Atilla: The Judgment
It is 449 AD, and the Roman Empire is in danger of being overrun by barbarians. An army of Huns, led by their leader Attila, is assembled on the banks of the Danube River. This army of thousands had swept through Eastern and Western Europe, sacking, raping and killing Roman citizens in small towns and communities along its path. There is only one man in the Empire who can stop this madman – General Aetius.
This is the third novel in Napier’s trilogy based upon the life of Attila. It tells the story of how a barbarian leader became ruthless and insane with revenge against the largest empire the world had known up to that time. As a young boy in Rome (held as hostage along with other barbarian leaders’ children), he learned the methods of the Roman way of living and hated the lifestyle of the Roman people. General Aetius had fallen in disfavor with the current Roman emperor, who was jealous of his popularity with the army. Faced with the imminent attack from the barbarian horde, the Emperor is forced to order Aetius to stop Attila from reaching Rome.
I have read all three books in the trilogy and have enjoyed the series. The author may have stretched the truth at times and added fictional characters to serve his story, but this wasn’t problematic. Since this installment featured more of the Roman response to the gathering Hun army and the final battle between the two forces in a country known as present-day France, Attila played a lesser role in this book. The battle scenes are gripping and chaotic. I especially enjoyed reading about the Knuckles, the fictional Roman soldier who would play a key role in defeating Attila.
Highly recommended for those who enjoy books written about this time period. You don’t have to read the first two books in the series to enjoy this novel, but if you like well-developed characters, I would recommend reading the series from the beginning.