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Clash of Eagles

(Clash of Eagles #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,462 ratings  ·  296 reviews
It’s The Last of the Mohicans meets HBO’s Rome in this exciting and inventive debut novel from Sidewise Award-winner Alan Smale that will thrill fans of alternate history, historical fiction, and military fiction.

In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, a legion under the command of general Gaius Marcellinus invades the newly-discovered North American continent. But M
Hardcover, 413 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2015)
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Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

WHAT IF . . . The Roman Empire had never fallen?

Better yet – what if the Roman Empire not only continued to exist but conquered Europe and then decided to invade the American Continent?

Sounds interesting, right?

Well, in Clash of Eagles that is exactly what Alan Smale sets out to explore.

In this “what if” world, Rome has continued to grow. In the east, it is confronted by the Chinese Empire. In the west, it has followed rumors of gold across the wide sea
Apr 30, 2017 rated it liked it
In an interesting twist of alternate history, Clash of Eagles describes a scenario in which the Roman Empire never fell, and its legions march all over the known (and unknown) world after having completely conquered the entirety of the European continent.

1218 AD. Gaius Marcellinus commands the 33rd legion as it marches across the newfound lands of Nova Hesperia after having disembarked in the bay of Chesapica. A series of violent encounters with various native peoples takes the Roman army deeper
Dec 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-2-stars-read
Disappointment of the year!

Alternate historical fiction in which Roman Empire never fell and now tries to conquer North American continent. Sounds amazing, right?

I cannot deny that premise for this novel was perfect. But where was world-building? Where was explanation of how such alternate world came to be? Where was engaging storytelling and character development? Without all of that even the best idea for story turned into one flat and boring novel.

If you are in mood for military oriented nove
Myke Cole
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's not often that you see a speculative fiction novel with a proper historical appendices.

The last few pages of Clash of Eagles underscores what makes this book so great - the author's obvious passion for historical research. Smale shows a command of both Mississippian Native American culture and the military culture of the later Roman principate that realistically extrapolates this alternative history in a way that truly lives and breathes. If Rome *had* survived into the late Middle Ages, a
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Free from net gallery in return for a honest review.

well just finished this, in all it was a great story, well thought out and well written by an author who as done his research.

An alternative history fantasy so no magic or fantasy races.

Wished we had more on this version of the roman empire, but that may happen in future books.

Sherwood Smith
Received from NetGalley

The time is now, but the Roman Empire never fell. Leading a Roman expedition of conquest of what is obviously North America is Praetor Gaius Marcellinus. He's landed on the east coast, his goal to march west to discover the cities of gold across the mountains.

His force is already tired and stressed, but he has to march on, depending on indigenous guides in order to navigate the wild geography and unknown lands, before reaching the flood plains of the vast river that we re
Holly (The GrimDragon)
“Marcellinus lay still, panting, as those fireflies danced. The body of the Iroqua rested on top of him, quivering as his life drained away into the dirt. Marcellinus savored the man’s death. His part in this battle was done, and if he shoved the body away and tried to stand, he risked getting a flaming arrow in his own back for his pains.”

What would have happened if the Roman Empire never collapsed?

That is the question Alan Smale takes on in the alternate history fantasy series, Clash of Eagles
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

What a satisfying read. Imagine an alternate history where Rome didn't fall, and was responsible for leading the age of discovery into the New World. How would their early encounters with the Native Americans go?

This book turned out to be much more than a "what if?" situation, developing into a richly constructed historical fantasy. While the author mentions it as the first of a trilogy, the story here is pretty much self-cont
Nov 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Description -

Clash of Eagles tells of the tale of of an alternate world where the Roman Empire has not fallen, and the continent of North America has just been discovered. Hungry for land and gold, the Emperor has sent Praetor Gaius Marcellinus and the 33rd Roman Legion across the ocean to invade the newly discovered lands.

Marcellinus and his men expect an easy victory over the native inhabitants, but the 33rd Legion clashes with an unique civilisation armed with weapons and strategies that no
Roxana Chirilă
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Roman Empire never fell. It survived and extended, and when the Vikings started their raids, the Romans brought them to heel - so it's now the 13th century and the Vikings bring tides of new, rich lands where gold flows aplenty.

