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Kirk Mitchell (1950 - )

New Barbarians
Ace, 1986
Barnes & Noble


Recommended for high school students Plot summary: Roman Empire fights the Aztec Empire in an alternate world. Sequel to Procurator, same protagonist, Germanicus Agricola, now a (reluctant) Emperor who dreams of restoring the Republic--a melancholy, lonely, introspective man. Good for students who like science fiction, might be OK for younger students who like thought as well as action. In this alternate world, Rome and the Caesars have ruled for 2000 years, Christianity has not developed into a religion, Islam is a small religious sect -- some mechanical improvements (e.g. electricity) have taken place, thanks to the previous Emperor, Fabius. Romans have begun to inhabit the southern United States (called the Novo Provinces in the novel)--after seeing the horrors of Aztec sacrifices, Germanicus Agricola decides to ally Rome with the Anasazi Federation (the Apaches were the model for this group, according to the author's notes in the back) in order to destroy the Aztec Empire. Despite treachery at home and on the march, he succeeds, but loses his lady love. Author provides a map of Novo Provinces and Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) The "new barbarians" refers to the Anasazi. Germanicus realizes that Rome could destroy their culture & makes a treaty with Native Americans that they will have their own territory free of Romans unless they attack Roman settlements. Good characters, good plot, love, loyalty, treacher;, the good guy wins but pays a price. The author uses several quotes from Roman authors (Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, et. al.--sources listed at the end of the novel) & seems to know about Aztec and Native American customs. Rosalind Harper

- Rosalind Harper , 12/16/2005

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