by Alan Smale
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 out character. All others – Romans, Norsemen, Native Americans – are barely cardboard cutouts in comparison. Some of the Cahokians, in the latter half of the book, get more interesting, but not by much.