Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Legion” as Want to Read:
The Last Legion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Legion

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  3,517 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
As the Western Roman Empire begins to collapse in 470 AD, a small band of British Roman soldiers, make a long journey to Rome. They arrive to find the city in chaos but they hope to save the spirit of the empire by rescuing the young son of the last Emperor, Romulus Augustus.
Paperback, 425 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Pan MacMillan (first published 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Legion, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Last Legion

Forrest Gump by Winston GroomThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerJurassic Park by Michael CrichtonJumanji by Chris Van AllsburgMary Poppins by P.L. Travers
I Only Watched the Movie!
461st out of 971 books — 5,659 voters
I, Claudius by Robert GravesThe First Man in Rome by Colleen McCulloughClaudius the God and His Wife Messalina by Robert GravesThe Twelve Caesars by SuetoniusThe Agricola and The Germania by Tacitus
Best Books About Ancient Rome
101st out of 558 books — 891 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
L. C. Julia
Jul 31, 2015 L. C. Julia rated it really liked it
Un libro más interesante de lo que creía, con grandes personajes que te llegan y una aventura que atraviesa todo lo que era un increíble imperio. Hacía mucho que no leía una novela historica y la verdad, no estoy para nada decepcionada.
Jason Golomb
Jan 27, 2010 Jason Golomb rated it did not like it
There aren't many books that I'll stop reading. I hate that feeling of a lack of accomplishment. But honestly, there are too many good, fun and/or interesting books to read rather than slogging through some simply unacceptable writing.

Manfredi's "The Last Legion" has a pretty solid story - in broad strokes it paints a picture of the very last days of the Western Roman Empire, the kidnapping of the Last Emperor - Romulus Agustus, and his rescue. I can't tell you more of the plot because I couldn'
Giovanna Barbieri
Mar 06, 2015 Giovanna Barbieri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Analisi grammaticale:
Direi buona, anche se non eccelsa quanto il mio nome è nessuno. Ho notato nel romanzo solo un errore di un tempo verbale. Non amo molto il narratore onnisciente e all'inizio si è un po' spazzati, ma si fa presto l'abitudine.
L’Italia da Capri a Ravenna, fino all'attraversamento delle Alpi e arrivo in Britannia.
A mio avviso, Manfredi è un maestro nel descrivere le strade romane, i luoghi di posta per la sosta dei cavalli, le valli e le campagne dell’Italia di fi
Aug 17, 2014 Paul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read that was originally published in a different language, translated into English for this edition. Therefore I'm no expert when it comes to publishing what counts as a foreign language version, I still believe one of the basic requirements is that you employ a translator who actually speaks the secondary language fluently, not just give your new wife preferential treatment.

At first, you naturally blame yourself for being common and not posh enough to know certain E
Jul 28, 2013 Daniel rated it did not like it
Shelves: shitshelf
manfredi's Alexandrian trilogy will remain for the rest of my days worthy of admiration and a magnificent bounty of inspiration and adventure. Perhaps its unfair to judge those tomes, individually or collectively, against Legion, yet I must. for a writer must be judged on not solely what he can produce but also his capabilities... manfredi had set the bar so much higher than this book reaches, with his other offerings, that its surely either laziness or the first strong signs of a descent into d ...more
May 14, 2010 martin rated it liked it
I love historical novels and I admire Manfredi's attention to detail and his obvious depth of research. I find myself checking his characters and events on the internet or in history books to know more - and that is always a good thing for any book.

This novel feels a bit like a Hollywood film and not just because it has already been filmed. There's the same action packed plot - I wonder if there were times when all that happened was that they were simply walking in the forest? There's the tortu
Sara Jesus
Jul 11, 2016 Sara Jesus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, history
É uma obra que aborda a história de Rómulo Augusto, o último imperador romano, e trata do declínio do império. Rómulo é uma personagem que conquista-nos desde do início,pois sofreu muitas perdas e no fim consegue a sua vitória.
Lívia e Aurélio são outras das personagens inesquecíveis. É graças a Aurélio que o pequeno imperador saí do seu cativeiro, e com a ajuda de Lívia consegue devolver a esperança ao povo de Bretanha. Ambrusine é outra personagem de destaque. É ele que nos conta a história, u
May 04, 2014 Olethros rated it liked it
-Más ficción que historia, más aventurillas que eventos.-

Género. Novela histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Un anciano druida echa la vista atrás y recuerda otros tiempos, cuando la Antigua Roma se hundía sin remedio y en el trono del Imperio moribundo se encuentra un niño de trece años que no es más que la extensión de la voluntad de su padre, pero los bárbaros están por todas partes y capturan al joven dirigente y sólo un pequeño grupo de legionarios puede intentar cambiar la situación.

