©2004 Ross Laidlaw; (P)2007 Oakhill Publishing Ltd
"Laidlaw...gives a vivid picture of a distant, bloody time, and tells his story splendidly." (The Scotsman)
This book should have been titled "The Last Roman". If you get historical fiction to gain insight into cultures and peoples, and if you think this has anything to do with Attila you will be very disappointed. It is another book about the moral collapse of Rome (and there are already plenty of those).
If you like your history sugar coated than you'll enjoy this book.
It's a great story it that makes history come alive.
Although very long, I enjoyed it and didn't get bored for even 1 second.
I call it sugar coated because with good historical fiction you learn a lot about the times while enjoying a good story.
As opposed to non-fiction which is generally dry.
It concentrates more on the Roman Empire than on Attila which is fine with me.
This book is definitely not about Attila although he is a character in the book. He's just not the main character as the title implies. Also, the narrater's choice of voice for Attila is absolutely ludicrous...like a bad used car ad.
Overall the quality of the story is good but the story is slow at times. The story doesn’t focus on Attila point of view as much as Romans dealing with the fallout from Attila and other barbarian’s action of that time. The plot development is good and as long as a person is not looking for a thrill ride every second I would recommend this book.
"Worthy but dull"
This is a fascinating period of history and the author shows that he's done his research. But as a novel, it failed for me. The characterisation is negligible, leaving the reader with no idea of motivation. Worse, the narrative has been spiced up with occasional descriptions of massacres and cruelties which seem quite gratuitous since they neither contribute to the narrative nor give you any sense of what it meant to suffer under such circumstances. It's just blood and guts for its own sake.
I was unable to listen to both parts because it was just too boring to sustain my interest. Conn Iggulden or Bernard Cornwell would've made it into a ripping yarn. Ross Laidlaw hasn't done the history justice.
"Slow dull and no idea what is going on"
I found this disappointing book the Narrator Stephen Thorne I fond very good and attempted to put some life in to the frankly dull story. The author jumps from person to person and in time I still do not know who the majority of the cast where. This is a pity as Attila was a fascinating person. The author was determined to make Attila out as a good guy and it was not his fault that he kills so many innocent people. The battles where brief as if they were not worth going in to. On every aspect this is a bad book and to enjoy this you will have to be a huge Rome or Attila fan, and as I love Rome you may still dislike this. 10/1
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