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The Scourge of God

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  620 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
After decades of assault by barbarian tribes, Rome is weakening and in danger of being overrun. By a.d. 449, Attila, ruler of the Huns, has become Europe's most powerful monarch, his ferocity earning him the title "the Scourge of God." Now he is poised to assault the West.

It begins with an illicit affair. Honoria, sister of Valentinian III, emperor of the Western Roman Emp
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by Harper (first published January 1st 2005)
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Aug 16, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction, 450 AD. Attila the Hun invades Western Europe, destroying everything in his path. He lost, kind of, but not before leaving a really big scar. He is maybe as bad a guy as anyone in history. No doubt the Romans had it coming, but they stood for something at least, for civilization. All the Huns did was burn and kill.

Again I am interested why these tribesmen came off the Asian Steppe (High Plains) at least three times to obliterate everything they found. Maybe their culture reac
May 29, 2009 RiverShore rated it really liked it
This historical novel was well written with a number of surprising and little known facts about the historical figures involved (Attila the Hun, Flavius Aetius, Valentinian, etc). The author was able to capture the essence of life during the fall of the Roman Empire: a mixture of hopelessness, futility, frustration and anarchy all created or enabled by a society that no longer prized honesty, discipline, thrift, industry and hard work but instead had grown fat and lazy (like its rulers) off ...more
Sep 30, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it
2nd book read by this author. Detailed fictional story of Attila the Hun and his hordes and the last battle of the Roman legions in Gaul (modern-day France). Fact blended with stories--some true characters and others created by the author. The weakness of the western Roman empire (ruled by a weak emperor in Rome) combined with the desperation of the eastern empire--based in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, Turkey). I've read many books about the Roman empire but few about its end times and ...more
Arn Howald
Jul 15, 2008 Arn Howald rated it liked it
This is a dramatization of Attila the Hun's invasion of Roman Europe. I'm very happy that I've read this because I always confuse Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan. You know..."Wait, is Attila the 5th century scourge of God or the 15th century scourge of God?" It turns out he's the one from the the 5th century.
Apart from the exciting (and remarkably clear)fight scenes, what I really enjoyed about this book was the history lesson. It's a great idea of what the end of the Roman Empire must have look
-La tardanza en entrar en materia, aunque sea para preparar mejor el momento, suele tener un precio.-

Género. Novela Histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Jonás Alabanda, romano de oriente, recuerda los tiempos de la Antigua Roma que, con su imperio ya empequeñecido, fueron testigos del avance de los hunos y su líder Atila, que con mucha ambición, con el maltrecho estado de las tropas romanas, con la excusa que le dio una noble romana y con la torpeza política del emperador parecía ser imparable durante u
May 13, 2010 Jill rated it liked it
This is an interesting account of Attila the Hun. Dietrich takes actual historical events, locations, and characters and weaves an intriguingly captivating fictional story around them. While Attila is certainly presented as the ruthless, calculating, and sometimes merciless conqueror that he was, he is also given a human face that causes the reader to ponder the true character and nature of the legendary Attila the Hun. I learned quite a bit of ancient history from this novel, and I was ...more
Sep 17, 2008 Fernanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Attila's defeat near Chalons is the climax of a story about the clash between the decadent Roman culture and the vigorous, but uncivilized, barbarians from the North. Deep misunderstandings, greed, and treason lead to a great war of nations in order to restore world order and balance.
Attila is just a secondary character, but his strenght and legend are such that ignoring him is impossible.
Despite the lack of historical and reliable informations about the Huns and their greatest king, this books
Mar 16, 2009 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is very interesting historical fiction detailing the story of Jonas, a Roman historian and swordsman, caught up in a time when the Roman Empire was threatened by the awesome power of Attila, around 450 AD. It does a good job of giving a picture of the diminishing power of the Roman Empire and the threats it faced on many fronts. It is well researched and a captivating story filled with action, adventure and romance.
Mar 15, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it
Fantastic historical fiction. I have never read anything on Atilla the Hun and the book brought a common household name but obscure historical figure to life. More interestingly, the description of the late days of the Roman Empire and Constantinople were fascinating. No idea how realistic or accurate, but the author was first a non-fiction writer and historian so I assume it is somewhat accurate.
William Dietrich is quickly becoming one of my “go-to” authors to help satiate my need for entertaining historical fiction. By combining factual information, real historical characters and adding fictional supporting roles, Dietrich makes historical events come to life in a highly adventurous imaginative manner.
Sep 06, 2008 Christie rated it really liked it
Powerful historical fiction about the fall of the Roman Empire to the Huns. Deitrich admits there’s little information, but he did what research he could and successfully created characters that I cared about enough to be interested in the actual battles, which are described in gruesome detail.
Feb 05, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
So far, it's good. Lots of little details that add to the story. And I'm only on page 20, so that bodes well for the rest of the book, I think. And stories about the decline of Rome are rare, I've found, and the Huns feature heavily. So it should be interesting.
Nov 21, 2010 Lorena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally I'm done reading ot, and must confess the ending wasn't as I predicted. Maybe a little too much incidence in the belic details, although it's worth reading.
Phil Syphe
Jul 20, 2016 Phil Syphe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having wanted to read some historical fiction based around Attila the Hun I decided to give “The Scourge of God” a go. The author does a good job of bringing life to a period of history that is much obscured through lack of written records.