Naturally, Rome sends out a legion to conquer that new land and bring back the riches, shipping the soldiers across the Atlantic on Viking ships. And less naturally, it turns out that some tribes across the Atlantic have discovered flight, so they can drop fire on th
Feb 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction Fans and Alternate Historical Fiction Fans
Shelves: arcs-and-galleys
In a world in which the Roman Empire never fell, North America has been discovered. A Roman legion is sent to find gold and take over the land. Gaius Marcellinus leads this legion and realizes that the barbarians are far more capable at warfare than Rome ever imagined. After a massive battle, Gaius is captured and spared by the Cahokian Native Americans. Gaius's whole world is changed from that moment as he struggles to find a life for himself among the Cahokians.

Clash of Eagles was an attempt f
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An alternate history epic, and well worthy of the title. In this world, the Goths did not sack Rome. The Romans are continuing to expand their frontiers, fighting the Mongol Khan on one side while sending troops across the Atlantic on the other. Marcellinus, a Roman Praetor, has been charged with finding the fabled gold. Roman tactics might not work quite so well in the New World though, and their concept of warfare may have a different result in the mountains of Appalachia, or when they near th ...more
Liz Janet
Nov 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
My review of this got deleted accidentally I guess.
I read an advance copy that I received via Goodeads, and does not influence my opinion at all.

After I read the blurb I got an "Asterix et Obelix" vibe, and since I love that series this book had lots to live up to. Sadly it had a very flat delivery.
I was expecting something different. Cool tribes in America fighting the legions, I got a piece of white bread with no butter.
It felt odd since the legions lacked the advancement I expected of 121
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

And to be honest, I did not finish it. Alternate history is a tricky genre. The author needs to have thought through the consequences of all the differences that would exist from their chosen divergence from history. It also needs to be engaging and human.

Many alternate history authors are enamored of military history and want to talk about subjects like : what if the South had won the Civil War? What if America hadn'
3.5 to 4 stars

Good but not great.

As other reviewer(s) have noted, this ends up being a one-man show almost exclusively - Marcellinus, the Praetor of the XXXIII Legion, marching west across the Appallacians towards the mighty Mississippi years before Horace Greeley penned the phrase "Go West, young man.' The Romans, and their Norse scouts, encounter various Native Americans with startlingly advanced technology for a stone-age culture lacking even the wheel*.

Marcellinus is the only truly fleshed
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Clash of Eagles has a very interesting concept- what if the Roman Empire had not fallen and in 1218 AD had invaded Nova Hesperia- the New World?

Praetor Gaius Marcellinus leads the 33rd Legion into the heart of America, landing at Chesapeake Bay. That was a very interesting concept. The Romans eventually run into the Cahokians who end up defeating them. Gaius is "adopted" by the tribe to teach them new methods of warfare as they battle the Iroquois.

That's the gist. Overall an interesting story an
Margaret Sankey
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Smale is so excited by the idea of Roman legions in North America that he just skips over what, for me ,is the most satisfying part of any alternate history book--what changed and what were the ramifications? Instead, we just get a brief, "that war with the Goths back in the day was closes, whew!" and "Gee, now Christianity exists side by side with Cybele and Sol Invictus!" So, we get Romans running around in the woods with an expy Pocahontas and no real historical insight or satisfying twists. ...more
Clay Davis
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Roman Dances with Wolves. A Roman Conquistador looking for a city of gold gets attack by Native American air force equipped with hand gliders at Little Big Horn. Seemed like some thing out of Ancient Aliens.
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Find many more reviews at Geekritique!

They say that the Roman Empire never truly fell - that it simply became the Roman Catholic Church. But what if the Roman Legion hadn't shifted its power to the theological? What if they continued their conquest of the world, taking under their wings nation after nation? That is the bare bones idea of Alan Smale's alternative history novel, Clash of Eagles, book one of the Hesperian Trilogy. He takes it a step further however. Had the world power that was the

“Heading west in as straight a line as they could manage. Which, being Romans, was pretty d---d straight.”
Excellent alternate history. Imperial Rome invades thirteenth-century North America in search of gold. Smale drops the reader into the story and supplies details as the Romans march west. Good character and plot development.
“Even when you were younger. Would you have spoiled her?” “You don’t have daughters, do you?” “No.” “Ask me again when you do.”

