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is a sweeping historical fiction that honors both the history of the Germanic, Roman and Hun tribes who lived during the reign of Attila the Hun and the Nordic legends that inspired Wagner’s Ring Cycle, a multitude of celebrated paintings and poems, and even some of the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien. From this embarrassment of riches, Joan Schweighardt has woven together two threads to create an enchanting and entirely original tale: In one, Gudrun, a Burgundian noblewoman, dares to enter the City of Attila to give its ruler what she hopes is a cursed sword; the second thread reveals the unimaginable events that drove Gudrun to this mission.

In its first incarnation, entitled Gudrun's Tapestry, this story was the recipient of a ForeWord Book of the Year (for historical fiction) award and an IPPY (Independent Publisher) Book of the Year (for historical fiction) award.


Praise for

The Last Wife of Attila the Hun

“The hero-tales of the Germanic peoples form a glowing thread in the tapestry of European literature. The Last Wife of Attila the Hun presents one of the greatest of those legends from a woman’s perspective, with emotion as well as action, bringing new meaning to an ancient tale.”

—Diana L. Paxson, author of the Wodan’s Children trilogy, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Priestess of Avalon


“Richly woven yet simply told, The Last Wife of Attila the Hun is an epic delivered in lucid and lyric verse. Joan Schweighardt creates a mesmerizing story deserving to be read aloud and celebrated like all the world’s best tales.”

Julie Shigekuni, author of A Bridge Between Us, Invisible Gardens, Unending Nora and other novels


“The book is engrossing, stirring and written with wonderfully expressive prose.”

Gayle Trent/Amanda Lee, author of In Her Blood and other novels


“The emotions the characters depict are so charged with heat that they nearly leap from the page... This novel has everything: pathos, romance, intrigue, violence, and sex. The attention to historical detail is impressive.”

—Curled Up With A Good Book


“As it is set in a period so different from ours, the characters in it believe in all kinds of magical happenings and we hear of dragon hoards and immortal dwarves, but wisely all the action is strictly of the sort that is both possible and plausible. This is a story therefore that fantasy fans may well enjoy, but it is emphatically not a fantasy. Instead there is the psychological tension between captor and captive and the doomed saga-style relationships, as well as historical details from an under-used and little-known period of history… Possibly the most praiseworthy thing of all are the characters themselves, who are totally unlike modern people and are thus at home in their distant time and both alien and fascinating for us to read about.”



“ I loved this book, real guts and glory and realism too… This story has true grit. The pacing moves this tale along quickly while providing many interesting cultural and historical insights to the period.”

—Bob Spear, formerly of Heartland Reviews


“[Schweighardt] has created a protagonist who experiences it all—love and hatred, passion and despair, strength and weakness, courage and fear—and placed her against a backdrop of unfamiliar and often shocking historical events… This is a novel in which history (or more correctly, her-story) and myth collide. It is a tour de force for this very talented author... A definite must-read.”

—Julie Mars, author of the novels Rust, Anybody Any Minute, The Secret Keepers, and the award-winning memoir A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister


“[The story] flows gracefully from present to past instead of leaving glaring cliffhangers to mark each transition. Yet the reader is eager to see where each step in Gudrun's journey will lead. Dealing with Nordic legend as part of life leads the author occasionally to use a mystical or mythical reality instead of rigidly scientific explanations for events—like Gudrun's Sight. This gives [the tale] a poetic beauty.”

N.S. Gill,, Ancient/Classical History Expert


“Schweighardt plays the woof of Gudrun's time spent in the City of Attila over, under, around, and through the warp of Gudrun's personal history… I believe this book has the potential to be a surprise bestseller if only the word gets out.”

T. M. Bradshaw, book reviewer


“Powered by a plot riddled with intrigue and betrayal, peopled by characters of astonishing depth and color, and rendered in a melodic yet powerful voice, this is a work as literary as they come while still being a page turner capable of competing with the best of the pot boilers sitting in the racks of airport stores. If you like to read in the evening, then start this book on a Friday night, otherwise you¹ll go to work bleary-eyed from lack of sleep. When you finish it, all too quickly, you¹ll have that feeling of being deeply satisfied, yet still wishing there were more pages.”

—Rocco LoBosco, author of the novels Ninety-Nine and Buddha Wept and the nonfiction Going Crooked: A Psychoanalytic Perspective On The Age Of Perversion (co-authored with Dr. Danielle Knafo) 

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