Clash of Eagles
by Alan Smale
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 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.
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Total War Rome: Destroy Carthage by David Gibbons
DNF (no star rating because I did not finish reading it)
Attempted to read during September, October and November 2013
I wanted to love this book. I read a blurb about it from one of my many book-related newsfeeds, through Tor’s RSS feed. Here’s a link to the article penned by the author: Ancient Rome and the Destruction of Carthage: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made On.
I started reading with high hopes, because I’m always fascinated by ancient history. I’ve read other historical fiction novels set during the time frame of the ancient Roman Empire and enjoyed them. I also enjoy movies that visit that time period.
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