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Attila (Attila the Hun, Book 1) (Attila Series) Paperback – February 2, 2010


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Attila (Attila the Hun, Book 1) (Attila Series) + Attila:  The Gathering of the Storm + Attila: The Judgment (Attila Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Attila Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031259898X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312598983
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 
"If you think you don't like historical fiction, you haven't read William Napier."
--The Times (UK)
 
"William Napier has a genius for making the blood-dimmed chaos of ancient history into the very stuff of thrilling narrative."
--Tom Holland, author of Rubicon and Persian Fire

About the Author

William Napier is the pseudonym of a British author and journalist. As Napier, he is the author of the internationally bestselling Attila trilogy: Attila, Attila: The Gathering of the Storm, and Attila: The Judgment. He was born in 1965 and educated in Cheltenham, Oxford and London. He lives in Wiltshire and travels widely.

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Customer Reviews

The main players in the story line are not developed.
Rodger Keller
Pretty much everything that I don't like about this book can be chalked up to that fact - that this is almost entirely an unnecessary book.
K. Prescott
I could not put this book down as soon as I opened to the first page!
EMP

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Katherine LeSueur on March 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
This tale of a young Attila the Hun is told by Priscus of Panium who is ninety years old. The scribe introduces himself in a few pages then gets on with his story. The next chapter introduces us to a battle where General Stilicho sees for the first time that not all tales told of the fighting style of the Huns is myth and he is amazed at what he sees. Next, we meet Atilla who is being held captive in Rome. During one of his many escape attempts we also meet the cruel hearted shrew that is Princess Galla and one of Atilla's protectors, General Stilicho's wife Serena. The rest of the story details the beginning of the fall of Rome and Attila's fight to make it home to his tribe, the feared Huns.

I thought the book was well written, there is a lot of violence both to animals (which I flinched through) and humans (which is expected) but there isn't as much swearing as some other reviewers report. This is the beginning of a trilogy detailing Attila's life and I can't wait to get my hands on the next two installments. I really like how the first book is just about young Attila leaving the reader eager to add more to the story when the book is drawn to a close.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Darcia Helle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was very well written. Napier paints a vivid picture of life during the fall of Rome. Attila is the first book in a trilogy and follows Attila the Hun through his childhood. Reading this novel is like taking a giant step backward in history.

Attila is a slow-moving story. Napier takes his time and captures the essence of life in a world that was battling for land and religious dominance. And because Napier is such an incredible storyteller, I was more than happy to take that slow stroll along with him
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Melissa on June 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
Attila is the first book of William Napier's Attila the Hun trilogy, and takes place during the boyhood of the legendary conqueror. The story opens while Attila is a political hostage in Rome, to ensure the cooperation of the Empire's new Hun allies, a barbaric tribe of horsemen that have a fearsome fighting style never before seen.

Attila is unhappy in Rome, far from the open skies and grasslands of his home, and attempts escape at every opportunity. He is extremely proud of his heritage and very derisive of the Roman way of life, chafing at the constraints put upon him. While to the Romans Attila comes across as a troublesome child, we see right away that he is very serious and determined to make it back to his homeland. From the first he is a brilliant strategist, but is occasionally tripped up by the impulsiveness of his age and his pride.

Despite his dislike of all things Roman, Attila does come to respect and trust Stilicho, a Roman general, and his wife, viewing them as surrogate parents. They too feel deeply for the boy, but are no match for the intrigues of the court. Attila finds himself bereft of the only people he trusted, and at the mercy of the Emperor's paranoid sister, the true mind behind her ineffectual brother's rule, who has taken a complete dislike of him. Attila makes another unlikely friend in the Roman soldier Lucius, as they survive an ambush together. Attila ultimately does return home to the Huns, but faces unexpected challenges once there that continue to shape his personality and purpose.

I truly enjoyed this story, the character of Attila is single-minded in his purpose, and yet complex in his emotions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. E Johnson on April 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Some of this book is good but there are too many coincidences, such as when the good guys arrive just in time to save Attila's and Aetius's lives out in the middle of the steppes. Also there are sloppy misspellings of Roman words and the names of cities--"Noviomagnus," for instance, instead of "Noviomagus." Attila is such a little prick he doesn't gain much sympathy from me. I guess that's the way it's supposed to be, but it's annoying at times. I'll probably read the rest of these books when they come out but I'm not anxiously awaiting them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ex-teacher on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
This novel, the first in a 3-part series, is a good read if you are on an airplane. If you are a dedicated lover of historical fiction, and you prefer more history than fiction, then this is not the novel for you. Mr. Napier plays it loose with the historical facts, and there aren't very many of them. Firstly, the date of Attila's birth, although unknown, according to the encyclopedia and other sources appears to be around 406, not 398. The story begins in the year 408, making Attila 2 years old, more or less. The events as manufactured by the author simply are not plausible and have no basis in reality. AND - Napier's prose style is juvenile and uses current terms and sayings from the 20th century which I doubt were in vogue in the 5th century. His dialogue was disappointing, as it did not make me feel as though it came from the 5th century. As a reader, I did not feel transported back in time, which, in my opinion, is the best part of reading historical fiction.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By vich on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm on the 3rd book. It's (just barely) good enough to keep me from stopping.

Main gripe is frequent abandonment of plausibility and even feasibility. For example; in book 2 as the Huns gathered, apparently they were so inspired they could make babies in 3 months! 100 "trained" Huns (those benefiting from a few months of Attila's training) fended off 2,000 "untrained" Huns in a half day of mostly hand-to-hand combat with only 8 deaths (of the 100) yet 400 of the 2,000 expired. Then after a few more months, those 2,000 Huns were suddenly invincible masters of every weapon able to effortlessly wipe out trained armies of 5,000.

Historical re-creations have shown the HUN bow-and-arrow far superior, as well as their bowmanship, but again he stretches 500 or 600 yards out to a fantastical 900 and declared all armor useless to them. I would have much preferred an actual historical novel - one that weaves a nice fictional character interaction that roughly traces known events and strict adherence to known facts and fictional plausibility.

And good Lord that guy can ramble on for pages redundantly expressing and re-expressing a character's state of mind. The characters are fairly 2-dimensional in that they were too rigidly fallible or inflatable. Just filling the pages it seems - the Editor's fault on this one.

Finally; as one reviewer put it "too many coincidences".
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