Top positive review
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Hit and Miss for the Hun boy
on 9 January 2007
I can fully understand the comments by both those who liked, and those who disliked the book. I read the book in a few days offshore and enjoyed the vast majority of it.
The pace is blinding, with characters coming and going at a rate of knots. Most tend to go in a rather unsavoury fashion! The plot does tend to get jumpy between chapters, but it's in no way different to the to-ing and fro-ing of The DaVinci Code. (Maybe without so many cliffhangers!) The two predominantly main charaters share inter-twining chapters and this, I felt, assists in the whole reading pleasure. As one chapter finishes with Attila and moves on to Lucius, or Stilicho in the early parts, I found myself reading the next few chapters to find out what was happening to each of them.
There is no doubting Napiers historical knowledge and this works for and against him at times.
On the plus side, his passion for setting the scene is wonderful. It's almost as if he is trying to paint the scene in your mind and put you in it. Also, the index of characters (who's names are written phonectically so you pronounce them properly) and their history, shows a real caring for the subject matter.
On the negative, it does feel that he tries to show how clever he is, by naming an endless list of Attilas heritage or when he translates a saying into four different tounges. It's all a bit too 'Hey, look at me, I know it all'!!
This negative is the only reason for the four stars and not five. Otherwise, it was a highly enjoyable book and I'd recommend it to anyone with