Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Steve Berry, Naomi Novik, and Harry Turtledove, Alan Smale’s gripping alternate history series imagines a world in which the Roman Empire has survived long enough to invade North America in 1218. Now the stunning story carries hero Gaius Marcellinus deeper into the culture of an extraordinary people—whose humanity, bravery, love, and ingenuity forever change his life and destiny.
In A.D. 1218, Praetor Gaius Marcellinus is ordered to conquer North America and turning it into a Roman province. But outside the walls of the great city of Cahokia, his legion is destroyed outright; Marcellinus is the only one spared. In the months and years that follow, Marcellinus comes to see North America as his home and the Cahokians as his kin. He vows to defend these proud people from any threat, Roman or native.
After successfully repelling an invasion by the fearsome Iroqua tribes, Marcellinus realizes that a weak and fractured North America won’t stand a chance against the returning Roman army. Worse, rival factions from within threaten to tear Cahokia apart just when it needs to be most united and strong. Marcellinus is determined to save the civilization that has come to mean more to him than the empire he once served. But to survive the swords of Roma, he first must avert another Iroqua attack and bring Cahokia together. Only with the hearts and souls of a nation at his back can Marcellinus hope to know triumph.
Praise for Alan Smale and Eagle in Exile
“In Alan Smale, speculative fiction has been dealt a winning hand. Part historian, part anthropologist, part scientist, Smale is a Renaissance man with a storyteller’s gift for letting tireless research inform the narrative without overwhelming it. Smale entertains, educates, and enraptures.”—Myke Cole, author of Javelin Rain
“[Eagle in Exile] has the pace and scope of a Michener or Uris epic. . . . Smale’s action scenes slash across page after page, intense and bloody. . . . Grab your dagger and sword, for the battle continues.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Warfare, political conflict, family strife—these are all presented in an epic scope where any decision or wrong move can forever change society.”—Tech Times
“Thoroughly believable . . . Marcellinus is a complicated man, a hero we can all get behind.”—Historical Novels Review
In Clash of Eagles, the failed Roman invasion of Nova Hesperia (America) in 1218 A.D. left Gaius Publius Marcellinus, praetor of the 33rd Legion, a captive of the Cahokia tribe. Two years later, Marcellinus still considers himself loyal to Roma, but he has been adopted by the Cahokia and begun to question Roma's colonizing ways. He is trying to mediate a treaty between the Cahokia and their enemy, the Iroqua, so together they can combat the next legion that Roma sends to the New World. But a coup within the Cahokian power structure sends Marcellinus fleeing down the Mizipi in a Roman longboat with those still loyal to him. After several adventures on the river, Marcellinus finds that a new Roman legion has arrived. He is eventually captured and taken before the Roman emperor himself, Hadrianus III, who has his own reasons for wanting to invade the New World and refuses to let any tribes stand in his way. But will Marcellinus, who is accused of being a traitor to Roma, survive long enough to negotiate a lasting peace? The author has done prodigious research into Native American lore and Roman military history to produce this novel, which is filled with intelligent extrapolations of what a 13th-century Roman Imperium might be like. Unfortunately, all the characters come across as rather stiff, with the exception of Emperor Hadrianus, whose scenes with Marcellinus really crackle with drama and humor. Those elements are otherwise absent from this incident-crammed and overlong novel.