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Attila (Attila Trilogy #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,217 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
The dawn of the 5th century AD, and the Roman Empire totters on the edge of the abyss. Already divided into two, the Imperium is looking dangerously vulnerable to her European rivals. The huge barbarian tribes of the Vandals and Visigoths sense that their time is upon them.

But, unbeknownst to all these great players, a new power is rising in the East. A strange nation of p
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published May 3rd 2007)
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The first thing you should know if you are thinking about reading this book, or indeed purchasing it, is that it is not adult Attila. This is William Napier's interpretation of Attila's childhood. This book is about little Attila.

If you want Attila as a full force barbarian adult, uniting tribes and giving Romans the fright of their lives, then this is not the book for you. Book Two and Book Three are the books for you (or so I hear as I have only read this one, to date) and I would recommend y
Bryn Hammond
Feb 07, 2013 Bryn Hammond rated it really liked it
Shelves: imagined-fiction
Ambitious enough that I’m going on with the trilogy.

Yes, Attila is a fighting fourteen at the end of this. Or sixteen, I forget. In the beginning he was twelve and the Romans and the tall barbarians of Europe took him for seven or eight, because of his Hun stature. The Huns are very much Mongol-type here, their physical selves disturbing to the Romans; they hark back to the Altai Mountains and Lake Baikal, and he clearly goes with the theory that these were the ‘Huns’ the Chinese knew. He’s a n
Nov 15, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2010, hist-fic
A decent beginning to a trilogy dealing with Attila the Hun, this first book deals with the making of the man as Attila spends his boyhood as a hostage in Rome, the treachery of whose inhabitants gives flame to his enmity and hasten his attempts to return to his people.

As a fictionalisation of Attila this does breathe life into the character, giving us a feel for him as a person rather than as a legendary historical figure, but fell down at times due to the use of language. I understand the reas
Jul 17, 2014 Olethros rated it liked it
-La juventud del Azote de Dios.-

Género. Novela histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. A finales del siglo V, cuando el Imperio Romano de Occidente ya ha caído, el anciano historiador Prisco de Panio vive en un monasterio napolitano mientras recuerda la gloria perdida de Roma y uno de sus últimos capítulos épicos, el que unió los destinos de Flavio Aecio y de Atila rodeados de guerra, conspiraciones, ambición, honor, muerte y poder. A comienzos del mismo siglo, Estilicón acaba con la amenaza del bárbaro R
Feb 08, 2013 Bobby rated it really liked it

Finished it last night. Got a bit confused when the Lieutenant became part of the story but author wrapped it up well. Look forward to the next book!! Solid 4 stars!!
Feb 11, 2010 ♦Jennifer♦ rated it really liked it
won this on first reads

Attila by William Napier

This book starts around the time that the Roman Empire is at it's peak. Following the story of the young hostage Attila the Hun. Hostages are kept in order to ensure that each side in a treaty is faithful to the terms agreed upon. Attila hates Rome. He wants nothing more than to escape these Christians and their education that they want to force on him. They believe him and his people to be barbarians, and they try their best to convert Attila to t
A smooth practically velvetine telling of the tale of one of the Roman Empire's most colourful enemies, Attila the Hun.
Napier - pen name of Christopher Hart - lays down his tale with a slick yet deeply rich detailed manner which, for the first two-thirds of the book, leaves you coming back for more time and time again almost insatiably.

The one thing that lets the book down for me personally is that there's the rather unnecessary distraction of focusing on the backstory of fictitious and generall
Feb 09, 2013 Marty rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting take on the Attila the Hun story. It starts out with Attila as a pre-pubescent boy, being held hostage in Rome to insure the loyalty of his grandfather Uldin, King of the Huns and ends with his exile at the age of fifteen. This is the first book in the trilogy by Napier and its historical details appear to be pretty accurate, although you have to suspend your disbelief that 5th century Romans would be using expressions like 'okay' and 'yeah.' General Stilicho and his ...more
I've been reading alot of Roman historical fiction lately and it feels so strange to be now reading a book which contains Rome's downfall. Everything that was fought for, is now going to be lost. Trouble is, I can't be to sad about it as I've already got behind Attila and am now cheering him on. I want him to win! I also really liked the British solider, Lucius. He was a good, strong character. The plot was interesting and kept me page turning, like with all these books, I sometimes get a little ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
May 06, 2014 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarybooks
‘I have the greatest and most terrible stories to tell.’

