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Thomas B. Costain (1885 - 1965)

Darkness and the Dawn
Doubleday, 1959


Recommended for adults, mature high school students. (Includes mild sexuality, violence.) Plot summary: Attila the Hun marches on Rome. Personages in this novel: Attila, Pope Leo, Aetius (Roman general who fought Attila), Honoria (sister of the Emperor Valentinian), some good minor characters. The reader gets a view of Roman territories slipping into decline--the evils of slavery--the intrigues at Rome which weakened the Empire-- the Battle of Chalons, where Attila first met his match-the "Fabian tactics" of Aetius after Chalons, his strategy to wear down Attila. Sub plot: love story between two Pannonians, one a confidant of Attila For horse-lovers, there is an early female "horse whisperer" who understands horses-and races them, too Good plot and characterizations--intrigue, humor, love, betrayal, greed, treachery; keeps reader interest Rosalind Harper

- Rosalind Harper, 11/25/2005

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