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text 2018-05-08 13:21
Reading progress update: I've read 180 out of 416 pages.
Clash of Eagles - Alan Smale

This book is good and all, but I'm still in such a slump. I don't know what to do. Press on and slog through it or maybe pause and find a slump buster? I have over 200 hardcopies and 300 ebooks to choose from. Surely I can find something to read that will hold my attention and get me out of this funk.


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text 2018-04-29 23:52
Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 416 pages.
Clash of Eagles - Alan Smale

Hey! A conqueror who isn't rapey!!!


He even tells one guy who is disappointed they can't rape a Native "you must not have a daughter". Boom.

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text 2018-04-02 02:10
April Showers TBR
Redwall: The Graphic Novel - Stuart Moore,Bret Blevins,Brian Jacques
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Deborah Moggach
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Sisters of Heart and Snow - Margaret Dilloway
Secret Vampire (Night World, #1) - L.J. Smith
Clash of Eagles - Alan Smale

Well, this month was going to be April Showers, so it was supposed to be dedicated to sad and emotional books. But then we had the Great Bedroom Flood of 2018, which ruined SOOOOOO MANY of my books. The bottoms of most of my graphic novels and several unread novels were soaked, causing the pages to warp, discolor and stick together. I wasn't too upset about the ones I had already read, but some of these books were brand new or just purchased at the Metro Book Sale. 


So, now April Showers means floods and water in the literal sense. I'm going to read the few books I salvaged that needed reading. Hopefully the pages aren't too stuck together. 


Before I read these I swear I will get through Envy and Splendor. I SWEAR. 


Also, Oklahoma teachers on strike. And I am behind them all the way. Teachers need better pay and our schools need more money! Oklahoma ranks 49th in the country in education. 


P.S. Friday was a terrible day. Saturday wasn't. Sunday was even better. Hope you guys are having a pretty good go of things. 


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text 2016-03-23 14:05
The Big Idea: Alan Smale

(reblogged from Whatever)




The Roman Empire in the New World? That’s the idea of Sidewise Award winner Alan Smale’s The Clash of Eagles trilogy, of which Eagle in Exile is the second book. But in imagining an alternate history, how does one give honor to actual history, and avoid the easy traps of historical fiction? Smale offers up his thoughts.



I was still a recent import to the U.S. when the hoopla surrounding the Columbus quincentenary started up. My own one-man version of the British Invasion was going rather well at the time; what I’d originally thought would be an educational three-year stint in the New World was being overwritten by the strong urge to stick around. Nearly a quarter century later I’m still here, and I’m now an American myself.


From my outsider perspective it was gratifying to see how quickly the simplistic and myth-based story of Columbus I was used to got replaced with a more factual, thoughtful, and nuanced reconsideration of his voyages and impact. I was just beginning to get published as a writer of short fiction at the time, but even then ideas were swirling around my brain. Yet it took another decade and a half, much more writing experience, plus the unanticipated kick-start of reading Charles Mann’s 1491, for my conscious and unconscious minds to get their acts together.


In Clash of Eagles, the Roman Empire never fell. Now it’s the early thirteenth century and a legion under general Gaius Marcellinus is marching west from the Chesapeake Bay towards the great Mississippian city of Cahokia, a thriving community of some 20,000 people. (Cahokia really existed, of course. The Mississippians were mound-builders, and even today it’s fun to stand on top of what we now call Monks Mound, a giant earthwork 100 feet high and 1000 feet across at the base, look out over the surrounding more gently-mounded landscape, and imagine how glorious Cahokia must have been in its heyday…)


And that was the Big Idea behind Clash of Eagles: Ancient Rome invades North America when the Mississippian Culture is at its height. Subtext: Invoke a different European invasion of the North American continent, in a different way and at a different time but with fairly similar motives – plunder and personal glory – and explore what happens.


Read the rest of the article here.

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review 2015-11-03 15:25
Eagle in Exile: The Clash of Eagles Trilogy Book II - Alan Smale

In the years after the destruction of his legion, Praetor Gaius Marcellinus comes to realize that Rome will send another army to Nova Hesperia and that the tribes must unite to have any chance of independent survival. His advice is anathema to the fiercely proud warrior culture of the Cahokians, intent on revenge against the Iroqua.


So begins another long struggle for Marcellinus. He is the ultimate outsider, trusted by few and only occasionally by them. The beginning of the book is slow, and I admit that I struggled a bit, but it is well worth the wait. Smale has a tremendous imagination and I could not begin to foresee the turns that the plot would take. I am now wishing I had the third book to read!


My only other criticism is that I would have liked to know more about the characters as people, rather than as assets in a battle. When Marcellinus at one point talked about Hurit being charmingly engaging, it surprised me, made me like her, and made me understand her usefulness to Tahtay.


I received an advance review copy from NetGalley.

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