The Last Legion: A Novel

The Last Legion: A Novel

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by Valerio Massimo Manfredi
     
 

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The Roman world is in the throes of death, but a new myth, destined to span the centuries, is waiting to be born.

The camp was quiet. Mist shrouded the plains and the Nova Invicta Legion, the legendary warriors charged with protecting the last emperor of Rome, settled in for another cold and bitter night. Then, through the fog, the barbarians

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Overview

The Roman world is in the throes of death, but a new myth, destined to span the centuries, is waiting to be born.

The camp was quiet. Mist shrouded the plains and the Nova Invicta Legion, the legendary warriors charged with protecting the last emperor of Rome, settled in for another cold and bitter night. Then, through the fog, the barbarians appeared. In a space of a few hours, all was lost — the Roman Empire lay in ruins. But not all the Romans are dead. From the dust of the battlefield, a band of seemingly immortal legionaries rise up. They are the Last Legion. Risking their lives, they attempt an audacious mission to free the young emperor and his enigmatic tutor from the hands of their captors.
The Last Legion is a bewitching novel of bravery, love, myth, and magic. Valerio Massimo Manfredi has written an epic that will hold you spellbound until the very last page.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743491983
Publisher:
Washington Square Press
Publication date:
03/29/2005
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
789,853
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Valerio Massimo Manfredi is an Italian historian, archaeologist, and journalist. The professor of archaeology in the "Luigi Bocconi" University in Milan and a familiar face on European television, he has published a number of scientific articles and essays as well as thirteen novels, including the Alexander trilogy and The Last Legion. Alexander was published in thirty-six languages in fifty-five countries and was sold for a major film production in the U.S., and The Last Legion is soon to be a major motion picture starring Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley. Dr. Manfredi is married with two children and lives in a small town near Bologna.

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
JGolomb More than 1 year ago
There aren't many books that I'll stop reading. I hate that feeling of a lack of accomplishment. But honestly, there are too many good, fun and/or interesting books to read rather than slogging through some simply unacceptable writing. Manfredi's "The Last Legion" has a pretty solid story - in broad strokes it paints a picture of the very last days of the Western Roman Empire, the kidnapping of the Last Emperor - Romulus Agustus, and his rescue. I can't tell you more of the plot because I couldn't finish the book. I got almost halfway through and came upon this gem: Romulus Augustus to Livia (one of his saviors), discussing the strong silent hero: Are you Aurelius's girlfriend? Livia: No, I'm not RA: Would you like to be? Livia: I don't think it concerns you. Really? RA sounds like a 5 year old whose parents have recently gone through a divorce and mommy is now starting to date... Romulus's character ranges from strong-budding-emperor, to mentally challenged half-wit, to brooding insolent teenager. It was all over the place. It occurred to me, as it did to another reviewer, that the problem may simply be the translation. If that's the case, then the translation needs a decent edit. I've not read any of Manfredi's other work, but it's wildly popular. If it's not the translation, then no need for me to add his Alexander series to my Wishlist. If you're looking for a fun Roman Military read, go with Scarrow's Eagle series, or Michael Curtis Ford's "The Fall of Rome" which addresses the same time period and ends with the fall of Romulus Augustus. If you want something deeper that touches on the end of the Empire, go with Breem's "Eagle in the Snow".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I had just seen the movie of the same name, and I was attracted to the story. In the movie version the part of Livia Prisca is played by the Indian actress Aishwarya Rai, one of the most beautiful women in the world. Of course, as always, the book is superior to the movie. Also, I read the book because I was struck by the author's name: Valerio Massimo is the Italian form of the Roman name Valerius Maximus, the name of a well-known Roman historian. I found the story itself compelling--the story of the survival of the very last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire after he was deposed by Odoacer the barbarian. The Emperor was only 15 years old. However, the story is not quite true to actual history, as I found out when I later researched it. Nevertheless, the book is moving historical fiction. There are two sections of the book which really struck me. First, on pages 261-263 is a moving description of the devastating effects on people's ordinary life caused by the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Second, on pages 354-355 is found one of the most powerful and penetrating descriptions of human religious experience I have ever seen. I meditated on it for days. In other words, the author of this book is no mere hack writer, but is a profound thinker and interpreter of history.
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LuisFromSouthernCal More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best I've ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable tale of Rome's last days. Manfredi ties this tale up with a finale that is credible. He is novelist whose research is so lifelike that one feels the tone and despiration of those final days. Definitely a book not to miss