Title: The Hun and the General
Author: Tristram La Roche
Publisher: Etopia Press
Characters: Attila the Hun, Livianus
POV: 3rd Person
Livianus is bored and longs for action. His reward for serving Rome is the governorship of a quiet corner of Gaul, but as he whiles away his days at his sumptuous villa, his thoughts turn to Attila the Hun, the feared barbarian with whom Livianus once enjoyed an intimate friendship. When a desperate emperor asks him to return to Pannonia to broker a truce with Attila, Livianus’s old passion flares.
Attila is losing the will to go on. He is tired of being a tyrant but his people’s future depends on him. The arrival of Livianus renews Attila’s spirit as he prepares to march on Constantinople. Livianus has nothing to bargain with, but when the emperor’s sister delivers a proposition for Attila, a new and brighter future seems to lay directly ahead. For the people, and especially for the two men.
But the deadly hand of the emperor isn’t interested in peace, and as their plans are destroyed, only one course of action remains open to the Hun and the general.
Tristram La Roche brings his own spin to the legend of Attila the Hun in his latest novella The Hun and the General, the story of one of the most feared men in history, and the one and only man who could tame him.
A blend of historical facts and creative license come together to tell the story of the man roundly considered to be a savage and intelligent leader of the Hunnic Empire who aimed to plunder and pillage his way through the Holy Roman Empire, in the midst of its decline as a superpower. Known as the Scourge of God, Attila’s war machine gathered wealth, land, and a formidable reputation for showing no mercy to its enemies. But was it enough to keep the King of the Huns content?
Not according to this story. In it, Attila is portrayed as a man at a crossroads. No longer satisfied with the status quo, he wonders at his prospects, his wives and wealth and rule little comfort to him anymore. Faced with the prospect of invading Constantinople because of Roman Emperor Theodosius’ duplicity, Attila can find little enthusiasm in going to war against the ruler who used a treaty of peace as a means to fortify his land in preparation for Attila’s retaliation against his betrayal.
Retired general Livianus may be the only hope Rome has to avoid a Hun invasion, and Theodosius is willing to play that card in spite of the fact he gives the general nothing with which to ante. What no one realizes, however, is that Attila and Livianus share far more than a political relationship and that, while Livianus is loyal to the people of Rome, he is far from loyal to the man who seems bent upon Rome’s destruction.
Political intrigue and sibling rivalry bring Attila and Livianus together again after a long separation that didn’t serve to dampen the sexual attraction between the two men. Conqueror of armies, the dreaded Hun dominates with an indomitable will yet submits willingly to the general who can conquer his body.
Tristram La Roche successfully paints Attila the Hun as a sympathetic hero without diminishing his legend as a formidable warrior, something I wouldn’t have thought possible until reading The Hun and the General. Attila’s relationship with a man, who for all intents and purposes should be his sworn enemy, is entirely believable. These are two men who admire each other’s intellect and skill, and respect each other as peers and friends, which figured believably into this erotic and interesting story.
Reviewed By: Lisa