Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Historical Fiction
Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words
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Keith Nixon is the author of The Fix and The Konstantin Novellas series, both crime fiction, with a sequel to The Fix slated for release soon. He’s also the author of The Eagle’s Shadow, which is historical fiction and the first in the series which this book continues. In addition to writing and his day job, Keith reviews for Crime Fiction Lover as well as being one of Books and Pals’ most prolific reviewers.
“One man stands against the might of the Roman Empire. His name is Caradoc.
The British army is shattered, defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by subterfuge and betrayal. Caradoc flees the battlefield, the crown heavy on his head and his heart set on retribution. He has to make hard decisions and tough compromises, but with the sovereignty of Britain at stake, personal pride sometimes has to take second place.
Emperor Claudius is determined to make as much political mileage as possible out of the Roman victory in an attempt to consolidate his own position. That does not sit well with the Roman military, who have their own objectives and who will do whatever it takes to achieve them.
As the Romans consolidate their gains and begin to push west, Caradoc finds he has few friends left. So he must turn to the Durotriges, a wild, hill fort dwelling tribe. But the Durotriges are riven by strife and petty squabbles.
Aulus Plautius, commander of the Roman army, brings his siege weapons to bear, can Caradoc resist the onslaught?”
The Eagle’s Blood continues the story of the various tribes that occupied what is now Britain in their resistance against the invasion of the Roman army during the first century AD. Beyond the obvious (lots of battles and military strategy), there is plenty of intrigue and human interest going on as well.
When I read historical stories I’m always comparing and contrasting to the modern world. One thing that struck me was how much this invasion was influenced by politics and technology, both still major factors in the modern world. At the time Britain was a hodgepodge of different tribes and if they are to have any hope to stop the Romans, they have to come together. The politics of combining the forces of tribes that have historically clashed and deciding who will lead these armies was a big part of the story. Tribal leaders needed to decide whether resistance was even worthwhile. If they’re going to lose, maybe throwing in with the Romans is the better decision. The technology possessed by the Romans — catapults and such — left the British with their more primitive weapons at a severe disadvantage with their only hope being to outnumber the Romans. A good story with special appeal for those interested in the historical aspects.
This is the second of a series and continues the story that began with The Eagle’s Shadow. Although ideally the reader would read the first book prior to this one, I believe reading this as a standalone would work.
No significant issues.
Rating: ***** Five Stars