The Sword of Attila: A Novel of the Last Years of Rome [NOOK Book]

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

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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.

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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429904391
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 156,336
  • File size: 431 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.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 14 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 12, 2009

    Great novel

    A fast moving and action packed novel that will hold your interest. Follow the lives of Attila the Hun and Count Flavius Aetius as they mature as leaders and meet in the decisive, historical Battle of Campi Catalaunici. Once you read this book you will want to read Michael Ford's follow on book, The Fall of Rome. Both are simply fantastic reads!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    Great story but a terrible transcription to ebook.  

    Great story but a terrible transcription to ebook.  

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    awesome book!

    a great read. i enjoyed every page!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2005

    Outstanding!!!!

    I thought this was one of the best books i've ever read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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