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Slave of the Huns. [Library Binding]

Geza Gardonyi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Classic Dec 6 2003
Format:Library Binding
When I was ten I picked up a copy of Geza Gardonyi's Slave of the Huns in my school library. Since I knew little about the Huns or the history of the Fifth Century I borrowed the book and took it home. It quickly became my favourite book and I think I read it about 17 times, as kids often do.
That was 27 years ago. I recently found a copy of the novel through Amazon and quickly ordered it. It arrived last week and I am reviving my childhood memories by re-reading it now.
It was originally written in 1901 in Hungarian as *Lathatalan ember*, but was translated into English in 1969. It tells the story of Zeta, a Greek slave from Thrace who accompanies the Eastern Roman Imperial envoy Priscus to the camp of Attila the Hun on the Hungarian Plain. There he falls in love with Emmo, the daughter of a Hunnic lord Chath, and so he decides to stay with the Huns in the hope of winning her love.
The climax of the book is Attila's invasion of Gaul in 451 and the lengthy and remarkable battle scene as Zeta takes part in the massive Battle of Chalons between Attila and Aetius. The remarkable thing about the book is that, since it is written by a Hungarian, the action is entirely from the Huns' side of the story. To the Hungarians, Attila is a national hero and the detailed reconstruction of life amongst these nomads along with this sympathy for their perspective makes the book quite remarkable. To English-speaking readers, for whom Attila is a by-word for barbarism and violence, this novel's depiction of him as a charismatic, wise and beloved leader seems odd, but it is entirely in keeping with the evidence we have about him.
It is a pity this novel is out of print, because it is a great piece of writing and still informative and entertaining for readers of any age.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel for Hun fans March 29 2014
By Raquae
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was especially pleased with this novel. I had been looking for some novel that described life in the camps of Huns in late antiquity. Although Attila's camp was probably not exactly like the camps of Huns before or after Attila, this was a close as I could find. Hin names were provided in the text, descriptions of what they wore and how they fought in a battle. An interesting description of the battle of Chalons was given in the text. The story was interesting despite being basically a love story. I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in the Huns of late antiquity.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!! May 15 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Library Binding
This was... an amazing book. It weaves Hungarian history into a wonderfully entertaining yet tragic story. I'm 14, and when my relatives tried to explain to me how great the Huns thought Attila was, I just couldn't understand it. But this book put me there, with the Huns, with Attila. I understood it so well, just how powerful, how god-like Attila was. But this book was more than a history lesson, it was a story. It had action, adventure, laughter, love, sadness, everything that a book needs. This is one of the best books I have ever read!!!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical storytelling Dec 27 2002
By Matt Greenslade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Library Binding
I got this book as an 8 year old in England who was fascinated by history. It remains the most wonderful piece of writing (even translated into English) that I have ever read.
On the surface its a dramatic account of Eastern European history and warfare during the dark ages but its also a devastating portrayal of first love, racial loyalty and cultural differences.
It works on so many levels that you just have to admire the skill of the the author. Its a brilliant book for anyone between the ages of 8 and 80 and I mourn the fact that its currently out of print whilst so much paper is being wasted on books offering much less to fire the imagination of their audiences.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Classic Dec 6 2003
By Tim O'Neill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Library Binding
When I was ten I picked up a copy of Geza Gardonyi's Slave of the Huns in my school library. Since I knew little about the Huns or the history of the Fifth Century I borrowed the book and took it home. It quickly became my favourite book and I think I read it about 17 times, as kids often do.
That was 27 years ago. I recently found a copy of the novel through Amazon and quickly ordered it. It arrived last week and I am reviving my childhood memories by re-reading it now.
It was originally written in 1901 in Hungarian as *Lathatalan ember*, but was translated into English in 1969. It tells the story of Zeta, a Greek slave from Thrace who accompanies the Eastern Roman Imperial envoy Priscus to the camp of Attila the Hun on the Hungarian Plain. There he falls in love with Emmo, the daughter of a Hunnic lord Chath, and so he decides to stay with the Huns in the hope of winning her love.
The climax of the book is Attila's invasion of Gaul in 451 and the lengthy and remarkable battle scene as Zeta takes part in the massive Battle of Chalons between Attila and Aetius. The remarkable thing about the book is that, since it is written by a Hungarian, the action is entirely from the Huns' side of the story. To the Hungarians, Attila is a national hero and the detailed reconstruction of life amongst these nomads along with this sympathy for their perspective makes the book quite remarkable. To English-speaking readers, for whom Attila is a by-word for barbarism and violence, this novel's depiction of him as a charismatic, wise and beloved leader seems odd, but it is entirely in keeping with the evidence we have about him.
It is a pity this novel is out of print, because it is a great piece of writing and still informative and entertaining for readers of any age. Gardonyi did a great deal of research for the book and, while he gets many things wrong (he has his Huns using stirrups and horse-shoes and includes some mythical tribes in Attila's army) the attention to detail and the realism of the writing is remarkable.
Highly recommended - a wonderful book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! May 22 2013
By Istvan Nemes - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I read this book in the original Hungarian many years ago. It is of course a classic in Hungary. My congratulation to the translator who did a really outstanding job from a very difficult language. Superb reading!
P.S.: The only thing I didn't like was the title. Translating the original title in English reads: The Invisible Man.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books Oct. 3 2012
By kronk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Library Binding
I read this book more than 10 years ago in Bulgarian. It was hard for me to find it in English and have never read it in English but I'm sure the story is told just as good. It is one of my all-time favorite books because it tells so well of how things were during the days of Attila. It has a love story, loyalty, social differences, international politics, betrayals, and so much more. I'm going to order it in English and read it all over again!
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