Just so you know, dear reader, not all of my tastes run to the light and fluffy side. I like nonfiction, too, including some history. Unfortunately, not all gifted historians are gifted writers, and many of us may recall the boring, torturous required reading for history classes. One historian who reverses the stereotype is Christopher Kelly. His books read like fiction (some argue that history IS fiction or, at best, a lie).
Recently, I read Kelly’s The End of Empire (2009), which focuses on the Roman empire and its encounters with Attila the Hun. It seems the origin of the Huns is a mystery worthy of any fiction writer’s imagination, and Kelly treats the race with a respect unusual to history’s past treatment of the so-called barbarians. Although I’m not a fan of war, Kelly’s unique focus on Attila and the tensions between empires “savage” and “civilized” makes for an enjoyable world history lesson.