¿Quiere sab
Jul 13, 2010 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I picked this book up I didn't know what to expect. I just wanted to try something a little different. I guess I feared how well it would translate into English given that the writer was Italian. However I was greatly impressed with this book. It captured my imagination fully. I loved the story. I love how its "Arthurian" but not in the classical way. I loved the characters and the history Manfredi used. I would probably recommend it for anyone who likes Arthurian novels. It was a great rea ...more
Kathia Oliver
Jul 28, 2012 Kathia Oliver rated it it was amazing
Stranamente questo è uno di quei casi in cui il film è centomila volte meglio del libro.
Sono 448 pagine che nessuno mi restituirà più, sprecate per un libro non brutto ma assolutamente noioso e scritto male.

Partiamo dall'inizio.
Siamo alla fine dell'Impero romano, i barbari hanno praticamente il possesso della penisola, poiché sono loro a fornire le forze militari, ma nominalmente l'imperatore è quel ragazzetto viziato di Romolo Augustolo.
Se all'inizio avevo compassione di lui, perchè poverino no
Sep 24, 2016 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A ideia era interessante: o que têm em comum o último imperador de Roma e uma das lendas mais famosas da Bretanha? Mas a história acaba por andar um pouco em círculos e as personagens têm pouca densidade (se tivesse escrito de uma maneira diferente poderia ter sido uma história brilhante). De qualquer modo gostei de saber como foi o período turbulento que se seguiu à queda do império romano do ocidente e dos valores defendidos pelos protagonistas: lealdade, honra e fé (até nos dias de hoje parec ...more
Dec 06, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
Shelves: favorites
This 19980 character limit is no where near enough to say what I felt - feel - about this book.
This is seriously, like, THE MOST INCREDIBLE book I have EVER read. I can't even express. Thing is, it wasn't even that sad (there was the odd bit), but it made me cry. It was just so...amazingly written. Like, this author is a genius. I don't actually think I've ever felt so........empty; yet alive and excited, when I finished reading it.
And it's weird because, I read romances (most of all
Jul 05, 2010 Caleb rated it it was amazing
The Roman Empire is in its death throes as the story opens, it is falling apart from the inside, the barbarians have more or less obtained control, and even as Romulus Augustus' father attempts to set his son up as a rallying point, his dream is destroyed and his son is taken.

A courageous band of misfits comes together and set out to rescue the boy emperor. Their journey eventually leads them to the island of Britannia, where they must convince the disbanded 9th Legion to join their cause, and l
Jan 04, 2016 Deanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Non un capolavoro, sicuramente non tra i migliori libri dell'autore, ma un bel libro di avventura, anche se con qualche "salvataggio sul filo del rasoio" si troppo a mio avviso. Va bene una volta, va bene due... ma per poveraccio di Wulfia sar arrivato una decina di volte ad uno sputo dalla preda, vedendosela sfuggire per un soffio... Cos come non si pu dire che la stessa composizione del gruppo sia particolarmente originale, o che ci siano chiss quali colpi di scena... Molto bella, anche se per ...more
Dec 29, 2011 Cindy rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book!!! This is the prequel to the King Arthur legend. It tells of how Arthur's father was originally Ceasar Romulus Augustus, who was desposed when rival barbarian chief Odoacer killed his parents. Romulus' tutor, Ambrosius (otherwise known as Merlyn!) kept him safe with the help of a band of misfit Roman legionaires (since there were no more Roman Legions, these legionaires wanted to help the young Ceasar to keep his life). They go through many trials and tribulations, ...more
Aug 21, 2015 Ioana rated it it was amazing
this book. this book fucked me up. why don't people read this, again? it had everything you could possibly wish for: roman culture, mostly accurate historical background, psychological conflict, amazing character development, inspiring quotes who make you re-think your existence, consistent plot, bamf female characters, tear-jerking love story, sword fights, cultural conflicts and last, but not least, that writing style, you know which one, the one making readers eat the goddamn pages and cry at ...more
Dec 06, 2008 Jeffield rated it it was ok
This book wasn't what I thought it was. I still like reading stories that take place in this period of Roman rule so I read it anyway once I realized things weren't going the way I thought they should go.

I am wondering if it would have been better if it wasn't a translation. The author is Italian and in some spots I thought, "please tell me that something was lost in the translation because I could have done better than this." And as you can tell that must be pretty bad because when I post some
S.J.A. Turney
There are things I really liked about the book and things I didn't. What I WILL say for potential readers is that the film they made from it bears virtually no resemblance to the book, so you can be happy about that before reading.

The characters are quite well-defined and the heroes likeable. The fact that the story is set at the end of the western Empire gives it a fresh interest for me. There are fewer stories of the era than the high principate.

I feel that the plot, as it unravels, is often t
David Campton
A decent historical fiction where Manfredi weaves together a few facts concerning the breakdown of the western Roman Empire, together with various legends of the era, and his own imagination. Some of the dialogue is cringe-worthy, but as others have suggested, perhaps this us a function of the translation from Italian. The somewhat unbelievable climax cannot be so easily written off however, but, unlike other reviewers I will not get into this for fear of spoilers. It isn't as bad as some review ...more
Chaitanya krishnan
Aug 19, 2011 Chaitanya krishnan rated it really liked it
If you like me are a fan of Manfredi's work, then this will not dissapoint you. the setting is somewhere near the end of the Roman empire, and the beginning of a new britannia.. can't say more without giving away the ending.

