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Eagle in Exile (Clash of Eagles #2) by Alan Smale
Cover Artist: Larry Rostant
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Del Rey Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780804177245
Date: 22 March 2016 List Price $28.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Rome is a harsh master near its limits. Those who succeed are celebrated, unless they do too well. Rome has expanded and held back enemies for centuries. Now readers learn more about the reasons for the original mission across the ocean.

Marcellinus has little time to celebrate or mourn after surviving the Iroqua assault on Cahokia. There is much rebuilding to do. The Iroqua assault left much of the mound builder's city in ruins. Many are dead, and others gravely wounded. Although the new form of war allowed the Cahokia to survive, many are not happy about it.

Marcellinus has a plan to preserve the Cahokians, peace. The tribes of the Iroqua formed a league to protect themselves and guarantee peace in many lands. This is what Marcellinus wants for all of the new lands. Others do not share his vision or dreams. They have their own plans and schemes.

Marcellinus and his friends will travel more of the Nova Hesperia. They will meet other tribes and leaders as they try to arrange for everyone to work together. But the gorilla in the room still looms, Rome. A lost Eagle cannot be tolerated. Revenge must come. But the technology that destroyed one legion awaits the new forces.

There is a lot of action, as well as twists and turns, but to prevent spoiling details must not be shared. This is the second novel in the Clash of Eagles trilogy. Readers should start with Clash of Eagles. There is a large amount of background information and plot development which cannot be followed starting in the middle. My knowledge from the Clash of Eagles made this novel much easier to follow.

I admit to struggling with the names of some of the tribes while reading the first novel. The familiarity I gained allowed the story to flow much more easily. Sometimes the inability to suspend disbelief causes me to be thrown out of the story. That happened in Clash of Eagles, but not this time. Time had eased my concerns about the big technology feat of the Cahokians which allowed their victory over Marcellinus' troops. By the time I picked up Eagle in Exile, I had reconciled the availability of flying machines.

I think the thing I enjoyed the most in this story was the growth and expansion. The author shares information about many parts of the world, not just the locales through which the characters travel. I also got sucked into the political maneuvering as alliances are formed and broken. The supporting cast develops as well becoming more independent. Their lives, actions, and circumstances influence their choices.

I look forward to the conclusion of the trilogy. In truth I think there are many areas of this world which could be mined for stories. I wouldn't mind seeing a collection of short stories which develop the world.

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