Scourge of the Gods, Volume 1 by Valerie Mangin
Scourge of the Gods: The Fall. Volume 2 by Valerie Mangin
May's Review: Both volumes are basically the graphic retelling of Attilla the Hun's military campaign against the Roman empire and its general, Flavius Aetius, set in alternate universe involving spaceships, planets and divine intervention. In volume 1, readers are introduced to the two main characters, Attila who is the brutal warlord who defies his peace-loving father by waging war against the Roman Galactic Empire, and Flavia Aetia, a young Roman girl who is supposedly the reincarnation of Kerka, the Hun Goddess of Chaos. Manipulated by Attila, Flavia innocently reveals the secret location of Rome and is forced to watch as her family and her home planet are destroyed by the rampaging Huns. Rather than wallow in pity and despair, Flavia fights back and sets off an internal power struggle between her faction and the Emperor's forces just as the Huns appear on their doorsteps.
Intelligent and complex, volume 1 is a terrific mix of mythology, history and politics wrapped up in a very engrossing and mesmerizing package. The central theme in the book is clearly the struggle between chaos and order but the underlying theme is the struggle between fate and destiny. In other words, either Rome has fallen before and will fall again or the future of Rome still uncertain even though there is good possibility that it could fall? Yes, I know that it's a very complex philosophical argument but the author does a terrific job of exploring it.
The fate vs destiny theme becomes even more crucial to the storyline in volume 2. Without giving too much of the story away, Flavia's and Attila's struggle against one another is pushed aside as the two of them are forced to join forces when a much larger enemy appears, namely the gods. As it turns out, what they deem as gods are really advanced humans who have manipulated science and technology to give themselves the ability to stop aging, create force fields, etc. As Flavia and Attila fight against Saturn and his fellow gods, the conflict now threatens to destroy the entire universe. The question then becomes, not who will ins but will there be any survivors left in this galactic conflict?
An excellent read for those who like their stories with plenty of action (some of it gory) mixed with lots of political backstabbing that features highly complex characters pondering weighty philosophical issues. Enjoy!