Lacks a believable antagonist after the ope
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
3,5 stars

The first thing that caught my eye when I scrolled through the available books on NetGalley was the cover. It is a fierce, very sharp cover that hints at an action-filled story centered on the Roman Empire. Historical Fiction is my second favourite genre next to SFF and I simply couldn’t resist. The story wasn’t anything like I had expected it to be, though it was action-packed and had something to do with the Romans. ‘Clash of Eagles’ was an interesting spin on Roman conquest and puts
Kevin Laslie
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I loved this book. It's not often that I delve into historical fiction, but this is the type of book that makes me want to more often. Living near the area the story took place, I'm familiar with stories of the area. I've never gone to visit the mounds, but street reading this book I need to!

The Roman Empire never fell, and as the greedy bastards that they were, the mention of a new land with cities of gold were enough to send them across uncharted waters. Separated by thousands of miles of wat
Apr 21, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This is an alternate history: the Roman Empire didn't fall and is now set on conquering North America. I like the idea, but I thought the execution was not as good as it could have been. It was interesting and entertaining, though, so not bad.

The book was really slow at the beginning for me: too much terminology relating to military hierarchy, weapons, formations, etc., but I hung in there and it finally picked up. There were lots of action-packed battle scenes for those who like that (
Mar 21, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: ebook
Started out great, but the lead character got put on his own way too early and I lost interest when his orientation with the native tribe was in a low, sluggish gear. The extended scenes of hand-signing and pidgin English/Roman got dull. Maybe it was the pace at which I was reading it (tied to certain time periods/tasks), but at any rate it didn't hold my interest. Great concept, though. Wish I'd enjoyed it more. Bailed at 38%. ...more
Received this via Goodreads First Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
Very interesting concept and the writing was good but I couldn't connect with it.. not a bad book, just not for me I guess:(

Go ahead if you are still curious, you may like it better than me
I read books for the writing or characters (or both) and this book was lacking on both aspects. I have better things to read.

When I picked up Clash of Eagles, I thought the idea had merit. The Roman Empire remained strong and alive past its original fall and finally managed to work its way over to the North American continent. Just like the Europeans from our history, they encountered the Native Americans who vehemently protected their native land from foreign invaders. Basically: Romans vs. Indians. Since the timeframe for this book was a few centuries after the original
Nathan Miller
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Romans vs. the Iroquois...what's not to love? For those of you who have even a passing familiarity with the ancient mound-builders of the Mississippi, you'll love the way Smale immerses the reader in that world. And for those of you who love anything and everything Roman, this is also for you. Set a couple of centuries prior to the real-world voyages of the likes of Vespucci and Columbus, the story assumes that the Roman Empire didn't crumble following the real-world sack of Rome by the Visigoth ...more
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at:

So far in my Alternate History travels I have ventured to the old Romans, Brits and Vikings. But these were mostly stories contained in their own Empires. Alan Smale's Clash of Eagles is something different, it is an Alternate History story featuring Romans, but with a twist. This story is about a what if scenario. Imagine that the Roman Empire never fell. Imagine them making the trek across the ocean to discover the land that is now
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Alan Smale is a professional astronomer, but his writing tastes have always veered more towards alternate and twisted history, fantasy, and horror. His novella of Romans in ancient America, "A Clash of Eagles" in Panverse Two, won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, and the first book in a trilogy set in the same universe, CLASH OF EAGLES, appeared in 2015 from Del Rey in the US and Titan Bo ...more

Other books in the series

Clash of Eagles (3 books)
  • Eagle in Exile (Clash of Eagles, #2)
  • Eagle and Empire (Clash of Eagles #3)

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“Marcellinus was interested to see that here in Woshakee, where space was tight, the houses had been built in rows as neat and orderly as any castra or Roman town. It was a way of getting as many houses as possible inside the small compound defined by the palisade perimeter.” 5 likes
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