Clash of Eagles

Narrated by: Kevin Orton
Series: Clash of Eagles Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (154 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.49

Buy for $31.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A rising star in the realm of alternate history, Alan Smale delivers fiction of broad sweep and epic scope.

Set in a world in which the Roman Empire never fell, Clash of Eagles finds Praetor Gaius Marcellinus leading his 33rd Legion into Nova Hesperia. But there his conception of the world is challenged by encounters with the Powhatani, Iroqua, and Cahokiani tribes.

©2015 Alan Smale (P)2015 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Clash of Eagles

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    81
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    81
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    78
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting idea but not believable and ultimately predictable.

I used to enjoy alternate history as a genre some time ago but don’t read much of it anymore. I read this book on a recommendation. I found it rather predictable and overall just unbelievable.

The narration was decent but with some oddly mispronounced words here and there.

The set up is that it is the early 13th Century, though I don’t think it’s mentioned specifically that I recall, and that the Roman Empire never fell. The Empire is currently at war with the Mongols but also searching the New World for gold.

That’s where we meet our main character at the head of a single legion in the heart of North America. Where he winds up in Cahokia, a city near modern day St. Louis, and his hungry and rebellious legion attacks the city because they need the corn for winter. Instead they are wiped out by a clever bunch of Cahokians who fly around in gliders launched from a giant mound (that at one point is mentioned to be 1000’ high) and they drop essentially napalm on the romans or shoot perfectly aimed fire arrows from a moving glider and wipe them all out.

Our author has recast these natives, who’s city was abandoned in 14th century before Europeans arrived in the New World in our timeline, as basically something they were not. In our author’s version of reality, these people are surprising liberal. They have women in roles of authority, as members of the military, clan chiefs, etc.. the mounds were for launching these gliders not as tombs and monuments which they really were as all mounds were.

But this particular and unusually large mound in real life is still about 90% smaller than the one in the book and it hides much DARKER story. One of an elite buried with 300 human sacrifices. That’s right, the real Cahokians engaged in human sacrifice and the mounds were just status symbols of the elite class.

I am all for an interesting alternate history, but why does that mean the author gets to change a people’s culture to suit his narrative? Even if on the surface it appears to cast those people in a more civilized light, it’s still a lie and it is honestly disrespectful to those people and, to some extent, the victims of their more dubious practices.

And as a student of anthropology, I just don’t think it was necessary and the whole flying bit was superfluous to the predictable plot of which the battles consisted of: bad thing happens, another bad thing, another, another, oh wait here’s a crazy idea with no explanation of how it was accomplished hence the term “plot device” and then good guys win.

Could have written the same essential story, but probably more interesting and certainly more believable, if the Roman actually was in a more realistic and brutal culture that this place and its people actually practiced.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not What I Was Looking For But A Good Story Anyway

I was looking for a historical fiction set during the Roman empire and not an alternate history. Nevertheless it is a good story, well written and performed that one should enjoy. I'll just read a little closer and pay more attention to the summery next time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable

I really enjoyed the book, it is quite unrealistic even for alternate history but the author makes you believe in this world and immerses you in it. Love the story and can’t wait to read the next book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Rome invades the United States!

This book was a lesson in imagination! A Roman Legion invades the East coast of the United States. This is back before any English colonize the north american continent. So this Roman Legion ends up battling with many different Indian Tribes. They keep treking West until they run into the central north American Mound builder people. This is when the Mound builder people were at their greatest, most sucessful period. The Army of the Mound builders completely destroys the Roman Legion and the only one left standing is the Praetor Gaius Marcellinus. Gaius goes through many adventures. I received this Audio book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. Good Listen!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

Reading other reviews online I was skeptical about flying objects. but the author made it work into the story and gave it a good balance between Roman and Native American innovations.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the finest example of Alt-History genre

This one hooked me in on chapter one. Tremendous, strong, tough character mind-sets. This is the finest audiobook in this genre that I have been exposed to. And I have read my share of Alt-Hist. I highly recommend this top shelf tier book, and I know the series. . Now for the obligatory: "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

Performance slightly marred by a strange voice that cuts in a few times. Otherwise it’s fine. The new voice is so obtrusive it jarred me out of the story.
Inventive idea. Lovely main character. Well researched.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A solid effort

I generally avoid alternate histories but this was a pleasant surprise. The character building was decent and the plot kept my interest.
I'll check out the rest of the series.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Good premise, silly story

A world in which the Roman Empire never fell and an invasion of the Americas is an idea with great potential. The childish flying Indians is a squandered opportunity to spin a great saga.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting concept, captivating story, poor end

Interesting concept, captivating story, but unlikely elements and outrageous and disappointing ending.
I realize it's set up for a sequel, but the 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.

spoilers:

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.

2 people found this helpful