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

3.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Attila Trilogy Series

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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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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: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this novel in hopes it would give me an idea of what Attila and the Huns were like. I was startled when the first of the novel was about Attila as a political hostage when he was young and a political hostage in Rome. That of course is completely imaginary - at least as far as I have read. In fact most of this novel is imaginary. It is more historical fantasy than historical fiction.

That said, I enjoyed this novel more than almost any I've read in the last year. It is an adventure novel and a real page turner. Someone is constantly trying to hurt or kill Attila and he is constantly escaping. It was hard for me to put down. I don't care whether it is factual. It just might have happened this way. And if not, it was a great story. It follows two major characters. Attila the Hun of course. And a Roman soldier born in Wales - shades of Arthur. Both characters are well developed.

If you want to read a novel of dark ages Rome and parts east, read this novel. If you want to read a novel containing lots of cavalry and infantry fights, read this novel. If you want to read a novel containing well developed characters and great colorful descriptions, read this novel. If you want to be bored, don't read this novel. This was a well written (albeit not especially factual) historical novel that I think anyone interested in that period (dark ages or late antiquity) would enjoy.
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By Readaholic on September 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am of Hungarian descent and I proudly claim Attila as one of my own. I think he got a bad rap. History is the chronicles of what happened in the eyes of the victor. And most of what we know about Attila is from Roman history. I found it ironic that the Romans call Attila a barbarain. Seems to me the Romans fed Christians to the lions, had gladiators fight to the death for entertainment but....
There is no written history of the Huns theirs was an oral tradition. He was a man of his times and he reacted to circumstances as he saw fit.
He was fighting for the survival and freedom of his people.
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