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.