The conflict in 410 A.D. between the Goths and the Romans involves Dia, the Emperor's half-sister, in a drama of love and betrayal when she is captured by the Goth Atawulf and led on a march through Europe.
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The author of Dominic (1991)--a grue-streaked tale about a dwarf in and around the decaying fourth-century Roman Empire-- offers another adventure in roughly the same venue in the early fifth century. Robinson's story this time, waterlogged with wildly anachronistic dialogue and mind-sets, is based on the true history of Galla Placidia (``Dia''), daughter of the Emperor Theodosius and sister of Emperor Honorius, who marries King Atauf (here, ``Atawulf'') of the Visigoths. The opening execution of a treasonous cousin, regally witnessed by Dia, is fairly grisly, but except for occasional slash-and-slice warfare, this mainly tells how the Roman princess learns to stop waxing imperial all the time, to recognize good Goths, and unexpectedly to fall in love. About to be assaulted when the rampaging Goths sack Rome, Dia is rescued by Atawulf, brother of Gothic King Alaric. Once cleaned up after a bloodbath, Atawulf stirs a spark (``The hard terrain of his muscled arms...brought to mind the contained heat of a volcano''). On the long road south to Sicily, Dia meets the king and his sensible female relatives and, eventually, begins to be at one with her captors; after the death of Alaric and a ragged retreat, she will invite the army into Hadrian's villa to recover. It's here that Dia and Atawulf finally make thunderous love. A shaggy captive-princess saga set in a not-often-utilized period of history. Gory Dominic had more pep and variety. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Robinson's ( Dominic ) flat depiction of the clash between Romans and Goths in A.D. 410 is more bad historical romance than good historical fiction. Epic action turns into cliched narrative, most notably in the love story between a Roman princess and a Gothic king, who are "worlds apart, enemies." During the Goth's attack on Rome, Atawulf (Bold Wolf) saves 20-year-old virgin Princess Gala Placidia (Dia) from being raped. Bold Wolf is under orders from foster brother Alaric, King of the Goths, to protect Dia and bring her to him as a hostage. A forbidden romance blooms instantly when their "gazes touched." Sometime during the pillaging and plundering, Alaric dies and Bold Wolf is named the new King. What Dia doesn't know is that Bold Wolf has made a proposal to Emperor Honorius, Dia's brother, to marry her as "market value for alliance and land." Clearly, Dia must grow from "weepy child" to a politically correct "warrior" in this world of "foundering ships, deathly fever, shallow graves." But be assured that love rules in this inconsequential tale.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110312093047
Book Description St Martins Pr. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0312093047 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1915038