I like how Attila and his barbarian army are portrayed. The description of Attila pretty much reflects how I had imagined him.

Ilana, the beautiful Roman maiden, is my favourite character. Don’t blame Jonas - the hero of the piece - for falling madly in love w
Kara Jorges
Dec 19, 2012 Kara Jorges rated it really liked it
Ancient history comes vividly to life in this novel of a dying Rome and its great battle against the forces of Attila the Hun. Most interestingly, Dietrich took real historical events and wove them into a colorful tale with very few fictional characters.

Jonas Alabanda is a young scribe living in Constantinople, the eastern seat of the Roman Empire, when he is given the opportunity of a lifetime to join an envoy to Attila the Hun’s court as a chronicler and interpreter. Unbeknownst to Jonas and m
Mary JL
Jun 18, 2012 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of History/Historical Fiction/ Adventure fiction
Shelves: fiction-classics
This an an excellent historical fiction tale. the setting is 449 AD, and the crumbling remnants of the Roman Empire are threatened by Attila the Hun.

Jonas Alabanda, a young historian from the Eastern Empire of Constantinople, is selected for an assistant's post in a diplomatic mission sent to pacify Attila. Jonas, a scholar by nature, has leanred the Hunnish language, which few in the empires can speak. The novel is mostly told from his point of view.

Occasionally, the author switches to a third
Alexis Briceño badilla
Jun 10, 2014 Alexis Briceño badilla rated it did not like it
Este trabajo es uno de los tantos escritos sobre Atila, con lugares comunes aceptados en el mundo literario, como por ejemplo la famosa espada de Marte, una vez más aludida. Esta vez el relato toma forma de una narración amorosa, Jonás e Ilana, Zerco el enano y su amada Julia en búsqueda de la felicidad en un mundo incierto y desequilibrado, deciden robar esta espada y entregársela al propio Aecio, general “inútil y fanfarrón” (página 129 y 130), para remediar la situación y logre finalmente ...more
Mar 11, 2015 Wellington rated it really liked it

Attila the Hun. Everyone has heard of him but so little known of him. His life is legendary and and fascinating. Nicknamed the Scourge of God, he challenged and nearly defeated Rome.

This book follows Jonas who is a Roman scribe in an envoy to Attila the Hun. Jonas meets Illana and Skilla. The former he falls in love with the latter becomes his nemesis. For a book titled after Attila it took a while for the Scourge of God to appear.

