“Eagle in Exile” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Alan Smale (http://www.alansmale.com). This is Mr. Smale’s second novel, and the second in his “Clash of Eagles” series.
I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. This Alternate History Thriller is set in North America in the early 1200’s. The Roman Empire is thriving and has sent an army to North America under the command of Praetor Gaius Marcellinus. His army was slaughter by the Chaokin leaving him as the only survivor, a story told in the first volume “Clash of Eagles”. Marcellinus reovers from his wounds and learns to live with the Chaokins and finds his place with them.
After a devastating attack by the Iroqua, Chaokia rebuilds and many plan to avenge the attack. Marcellinus is tired of war and seeks to establish a treaty with the Iroqua. It has been a few years since he arrived in North America and he expects to soon see Romans looking for him and his lost Legion. He also sees that the native North Americans will only avoid slavery by the Romans if they join together.
Marcellinus is able to broker a peace agreement with the Iroqua, but there are some Chaokians who still want blood. This proves to be a greater problem when the militants rise up. Marcellinus and a hand full of followers are banished from Chaokia, barely escaping with their lives.
While traveling down the Mississippi, Marcellinus discovers that the Romans have returned. He and his small band race back to Chaokia. Chaokia must be warned and begin to prepare for the Romans. Marcellinus struggles with his efforts to keep his friends, Chaokians, Iroqua and other natives free and alive, while not actively taking up arms agains Rome. He must walk a fine line to keep war from sweeping through the lands he has begun to call home. His worries are compounded when he learns of an unexpected threat that will not only put the Romans at risk, but all of the inhabitants of North America.
I enjoyed the 14.5+ hours I spent reading this 577 page novel. I have read “Clash of Eagles” so knew the story line. Without that I think I would have been a little lost picking up this novel. I don’t think this would be a good stand-alone read. I like the plot twists of this story and was surprised by a major turn late in the novel. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.
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