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Hadrian's Wall

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  716 Ratings  ·  79 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
Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jul 14, 2014 rated it liked it
I love this historical period but this book fell way short of my expectations. To be honest, I didn't like rating this Roman book lower than most others I've rated but I felt there was enough justification. Inspector [Agens in Rebus??] Draco from Rome is tasked to find out the circumstances of the disappearance of a Senator's daughter who has married the praefectus [legate] of the Petrianis cavalry fortress and also why a horde of barbarians have attacked Hadrian's Wall recently. The latter is t ...more
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Hadrian's Wall has long fascinated me, especially after I found out that it was an inspiration for the Wall in George Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. It seemed to me a majestic wall, the thought of which gave me shivers of excitement and a bit of fear. That is why I decided to pick up this book as soon as I saw it. I really liked the way the story is told - from the points of view of several people interviewed by an inspector - and i really liked the endig - the idea of receiving the freedom on ...more
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: junk-food-lit
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.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
4,5 *
Pocetak kraja starog i trulog Rimskog carstva, sumrak rimske mitologije i zora hriscanstva. Oko cetvrtog veka nove ere, meni totalno nepoznato istorijsko razdoblje. Prica o ratu i ljubavi. Lepo epsko putovanje u daleku proslost.
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
A really slow read that was surprisingly romancy.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had not expected this book to be a historical romantic novel. And as such, I feel like everything was just a background to the main love story. Oddly though, I also think it is not your traditional romantic novel because we never actually meet the main characters. The story is told from the point of view of those around them, and that is one thing I liked about this novel. The author has an interesting way of playing with point of view, and I thought it was relatively well done. And possibly, ...more
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A silly genre historical romance, but a good one.

None of what happens in this book is possible or believable, and the weird story-in-a-story device never really works because the narration includes considerably more than the inspector could have known. The characters are such stereotypes that they are laughable, and any who read this novel and didn't know that the raffish brigand leader was both working in cahoots with Galba (NOT A SPOILER) and was going to win the undying love of the sprightly
Courtney Lake
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-read
This book was a good, non mental gymnastics read. None of the characters were particularly surprising or unexpected, the plot ending was outlined from the beginning, and anyone who had ever read roman era historical fiction will find the setting familiar.

That's not to say it wasn't good! Just that it was an easy read, which can be exactly what you need sometimes.

The plot follows the aftermath investigation of the assault and breach of Hadrians wall in Roman Occupied Britain. There's a surly, r
Sonia Haynes
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Romans were more barbarians than the barbarians they choose to conquer. Good read.
Fredrick Danysh
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
A Roman's senator's daughter does to Roman Britain to marry a commanding officer stationed on Hadrian's Wall. The woman is kidnapped and an investigator is sent to find out what happened and why?
Jul 01, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mandi Scott
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a quick, fun read for those who like historical fiction--especially readers who appreciate novels that deftly combine romance, mystery and action-packed battle scenes. Based on the "Great Barbarian Uprising" in A.D. 367 between the Celts of Scotland and Roman Britannia, the story takes place along the approximately 80-mile Hadrian's Wall that marked the northern most boundary of the mighty Roman Empire. It foreshadows the ultimate demise of Imperial Rome that would rock the world a centu ...more
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hadrian's Wall marked the end of Roman civilization in Britain. North of the wall were the Celts, Picts, Scottis, and other barbarians. This story is set in 368 as the Roman Empire enters its final decline. Valeria, the daughter of a Roman senator, is joining her new husband, Marcus Flavius who is the new commander at Hadrian's Wall. Flavius' political appointment infuriates Galba Brassidias, an ambitious veteran. These actions set stage for Valeria's kidnapping by Arden Caratacus, a Celtic Roma ...more
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aceptable novela sobre el inicio, y sobretodo el final del famoso muro de Adriano, del que aún se conservan restos, que han sido declarados Patrimonio de la Humanidad. La invasión de los bárbaros del norte, (lo que hoy se conoce como Escocia) está bien descrita. También se destaca el protagonismo religioso de los druidas entre aquellas gentes, y su respeto por la naturaleza. Quizás el romance entre la aristócrata romana y el jefe celta Carataco esté demasiado edulcorado, pero episodios similares ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a fast-paced, well-written story that related one of the last clashes between the Celtic tribes and the Roman invaders of Britannia. It was set in 368 A.D. at the great wall that had been built to mark the end of the Empire.
The main characters were Valeria, a senator's daughter who was the pawn in an arranged marriage;
Arden Caratacus, her lover and a Celtic chieftain;
Galba Brassidias, a Machiavellian tribune whose ambition and cruelty was without limit.
The author used an interesting dev
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: completed
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
-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
Good history and historical placement, good plot and wheeling and dealing, decent characters and development. I didn't dislike the main female character as much as I thought I would, but you do get tired of hearing every single character talk about how desirable she is in every conversation. That and the way the second part dragged (ok, ok, I get it -- the Celtic life is wonderful! Very wonderful! So freeing!) are what keeps this at 4* for me, but I really enjoyed the rest and could have rated i ...more
Michael Bell
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up for a quarter at the Free Library. I love to take a turn into Roman history. This book featured an attempt by the Romans to separate themselves from the Gauls. It lasted a century or two but the Roman Empire was in decline during this period. A kidnapping exposed the fact that the world outside the Roman Empire was not occupied by heathens with no knowledge of their own. I loved the imagery and the battles. Excellent research on the weapons, wine and food of the time period ...more
I really enjoy the Ethan Gage novels so I decided to read some of Dietrich's stand-alones...Set in Britannia, the outermost extent of the Roman Empire...told through a post-event investigation of events along the wall between Roman forces and the Celts in which a daughter of a Senator becomes a captive of a Celtic blossoms and all the Byzantine intrigue, worthy of Constantinople & Rome itself...Fun!!!
Aug 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
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").
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Amy Kailey
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
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William Dietrich is a NY Times bestelling author of the Ethan Gage series of eight books which have 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
More about William Dietrich

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