Thursday, March 10, 2016

Eagle in Exile

Eagle in Exile: The Clash of Eagles Trilogy Book IIEagle in Exile: The Clash of Eagles Trilogy Book II by Alan Smale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the aftermath of the attack on Cahokia by the Iroqua, Gaius Marcellinus finds himself once again grieving over lives lost because of his decisions. While he grieves he realizes every Hesperian life lost weakens their chances of survival when Roman armies return. Gaius is committed to do whatever he physically can to protect Cahokia from all threats, especially Roma.

Eagle in Exile is in many ways the typical middle book in a series. There is a lot of setup, the pacing is slow, and many of the events don't feel all that meaningful. In many ways this book has made Gaius the Wanageeska into a Paul Revere of sorts going from place to place exclaiming, The Romans are coming, The Romans are coming. That's to be expected because that's undoubtedly one of the major points of the book, but that took the forefront for far too much of the book.

While I enjoy the concept of the book and some of the execution, there were some things that just bothered me. The primary point that bugged me is how Gaius could learn to love the people who slaughtered his friends and soldiers. I just don't understand how he could so deeply appreciate them after what they did to his legion.

The other point that bothered me is Sintikala and Gaius's budding relationship. I didn't think Gaius's interest was established well in the prior book and no additional time was spent in explaining why they clearly have feelings for one another.

The last quarter or so of Eagle in Exile was spilling over with excitement for me. The events at the ending really kept me engaged and interested. Despite significant tension and uncertainty, the events played out in a believable and enjoyable way. I really appreciated that because the author could have easily chosen quick unbelievable ways for the story to continue, but he faced the events of the book head on rather than slinking away.

Eagle in Exile was a solid sequel and I imagine fans of Clash of Eagles will enjoy it.

2.5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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