Interesting concept, captivating story, but unlikely elements and outrageous and disappointing ending. I realize it's set up for a sequel, but th..Show More »e ending was so destructive as to destroy any desire to read more. I may attempt the second just to see how he can resurrect the storyline, and because this book ends on such a sour note.
The unlikely elements are flying machines (make it fun though) and Greek fire used by cohkians. Also that their enemies would have been able to capture viking longboats, learn to sail them and the take them all the way from Chesapeake Bay--down around Florida and then up the Mississippi to Illinois in 2 years and build and use siege equipment without Roman/Viking aid and training. That our Roman hero was able to accomplish so many advancements was unlikely enough.
The ending: the good guys army and city were nearly completely destroyed. All of their technological advancements were destroyed and their Roman weapons and armor stolen. Their defense of the city was pitiful. And Marcelinus ran around ineffectually and ended up a near invalid.
With characters more developed, and drama developing on a grander scale, Kevin Smale delivers an engaging story with a thought-provoking alt-hist back..Show More »drop. On the alt-hist side, my only criticism is that the author seems to assume less cultural change in nearly 800 years of extended Western Roman history than I believe is likely. But that’s a small complaint. And Kevin Orton’s narration is well-delivered if perhaps a wee bit slow.