I did find the romance bearably off-putting. This was countered
Sep 19, 2009 Steve rated it liked it
The book is set in Europe in A.D. 449. Attila and his horde of Huns are ravishing the countryside and demanding ever increasing tribute from the Roman emperors in Rome and Constantinople. The story line is not exceedly complex, but the book is action packed. There is a love interest that goes throughout the book, there is intrigue, individual fights, and massive battles. I think this is more of a guy book, but there is a heroine as well as a hero. There are a number of interesting characters. We ...more
Feb 23, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Enjoyable perspective on Atilla the Hun. After reading the book, I can now recall a little of what Mr. Van Buskirk (MHS) taught us in Ancient History in 1977. The book provides much more detail and brings to life the politics, power, and life of people in Europe during the fall of Rome. But this book is anything but pedantic. It is an enjoyable story of Jonas as he comes of age in pursuit of his role in life and the woman he desires.
Jun 28, 2010 Jorge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent historical novel about a quite enigmatic leader. As well as the different points of view regarding what we decide it's the "civilization" and the appropriate way to live. It's marvelous how you can impregnate with the scenes and landscapes that the author tries and in my opinion manages to transmit. A quite enjoyable book and a marvelous story.
Jun 17, 2008 Jerry rated it liked it
So, as I represent "the guy" on our book community I have to say this book is pretty good. The characters are easy to get involved with and the story moves at a great pace. I like the historical fiction genre, this book is more fiction than history. Their is some raw language and situations so be warned, but overall a great read.
Sergio Caballero
Jun 27, 2014 Sergio Caballero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Al principio tenia mis dudas, ya que empieza algo "flojo", lo deje de leer por una temporada, pero como no me gusta dejar cabos sueltos lo volví a empezar, unos meses después, cual va siendo mi sorpresa que de verdad se pone muy bueno de la mitad, mas o menos, en adelante, me engancho totalmente, al final quede con ganas de mas.
Rocío Higuera
Finalmente lo terminé. Me costó mucho trabajo tomarle sabor. La primera mitad del libro es muy lenta y solo hacía que lo postergara. Pero a partir de ahi todo fluyó y terminé en dos días lo que me llevó mes y medio la primera parte.
Me encantó cómo el autor tomó los personajes históricos y entregó esta historia. Ya estoy buscando otra novela suya!
Feb 17, 2011 Garth rated it did not like it
Sign of a bad book, #42: excessive use of exclamation marks, which is especially egregious when characters continually yell at each other to "Think!" or "Think it through!" Dietrich is guilty of this and several other literary crimes in The Scourge of God. Dietrich chose a fascinating period of history and squandered it with cringe-worthy writing.
The story of a Eastern Empire Roman linguist's diplomatic mission to the court of Attila the Hun...later or evolves into the Western Empires success in fending off the Hun's efforts in Attila's last battle...story of history & a personal story of love and war...good, fun read!
Matias Sulzberger
Es complicado escribir sobre alguien del cual se sabe tan poco como Atila. Por ende, la novela contiene muchos datos que no son del todo reales.

De todos modos, la novela es atrapante y contiene un apéndice donde el autor detalla que datos son reales y cuales no lo son.
Fredrick Danysh
Aug 06, 2011 Fredrick Danysh rated it really liked it
Young Jonas Alabandra is sent as part of the Roman delegation sent to negotiate with Attila the Hun. When the delegation is exiled back to Rome, Jonas is held hostage and falls for a Roman woman held captive. Attila then decides to invade Rome.
Ralica Mitova
May 07, 2016 Ralica Mitova rated it it was amazing
"Нямаше истински закон, само Атила... Това, че Атила живее в паметта на народите близо 16 века след края на управлението си, по-кратко от това на Адолф Хитлер, е свидетелство за огромното му влияние върху въображението на хората... Историята продължава..."
Gary Sedivy
Nov 24, 2010 Gary Sedivy rated it really liked it
A good read about Atilla. The 'hero' is an observer, a scribe, to the negotiations between Rome and the Huns. Good conflict, the side-battles between the secondary people surrounding the leader himself.
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William Dietrich is a NY Times bestelling author of the Ethan Gage series of eight books which have sold into 28 languages. He is also the author of six other adventure novels, several nonfiction works on the environmental history of the Pacific Northwest, and a contributor to several books.

Bill was a career journalist, sharing a Pulitzer for national reporting at the Seattle Times for coverage of
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