Hadrian's Wall: A Novel
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Hadrian's Wall: A Novel

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  425 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A fusion of Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire and the movie Braveheart; a novel of ancient warfare, lethal politics, and the final great clash of Roman and Celtic culture.

For three centuries, the stone barrier we know as Hadrian's Wall shielded Roman Britain from the unconquered barbarians of the island's northern highlands. But when Valeria, a senator's daughter, is sent...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2004)
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First time reading a book by this author. Really enjoyed his writing. He did a great job on portraying what Roman Britain, and the Roman Empire might have been like - and brought it alive for me. His descriptions of the surroundings, the character's motivations, and the battles were very vivid and not rambling. I also loved the device of using a Roman inspector to ferret out the story. The novel's strongest points for me was the portrayal of the lives of Roman centurions/commanders and their mot...more
I was interested in this novel because I have always found Hadrian’s Wall in England very intriguing. He was the same Roman emperor that built Hadrian’s Villa outside Rome that I visited when I was 17. He was a very ambitious emperor and builder. This book gives insight into England in the first century. There is discussion of Christianity, Paganism, and other religious influences. Politics are also a huge part of the book. Understanding of the culture, particularly of Calendonia (now Scotland)...more
This book really helped Hadrian's Wall come alive for me. I'd heard of the wall and seen picture of the ruins, but never really thought about the people who lived by the wall. Dietrich does a good job of describing the characters and their motivations. I really enjoyed that the Inspector never met the main character, Valeria, and that he had to piece together what happened from people's biased memories and views. The negative points are that plot is easily guessed at some parts and the character...more
This is a book of historical fiction and I love to get my history this way. This is about the wall the Roman Emperor Hadrian (about 150 AD)had built to separate the part of the British Isles he had conquered from the wild Celts (Scotland). The Celts were relentlessly fierce and independent and their land not worth bothering with, but the Romans needed to protect themselves from them and their sporatic raids into Roman territory. This is also a story about a young Roman wife that gets taken by th...more
This is the book that had me wanting to pack my bags and head to Scotland again just to walk along Hadrian's Wall. A work of tremendously gripping fiction with a bit of history added in to give the story a greater realism, the author created two exceptional lead characters who are both strong and stubborn, with lives and stories of their own to tell before they join together to carry out their lives. Vivid detail about the landscape, the weather, the environment, the battles, and the way of life...more
Historical fiction of 300 AD concerning the confrontations that occur when a border separates two totally contrasting societies - that of Ancient Rome and the Celtric region of Britain. It predates King Arthur legends and in a way sets the stage for this well loved lore.
I am hesitant to pick up a historical fiction book of these early eras, but this one proved to be captivating. Don't be afraid to venture into this one.
A really slow read that was surprisingly romancy.
Hadrian's Wall by William Dietrich is a tale of love, betrayal, and freedom. Frankly, it was a little mushy for my taste. The story begins when an ambitious Roman senator marries off his daughter to a wealthy tribune. The wedding is an alliance, not of love. Set in A.D. 368 it describes what life must have been like for the Roman guards keeping the barbarians to the north out of the Empire.

While the book is a bit on the mushy side it is enjoyable. A book like this reads like a sitcom television...more
I have discovered another good author!
Valeria, daughter of a Roman senator is sent to England, then Britannia to marry Marcus Flavius who is stationed At Hadrian's Wall, the wall by Rome to shut out the northern barbarians. Unknown to Valeria, sinister plots are whirling about upon her arrival initiated by Galbus Brassidius.
Marcus proves to be a distant man bewildered to find himself married and at a loss to know what to do with a wife.A northern chieftain, Arden Caratacus is drawn into Galba's...more
I like the setting, which is the main reason I've stuck with this book. It's not that I dislike it; it just doesn't really grab my attention well. The Roman Inspector frame is rather contrived for one thing. He's not a very realistic or sympathetic character. In fact, all of the Roman characters are rather flat. Only the Celtic characters and the parts of the story that take place in Scotland are really interesting. Perhaps that is because the story is told from the Roman perspective, and the Ce...more
-El muro se construyó con sillares de piedra, porque no tenían ladrillos en esos tiempos. Ahora sí que los tenemos-.