The characters are beautifully crafted and you feel a genuine connection with them. The story is quite fast paced and kept me at the edge of my seat.

Overall was a pretty good read. I found the ending was a bit abrupt. though i guess i can't think of a better way to en
Brian Turner
Aug 13, 2016 Brian Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The end of the Roman Empire comes as the barbarians start expanding their influence.
The last Emperor is imprisoned, along with his tutor who originally came from Brittania.
Some survivors from the last Legion try to rescue him, gaining new allies on the way.

Their destiny is the birth of a whole new set of legends...

This was an enjoyable book, moved along at a good pace with a small cast of interesting characters.
There is the occasional deus ex machina moment to get them out of some seemingly impo
I liked the cover and I needed something to read.

Perhaps the story was lackluster due to poor translation? The premise of the book, the last Roman Emperor emigrates to Britain and establishes Pendragon royalty was interesting. It was just the endless slogging through endless boring terrain and the predictable "twists" (how new is it when Wulfie keeps showing up just when things start looking up...every time?).

And our hero (not the boy Emperor, but an amnesiac legionnaire) is at the end, dropped
Inês Montenegro
Feb 08, 2012 Inês Montenegro rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aventura, hist-rico
Não tenho muito a dizer sobre este livro, o que mais me salta em evidência é a narrativa aborrecida ao ponto de até os vários confrontos que se dão não suscitarem a mínima partícula de interesse, aliada a personagens e relações amorosas que se encaram com um “meh” sem sal.
Dando a César o que é de César, os pormenores históricos conhecidos encontram-se lá, e o conhecimento final de como o jovem Rómulo Augusto ficará conhecido na História tem o seu quê de engraçado… Mas não o suficiente para que o
Penso ormai di aver capito che lo stile di Manfredi mi piace, e anche parecchio.
Accattivanti e tridimensionali le descrizioni, accurata la ricostruzione storica.
La trama è interessante, coinvolgente, un bel mix di storia e leggenda sapientemente bilanciate.
Quello che non mi fa impazzire è la costruzione dei personaggi, che mi sembrano poco strutturati. Ciò si fa maggiormente evidente durante i dialoghi, che mi son sembrati più adatti a rappresentare il modo di esprimersi di ragazzotti quindicenn
Jan 04, 2013 Kevin rated it liked it
Found this tough going at first but once I got into it, it was a good read. The book is essentially the tale of a journey, and as such gave a sweep across parts of the late Roman world. I found the societies less well realized than I might have expected from an academic historian. It did annoy me that the main characters kept going on about how the Roman Empire had fallen and that Romulus Augustus was the last emperor when (as Manfredi acknowledged in his epilogue), no one in 476 thought that wa ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Fede rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Libro interessante, che unisce il periodo della caduta dell'impero Romano alla leggenda di Re Artù, sebbene il collegamento sia solo presente alla fine del romanzo. Probabilmente non è uno dei migliori prodotti letterari dello scrittore, ma la sua grande competenza nel campo storico si riscontra in modo particolare nel modo in cui narra ciò che resta del mondo romano. Nei piccoli particolari, insomma, quelli che solo uno studioso come lui potrebbe raccontare con tanta verosimiglianza. A volte le ...more
Sandesh Bartlett
Jan 01, 2016 Sandesh Bartlett rated it really liked it
I read this as a child and can scarce remember the plot although my opinion of the book has not left me. If I remember correctly the boon was thoroughly enjoyable except for the fact that Manfredi rushed the last part of the book terribly leaving me stunned for all the wrong reasons. It progressed splendidly until the protagonists head to Britain where things just spiral way too quickly to be enjoyable.
Aug 20, 2015 Benedetta rated it liked it
It's a good book, well orchestrated, and every piece of the story fits perfectly into each other. Still, to me, it feels like one of Dan Brown's novels: it could be true, but I know it's not. I'd even find it annoying if it wasn't written by Manfredi, who's Italian like me and who actually knows a lot about Roman history. So, it's a nice reading, but if you want to read some really good novels, go read Manfredi's trilogy about Alexander the Great, "Aléxandros". That's truly his masterpiece.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Information needs correcting/adding 4 18 Nov 26, 2013 09:22AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 2 17 Jun 20, 2012 02:14PM  
  • Il cuore di Derfel
  • Ship of Rome (Masters of the Sea, #1)
  • King of Kings (Warrior of Rome, #2)
  • The Eagle's Conquest (Eagle, #2)
  • Cherudek
  • Memnon
  • Magdeburg. L'eretico
  • Gods and Legions: A Novel of the Roman Empire
Valerio Massimo Manfredi (born 1943) is an Italian historian, writer, archaeologist and journalist. He was born in Piumazzo di Castelfranco Emilia, province of Modena and is married to Christine Fedderson Manfredi, who translates his published works from Italian to English. They have two children and live in a small town near Bologna.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi defines himself as an "Ancient World To
More about Valerio Massimo Manfredi...

Share This Book