Read The Scourge of God by WilliamDietrich Online


The Roman Empire is weakening. In 367 AD, approximately eight years after the great battle at Hadrian's Wall, Roman garrisons begin to hear rumors of barbarian tribes massing to the north. By 449 AD, Attila, the ruler of the Huns, has become the continent's most powerful monarch, his reputation in battle earning him the title "The Scourge of God."Anticipating an imminent aThe Roman Empire is weakening. In 367 AD, approximately eight years after the great battle at Hadrian's Wall, Roman garrisons begin to hear rumors of barbarian tribes massing to the north. By 449 AD, Attila, the ruler of the Huns, has become the continent's most powerful monarch, his reputation in battle earning him the title "The Scourge of God."Anticipating an imminent attack by the Huns, Roman leaders negotiate with one of Attila's lieutenants, convincing him to play the part of assassin. He is joined on his mission by a Roman citizen, Jonas, an ambassador dispatched to negotiate a peace treaty with the Huns. When the plot is discovered, Jonas becomes a hostage, forced to fight for his captors if he wishes to remain alive. But he soon learns that Attila intends to conquer Rome itself, and is caught between two mighty empires, both poised for one of the greatest conflicts the world has ever seen. Jonas, knowing his life could be forfeit, has the potential to tip the battle in either direction––and his decision will alter the face of Western civilization....

Title : The Scourge of God
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060734992
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Scourge of God Reviews

  • Michael
    2019-03-06 07:21

    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 reached a critical mass where cities and civilization were required to maintain a cohesive group, and instead of building them they let off the pressure by attacking far and wide. Living on the plains as I do now, I can see how living there made them really damn tough. It is just a hard place. Especially for a nomadic people living off the land.The same thing happened here in North America. The Plains tribes were far and away the most formidable on this continent, and took to the horse as the center of their existence. Apaches, Comanches, Sioux, Crow, Nez Perce, etc. Lived in movable tepees. The land made the same culture and adaptations on two sides of the world. That is a thought I could follow a long way...I think the Hyksos that attacked and occupied ancient Egypt around 2000BC, the Huns that attacked Rome and Europe around the 400AD, and the Mongols in the 1200's were the exact same crew, mostly unchanged but separated by centuries or millenia. From physical descriptions there is no doubt they were of the same race, and the cultural basis and geographical origin of each is identical, even to the yurts they lived in and tactics they used. And the weapons. Specifically the composite recurved bow paired with overwhelming mounted attack.

  • RiverShore
    2019-02-23 10:25

    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 taxing the work of others. Gee...that sounds vaguely familiar.....Those who are interested in learning from the past mistakes of others would do well to read this. It would also interest those who like battle strategy. As a romance, it had little to offer (I still don't know who the heroine was in love with!). Still, all in all, my husband and I both enjoyed it.

  • Denise
    2019-02-23 07:48

    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 none (until now) about the peoples' lives as it fell apart around them.

  • John
    2019-03-05 05:20

    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.

  • Roy C
    2019-03-02 04:41

    One of the very best Roman era historical novels, maybe the very best. Unusually, it is unique among Dietrich books for being set in that time period; I wish he would do more in this genre. Keeps you on the edge of your seat even if you are familiar with the actual history.

  • Arn Howald
    2019-02-23 03:30

    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 looked like. It wasn't so much that the empire "collapsed" as it was kind of dismantled. Although Imperial influence wained, the "barbarian" tribes (like the Goths and Franks)who were taking over Roman lands found themselves emulating and imitating Roman "civilization," albeit poorly. The remnants of the Roman empire in these lands found themselves making deals instead of governing. For example, a local warlord, chief or decurion would be charged with patrolling and keeping safe a particular valley, and their recompense would be permission to levy taxes. There were no longer uniforms, weapons or even soldiers coming from an increasingly remote and out of touch Imperial center; instead, local authority figures ended up seeing themselves as the representative of Rome in their particular valley. The reader can then see the beginnings of medieval feudalism in such a governing model. At this point, all that was required was the recognition that Rome had no real control over that particular valley and another chunk of the empire would dismantle itself.

  • Olethros
    2019-03-17 09:28

    -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 unos eventos en los que Jonás terminó inmiscuido.¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

  • Jill
    2019-02-27 09:28

    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 pleasantly surprised that the brutality it documented was not nearly as graphically explicit as I had feared.

  • Fernanda
    2019-02-24 08:42

    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 turns out to be well written and documented.

  • Steve
    2019-03-24 05:44

    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.

  • Shiela
    2019-03-02 11:33

    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.

  • Matias Sulzberger
    2019-03-26 03:29

    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.

  • Christie
    2019-03-15 07:46

    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.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-04 10:34

    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.

  • Lorena
    2019-03-20 08:45

    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.

  • Gordon Ehler
    2019-03-25 03:20

    Very enjoyable book about Attila and related characters. A fanciful way to conclude the story, but...okay.

