Clash of Eagles – Alan Smale

clash of eaglesThe 33rd Legion under the command of Gaius Publius Marcellinus started to lose men as soon as they marched away from the Mare Chesapica, yet they had not engaged the enemy in a real battle.  An arrow flying from the trees, a knife in the back, the going was hard and the savages cowardly. Two months of ocean separated them from Rome.  The rumors of gold had better be true. By the Roman reckoning, it is the year 2100, but by the calendar of the Christ-Risen it is 1218 A.D. This is a history where Rome didn’t fall but extends west into the New World and east confronting the Chinese Empire.

At first this seemed like a rather generic alternative history . . . let’s teach the natives how to live properly and let’s have lots of blood and gore.  But it gradually became more thoughtful and interesting.  I began to believe that both civilizations, Cahokian and Roman, failed to decline and instead became strong.  The details of the Cahokian civilization were well researched, and characters emerged as individuals. By the end I was thoroughly hooked and am looking forward to the second book.

eGalley review            Publication date 3.17.15

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