Question for anyone who has seen the actual book: Are the maps really good and critical? If they are, I should buy the actual book. Otherwise I'll get the Kindle version and save room on my overcrowded shelves. Thanks in advance for the info.
Heather's book, which I gave 4 stars out of 5, contains 16 maps. I think the maps are "good" and that they are important but perhaps not critical. In general they illuminate various campaigns (Attila in the Balkans), critical events (crisis of 405) ; and finally the various divisions of the empire (Gaul & Spain in 490). Hope this helps. Great book, recommended.
I just found that this is on Audible (which is the only way I can get through material such as this.) Thanks goodness it is not narrated by Charlton Griffin (I will never get another book narrated by him due to wooden/frequent mispronunciations/emphasizing the wrong words.)
What makes this book unique to the other ones on the subject?
Well Tony, first I have to admit to being a sucker for almost anything on the Later Roman era. LIR(W) and Pats are two of my favorite armies. I've been fascinated with Aetius since I was a boy (long, long ago). I should warn readers this text runs around 500 pages, buyer beware. Personally I've always enjoyed Peter Heather's books, I like his narrative style, analysis, and sense of humor. I couldn't say this is uniquely different but well worth it if this period is of significant interest to you.
I have a serious toleration for long history books, the kind that usually put readers into a coma. Back in the day I worked in the NYU library processing new books. The guys who opened new book deliveries just put history books on my desk. The books would hit the shelves after I "reviewed" them. I got one about the Byzantine Empire written by a history professor whose main goal was trashing other academics. His prose was leaden; most pages had more (dull) footnotes than prose. A paragraph usually sufficed to put me to sleep. I wish I could recall the title. It would be the perfect antidote to insomnia.