  • Phil Syphe
    2019-03-01 10:49

    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 with her.The novel features a twin narrative. I preferred the third-person viewpoint to the first person and feel the story would’ve worked better had it been written in the third throughout.Although I’m glad the language is accessible, in that it isn’t bogged down with 100s of archaic words with a glossary at the back of the book, I do feel the language is *too* modern in feel. For instance, on at least four occasions the author uses American slang to refer to the anus, which comes across as totally out of place for a novel set in the mid-fifth century. For example:>I’ve got the enemy’s butt in my face!<Considering this book is set over a 1,000 years before America was discovered, it seems ridiculous to use “butt” or “ass”. In fact, had the author not previously used the plural “asses”, I would’ve misinterpreted “You couldn’t hit your mother ’s ass!” as a referrence to the mother owning an ass, as in the animal. I realise this book is written in American English, but surely “arse”, “backside”, “bum”, “bottom”, “posterior”, or “anus” would’ve been better suited than slang words originating from a country unknown to Europe circa 449-451.I did enjoy this novel in the most part, but like so many works of historical fiction, Mr Dietrich is a writer who pours all his energy into researching the history aspects, yet makes little effort towards enhancing his use of English style.For example, he overuses “then” for telling the reader what happens next. “Then” is such a lame choice and it surfaces many times in this novel. This word can easily be replaced with a little more thought, or, as in the quote below, it can be cut altogether:>The Ostrogoths charged us Romans again and then again and then yet again<Neither “then” is necessary in the clunky clause above. The author distracted me many times, especially during his vivid battle scenes, by frequently inserting “then”. It's a true pet hate of mine. It sounds like an excited child's voice, recalling what they did on a day out.The author also distracted me throughout the novel with his overuse and misuse of semicolons and especially colons. The quote below is an example of this:>Or I could return and hurl myself into battle and end things sooner: There was a certain finality in that. There would be no unity against the Huns; Rome was too old and too tired.<Four shorter sentences would’ve done the job more efficiently. He uses amd misuses more colons than any modern-day author I’ve read thus far.Self-published authors are guilty of using excess semi-colons and colons - I know from copy-editing so many MSS - but even the most successful historical fiction novelists are guilty of this poor element of English style.I expect to find a plethora of unnecessary punctuation in texts written pre-1900, and an unapproachable amount for works penned pre-1800, but it astounds me that modern authors spend no time refining their style. If they did, most historical fiction writers would be providing their audience with endless masterpieces, as their devotion to their subject it usually without measure. So a Roman thumbs-up for Mr Dietrich’s historical research, but a thumbs-down for his lack of dedication to English style. Quality style elevates a good story into a great one.Having really enjoyed the plot and liking the characters I would’ve given “The Scourge of God” five stars, but I must deduct a star owing to the poor elements of English style, plus the out-of-place use of American slang.

  • Kara Jorges
    2019-02-26 08:48

    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 most members of the Roman party, treachery is afoot. Underestimating the loyalty of the Huns to their king, one of the Romans approaches a Hun soldier with an offer of gold if he will assassinate Attila. The Hun tells Attila of the Roman plot, however, and Attila murders part of their party, sends others home in disgrace, and keeps Jonas as a hostage.Also hostage in Attila’s camp is a young Roman woman named Ilana, taken after the siege of Axiopolis. Along with a dwarf who befriends them, Jonas and Ilana form an alliance and make plans to escape back into the Roman Empire with a relic sacred to the Huns. When their plans go awry, Jonas must still get back to the Romans and tell them what he knows of the Huns. Rome must gather its allies and prepare to fight the battle to end all battles, believed by many at the time to be the Apocalypse. I am not an avid reader of respected historical fiction, but I like to read a little bit of everything, and in my opinion, this was a darned good book. The fifth century came brilliantly alive, giving a picture of everyday life 16 centuries ago in a way that made me feel as if I was there. The harshness of life, both with the barbarians and “civilized” Romans, was quite evident in almost every scene, yet it was easy to relate to the timelessly human characters. I’m lucky I discovered Dietrich when he was writing modern thrillers, and bought this book on the strength of his name. It was well worth reading, and I look forward to experiencing his other historicals, as well.

  • Mary JL
    2019-03-09 04:22

    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 person point of view, then back to first person. Although I found it a bit destracting---parts Joans 'tells' he could not have known. But the pace of the novel was so good, it well overcame this one flaw.Fast-paced; lots of suspense and adventure--battles; chases, spies; assassains and intrigue are well mixed. The historical details of the Roman empire--both Eastern and Western--are based as much as possible on real historical persons and knowledge. The Huns are portrayed fairly realistically--but as the author notes in his epilogue, we have one problem here. The Huns had no written language and were nomadic with no cities for historians to escavate.So, our knowledge of the Hun people is based on the writings of their enemies, plus some archaelogical conjectures. Still, the picture in the novel of the Huns' nomadic life and culture rang true to me. And they were incredible warriors and horsemen.Definitely for over 18 due to the violent descriptions of battles and other adult content. For adults, however, this book is very entertainning. Recommended for fans of historical fiction and/or adventure fiction. Fans of real history would probably find much worth their time as well.

  • Alexis Briceño badilla
    2019-03-25 09:31

    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 ganar la única civilización posible: nuestra civilización Occidental. Esta novela histórica dedica al periplo de Jonás y Zerco más de la mitad de la obra, Aecio, se nos describe en las páginas aludidas; Atila y sus hunos ganan más descripción. El resto de los personajes históricos: Gala Placidia, Valentiniano, Bleda y los pueblos bárbaros que se involucran en esta singular época, reciben mención honrosa.

  • Jocelyn Montalvo Cullum
    2019-03-16 04:36

    I registered a book at!

  • Wellington
    2019-02-28 11:29

    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 by the surprisingly fascinating side stories of Skilla and Zerco, a dwarf jester. Attila's life and soap opera-ish entanglements with his foes are unbelievable and more twisted than most fiction created nowadays. This book does a fantastic job of bringing his life to life.

  • Steve
    2019-03-07 11:31

    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 see the main character grow in a host of ways as the book progresses.

  • David
    2019-03-17 08:22

    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.

  • Jorge
    2019-03-09 10:35

    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.

  • Jerry
    2019-03-12 10:47

    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
    2019-03-06 07:21

    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
    2019-03-16 07:48

    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!

  • Garth
    2019-02-26 05:36

    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.

  • Mark
    2019-03-04 11:26

    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!