Género. Novela histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Algo más de 260 años después de su construcción, el muro de Adriano sigue dividiendo las realidades de un imperio en decadencia y de unos celtas cada vez más activos y organizados. La llegada de Valeria, hija de un senador, para casarse con el prefecto, coincide con otros cambios en la rutina de la zona que parecen indicar que algo se es...more
While this book was interesting, as I had just read an article in Smithsonian magazine about Hadrian's Wall, it really was more of a Romance Novel than a historical novel. Valeria, the beautiful daughter of a Roman Senator is married off to a Roman officer who is posted to Brittania. Some political manuevering is involved in the story, but it really is about who Valeria is in love with, etc. There are raids on the wall, and the ineffectiveness of the wall actually keeping the barbaraians (the pi...more
M.K. McClintock
This is the book that had me wanting to pack my bags and head to Scotland again just to walk along Hadrian's Wall. A work of tremendously gripping fiction with a bit of history added in to give the story a greater realism, the author created two exceptional lead characters both of whom are strong and stubborn, with lives and stories of their own to tell before they join together to carry out their lives together. Vivid detail about the landscape, the weather, the environment, the battles, and th...more
Amy Kailey
This book was amazing,the Author has such a way with words that the text was a rich read, bringing you into the characters lives making you feel as though you are a part of their day to day life, as much as they are part of yours. I literally had to slow myself down reading this one, so as not to rush through it. I wanted to slow down and savor the story as much as possible.
Great book, can't wait to read more of what this Author has to offer.
First book that I've read by this author. Kept me turning the pages to find out what happened to the characters. Interesting play on Roman life styles and the development of towns south of Hadrian's wall (separating modern day Scotland and England). Good descriptions of the utter desolation north of the wall (no civilization--just wilderness and barbarians). Looking forward to his book on Attila the Hun ("Scourge of God").
This is a pretty decent sort of historical fiction novel. It's pretty similar to what you would get if you read a King Arthur novel, but without any of the magic. The Celtic traditions are part of the story, and so is the whole discussion of the Roman empire. This book takes place about the time Rome's influence in Britain was beginning to end. I thought it was pretty well written, but not a 5 star book.
Colleen Martin
This was an awful, awful book. I was 100 pages in before realizing that I just didn't give a damn about any of it - the characters, the story, the writing. Life is too short to waste on bad fiction, so I returned it to my library first thing the next morning. If you're looking for a worthwhile story about Roman Britain, check out Jack Whyte's "Camulod Chronicles." It's far superior on every front.
I was reading it because I was going to the Wall for the first time. I could tell, after I visited a few sites on the Wall, that he'd done is research, but I only give this three stars because I found I didn't care all that much about the plot. I was reading as quickly as possible to get through the book so I could move on to something else. Not a bad book. Just not a gripper.
I finished re-reading this book, and was astounded to discover that it was exactly as I remembered it - a mix of good historical fiction set in Roman Britain and highly speculative junk lit. Interestingly enough, the Romans are not really the heroes nor villains of the piece, but on the whole their portrayal is more negative than positive.
I love historical fiction, especially when the subject is early England. This is a perfectly decent historical fiction. However, it was lacking the "take you back in time" quality of the best of the genre, where the details of living in a different time are highlighted. Also, it was pretty slow paced, not particularly engaging.
THIS is Mr. Dietrich's best book yet! I thought maybe I'd be falling for Odo as a character but it didn't happen (Mr. Dietrich's fault) but Odo has an incredible part to play.

I DID fall for Adren. More than multi-dimensional characters the author recreates an incredible and believeable idea of what the world was like in 100-200 A.D.
I'm already a fan of historical fiction, but this book seemed very accurate and also had an excellent storyline. It was a bit predictable, but I felt it was still believable. The juxtaposition (both in historical context and in the story elements) between the Celts and the Romans was a great dramatic backbone to the book.

I enjoyed this book more and more as I read. The setting was very different than anything I had ever read and it was fun to learn about ancient Rome and Britannia I found the back and forth of the inquiry and then the actual events frustrating at first, but then fell into the rhythm.
Loved it, Dietrich's best work that I've read so far. The action was well plotted, the history was interesting, the description was adequate without being too dull, and there was so much going on that the reader is constantly uncertain of where loyalties lie. A really fun and captivating read.
I've never read anything from the Roman occupation of England. This book seemed to do a good job of portraying both the Celtic and Roman cultures, as well as describing the wall that spanned Britian in that era. A Roman heiress is captured and becomes a part of the Celtic community.
Pretty good historical fiction about the clash of Roman imperialism and Celtic culture North of Hadrian's Wall in what is now Scotland. The romance between the Roman aristocrat daughter and the Celtic chieftain makes for a rousing story that brings the history to life.
Rick Haag
Hadrian’s Wall was a good historical fiction. The book was researched well and was worth the read. The story was a bit predictable, but still fulfilling. I found it to be a little “simile rich” for my taste, but not so much that it really bothered me.
Good historical fiction set in 3rd Century Britain. It is a story of love, betrayal and adventure set amidst the conflict between Romans and Celts along Hadrian's Wall, which was meant to separate the barbarians from the civilization of the time.
I don't think it's fair to rate this book because I stopped reading it. Unfortunately it's set in early antiquity, beyond my scope of interest. I didn't give it a rating because other people may appreciate books dealing with this period of history.
Great book. A historical romance written by a man means bloody battle scenes. Female character is a little naive; that usually turns me off, but she didn't ruin the story. I love this time period...think Clive Owen in King Arthur.
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William Dietrich is a NY Times bestelling author of the Ethan Gage series, which has sold into 28 languages. He is also the author of six other adventure novels, several nonfiction works on the environmental history of the Pacific Northwest, and a contributor to several books.

Bill was a career journalist, sharing a Pulitzer for national reporting at the Seattle Times for coverage of the Exxon Vald...more
More about William Dietrich...
Napoleon's Pyramids (Ethan Gage, #1) The Rosetta Key (Ethan Gage, #2) The Dakota Cipher (Ethan Gage, #3) The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage, #4) The Scourge of God

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