At the beginning of the 5th century AD, the Roman Empire is under threat. A new power is rising in the east: barbarian warriors mounted on horseback, striking terror into those they confront. They are called the Huns.

In this novel, the first of a trilogy, Attila is a young boy being held hostage to ensure that the Huns continue to support the Romans. The sons of chiefs of other peoples are also held hostage: most of the defenders of Rome we
Amanda J
Nov 24, 2011 Amanda J rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book on Attila the Hun's early life. I don't know enough about historic Attila to comment on the accuracy of the book, but it has good entertainment value. There were times when the story drifted away from the action and towards mysticism and philosophy and I found myself bored. But the rest of the novel made up for those moments. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Rachael Hewison
I was very confused by this book. The blurb reads that it starts with two small boys playing on the grasslands of central Asia. Well no it doesn't start like that, about 300 pages in this finally happens. It's essentially a book leading up to this 'beginning'.

That said I really did enjoy it It's definitely the best Roman fiction book I've read so far. Attila was very much a character that you like for all his flaws. He's fierce, he's loyal and he's very determined. You can't help but support him
Jul 29, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing
This is a well-written, engaging book. The scenes are vivid and the characters real. Nothing felt out of place or awkward and I'm intrigued with the narrator as well as the main characters. I highly recommend this title to those lovers of historical fiction and those who just like enjoyable and well-written works. This was truly well-crafted.
Jan 31, 2010 Stephanie rated it liked it
Highly enjoyable. This is more historical fiction than historically accurate. It does however do a great job of giving you a sense of Attila. This is the first book in a biographical series about Attila. This one is focused on his childhood as a Roman hostage and then his return to his people. I will certainly be looking for the next two books.
Lesley Halkett-Amos
Jul 02, 2015 Lesley Halkett-Amos rated it it was amazing
I was totally engrossed with this trilogy. I have always loved the dark ages and this captures the terror and devastation of this age brilliantly. The description of the battles are so good, you feel as if you are there. You can almost sense the exhaustion and despair as a small troop of Romans battle the Huns, against all odds, and with supreme courage. Only their incredibly disciplined battle strategies enable them to last out as long as they do. Stilicho and Aetius are my new heroes, thanks t ...more
Gilberto Garcia
Apr 11, 2014 Gilberto Garcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buen libro.
Jul 17, 2012 D.w. rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
There is an adage about when writing your story, start the action as close to the beginning as you can. I started this book months ago and put it down for a very long time. At least until I got an urge to clean out the copies I had for reviewing.

Napier does a disservice to his audience with this book. Some of the writing is good. But this, is just more of a slog than a story.

Some of the history seems off. And further, why do I care about Attila's life as a prisoner of the Romans? Attila is inter
I won this from first reads and I am so glad I did!

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
Nicole Galbraith
Aug 07, 2010 Nicole Galbraith rated it liked it
When I first got this book I didn't realize that it was book one of a trilogy. So, I expected the book to encompass Attila the Hun's entire life. Instead, I got a very in depth look at his early life. I found that very interesting and have a new understanding of one of history's most infamous warriors.
Napier clearly did a lot of research on the Ancient Roman and Hun cultures. At the beginning of the book, he included a list of characters and indicated whether or not they were true historical
Shaunesay Eslanai
Jun 30, 2010 Shaunesay Eslanai rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book through First Reads.

I really debated whether to give this three of four stars, but I decided on four at the end, since the story improved dramatically during the last 100 pages.

It's the story of the childhood and growth of Attila the Hun. I like ancient history and thought it would be an interesting read. Parts were very good, but the middle half of the book bogged down and got really slow, which is why I debated about giving it three stars. However, the end made up for the bored
Katie McDermott
Nov 03, 2014 Katie McDermott rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviews
I recently completed a module on the Later Roman Empire called Christians, Barbarians and the Fall of Rome. Roughly 4 months of lectures, study, exams, essay and there was not one mention of Attila the Hun. I decided this was false advertising so I bought The Attila trilogy by William Napier to fill in the gaps hopefully in an enjoyable way.

