**A huge thank you to Ballantine, within the Random House Publishing Group, for providing me a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley for the purposes of review**
I remember reading an ARC of Clash of Eagles this past February and saying that it pulled a fast one on me. In fact, I almost put it down about 25-30% of the way through it because I was dead sure I knew exactly how it would end and was feeling frustrated with it.
Well, not only was I partially-wrong about how Clash of Eagles would end, but I fell absolutely in love with that book. I fell in love with Marcellinus, our Roman protagonist, and his interactions with the Cahokians. When the novel ended, I was hungry for more of everything from the world of Alan Smale’s alternate history.
Eagle in Exile picks up where its predecessor left off and moves at an overall swifter pace. So much occurs within this second installment that it would be a struggle for me to recall every detail of this novel’s events. But I can say this: Eagle in Exile ups the ante…and it ups that ante BIG. In this novel, Alan Smale goes all in to the proverbial pot and says, “Go ahead. I dare you not to completely lose your mind at what happens.” Needless to say, I lost that bet because I sat wide-eyed and slack-jawed at this novel for its entire final quarter.
As always, the relationships between Marcellinus and his Cahokian friends are the best part of the novel. These relationships progress so much not only from where these characters all began in Clash of Eagles, but throughout the plot of Eagle in Exile. It’s also nice to see some familiar faces that I, personally, missed from Clash of Eagles – I’d say who, but, spoilers!
As with its predecessor, Eagle in Exile is brutal and gritty – a hypnotic and compelling piece of fiction that shows a world so real, you’ll wonder if maybe we all learned wrong in history class.