The Roman empire fell in 476 after centuries of in-fighting, corruption, invasions, and general decline. What if the Romans embraced reforms and survived another 800 years instead? That’s the backdrop to Alan Smale’s Clash of Eagles trilogy, an alternate history that explores a theoretical Roman invasion of North America. This exciting, action-packed trilogy will definitely interest fans of alternate history.
Gaius Marcellinus, commander of the 33rd Roman legion invades North America in search of gold. However, he encounters the Cahokian nation, located near modern day St. Louis Missouri. Thanks to the flying machines used by the Cahokians, the 33rd legion is destroyed and Gaius is captured. He quickly discovers the goodness inherent in the Cahokian people, and begins to work to improve their lives with new technology and new peace treaties. Will Gaius be able to end the “mourning war” between the Cahokians and the Iriquois? Will the Roman emperor leave North America in peace, or will he return and endanger the new life Gaius has formed among the Cahokian people?
I love a good war movie, and reading these books feels like watching a good war movie. Every book in the trilogy has multiple thrilling battles that give you a clear sense of what’s happening in the battle while also showing what Roman (and Native American) combat was like. Additionally, Gaius, his fellow Romans, and the many Native American characters are well-drawn. You can feel Gaius’ pain over losing his legion. Later on, his inner turmoil over the consequences of his actions and how to live while honoring his duties to both the Roman empire and Cahokia is equally compelling.
The political intrigue between different nations is also fascinating, as Gaius tries to build alliances in the “new world.” Finally, it’s just plain fun to imagine different historical groups clashing when they never did in actual history. Romans and Native Americans are certainly the main attraction here, but Gengis Khan’s Mongols are a looming threat throughout the series and make a big impression! If you enjoy Roman or Native American-based fiction, we think you’ll find a lot to like here!
You can find the Clash of Eagles trilogy in our catalog. Click here to view these items.