(small disclaimer before we proceed: I actually really enjoyed tha module, just in case anyone going to Maynooth reads this, it's taught by Dr. Michael Willi
Kate Lansky
Jan 09, 2013 Kate Lansky rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads-win
Let me begin by saying that I won this through goodreads. Full disclosure and all that.

I have a love-hate relationship with historical fiction. I really only like certain eras, and then the author has to work to make me truly fall for their story. Especially if it takes liberties. And it took me a while to decide what end of the love-hate spectrum this book was going to fall into. I really enjoyed the tone with which the book opened, the character who was telling the story, all of it. What I did
Feb 18, 2010 Marrionette rated it it was ok
I was pretty excited when I received this book, since I'd just learned a little about Attila the Hun and thought what a great novel this would actually make if someone wrote it. I have to say, Napier let me down on my expectations. I was expecting epic drama, action, and a main character that blew me away with awe. Unfortunately I was blown away with something completely different for the first 200 pages or so. To sum up those pages it would be about a boy that just whines about how stuck up oth ...more
Sep 30, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
Having just finished Conn Iggulden's Genghis trilogy, I thought I would depart the Mongols, go back in time and visit the Huns. I enjoyed my first foray into barbaric historical fiction and determined I was up for another romp. Sadly, Attila, although an International Bestseller, did not meet my expectations. The language was too far removed from the period, splattered with expletives and tired tawdry references. I imagine Mr. Napier was trying to capture the vulgar state of affairs around the F ...more
Feb 11, 2010 Rebecca rated it liked it
Let me start off by saying I won this books through Goodreads First reads. That being said, I really really wanted to love this book. I love historical fiction, especially well-written historical fiction--which this one. But I just couldn't love it. Sure the story line was great, and the characterization was great, but I just couldn't get over how often Napier felt it was necessary to use the f-word. I'd be reading along, enjoying myself and then all of the sudden he would use it 5 or 6 times on ...more
-La juventud del Azote de Dios.-

Género. Novela histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. A finales del siglo V, cuando el Imperio Romano de Occidente ya ha caído, el anciano historiador Prisco de Panio vive en un monasterio napolitano mientras recuerda la gloria perdida de Roma y uno de sus últimos capítulos épicos, el que unió los destinos de Flavio Aecio y de Atila rodeados de guerra, conspiraciones, ambición, honor, muerte y poder. A comienzos del mismo siglo, Estilicón acaba con la amenaza del bárbaro R
Feb 09, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
This book, the first of a trilogy, centers on Attila's life in Rome during his youth. The story starts somewhat slow, gets going in the middle, but then falls apart somewhat at the end.

From a historical perspective, the book gives a good window into life at the end of the Roman Empire. However, some of the fictional elements of the story detracted from my enjoyment, particularly in the last third of the book.

(view spoiler)
Jan 15, 2016 Alyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow to start but worth the wait.

All in all i would consider this a good novel. Took a while for the story to get interesting, but after several chapters I couldn't put it down. Read it all in just two sessions. Now I'm really looking forward to the rest of the Attila Trilogy. I haven't read any of Mr Napier's work before but he is definitely going onto my personal favourite list of historical fiction writers.
Richard Tran
Aug 19, 2010 Richard Tran rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
After multiple attempts to read this book since I got it for free from Goodreads, I finally had to admit defeat. This book held so much potential but the author really fails to deliver. In describing Attila's youth, Napier tries too hard to contrast Attila from the other Romans that it falls extremely flat. He attempts to make Attila into a poor misunderstood boy who is a victim of circumstances. All this really does is make the title character to be extremely boring. The really interesting char ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

A pseudonym of Christopher Hart

Christopher Hart (born 1965) is an English novelist and journalist.

He was educated at Cheltenham College (expelled), Leicester University (dropped out), Oxford Polytechnic and Birkbeck College, London, where he completed a PhD on W.B.Yeats.

More about William Napier...

Other Books in the Series

Attila Trilogy (3 books)
  • Attila: The Gathering Of The Storm (Attila Trilogy #2)
  • Attila: The Judgement (Attila Trilogy #3)

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