three years old and is a translator and novelist. He has bachelor's degrees from the University of Washington and a graduate degree from Princeton. He speaks several languages and is an avid reader of the classics. He and his wife educate their three children at home in Oregon.


MICHAEL CURTIS FORD has worked variously as a laborer, a ski patrolman, a musician, a consultant, a banker, a Latin teacher, and a translator. He holds degrees in economics and linguistics and lives in Oregon, where he and his wife educate their three children at home. His novels include The Ten Thousand, Gods and Legions, The Last King, The Sword of Attila, and The Fall of Rome.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >