Eagle and Empire

Written by Alan Smale
Review by Justin M. Lindsay

Nine years after the annihilation of his legion at the hands of Cahokian braves and flying machines, Roman Praetor Gaius Marcellinus once again finds himself embroiled in warfare that is global in scale. More than a continent is at stake: the very existence of both the Hesperian League and her ally Roma are on the line. They must vanquish the most indomitable force the world has ever known: the Mongol Horde led by Chinggis Khan himself.

Roman forces, led by Imperator Hadrianus, scramble to make alliances and prepare for the inevitable battle that will decide all on the great plains alongside the Mizipi river. With Marcellinus at the helm, can they forge the alliances they need with neighboring nations before they are overwhelmed and the whole land is enslaved?

Eagle and Empire is Smale’s third and final installment in his Clash of Eagles trilogy. It is alternate history at its best: what if Rome had survived her imperial decline and had instead emerged stronger than before? Fast-forward more than seven centuries, and Rome, now with Norse shipping behind her, discovers the New World. With Rome advancing from the East, and Mongol forces from the west (yes, Chinggis Khan in California), an epic battle is in the works. Smale delivers in spades, in what this reviewer believes to be the best of the trilogy. His ability to maintain a large, well-rounded, and highly-developed cast of characters is remarkable. The world he invents and reconstructs is alive and breathing. The battle scenes are gripping. Highly recommended.