Clash of Eagles

Del Rey: Ballantine. (Hesperian Trilogy, Bk. 1). Mar. 2015. 410p. ISBN 9780804177221. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780804177238. FANTASY
OrangeReviewStarGaius Marcellinus commands a Roman legion intent on conquering North America in 1200 CE, and they have made a bloody progress despite resistance from the Iroquois. But real disaster strikes when the legion attempts to take the great city of the Cahokia and Gaius's men are wiped out. Spared by the Cahokia, Gaius decides to help them in their ongoing struggles against neighboring tribes.
VERDICT Just when it seems there is nothing new in the category of alternative history comes this debut; the novella on which this novel is based won the 2010 Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The world of pre-Columbian mound-building peoples who lived along the Mississippi is full of wonders both real and wildly improbable (if entertaining). Even Smale's wildest fancies, such as hang-gliding native braves, somehow seem possible as they are described so convincingly in the many violent battle scenes. Not much is actually known about the mound builders, leaving lots of room for Smale to play in what looks to be an ongoing series.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing