- Series: The Powder Mage Trilogy (Book 3)
- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Orbit; Reprint edition (January 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316219118
- ISBN-13: 978-0316219112
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.8 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 289 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Autumn Republic (The Powder Mage Trilogy) Paperback – January 5, 2016
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"A slam-bang conclusion to an outstanding trilogy."―Kirkus on The Autumn Republic
"Promise of Blood is a hugely promising debut. Guns, swords, and magic together? What more could you want? How about tense action, memorable characters, rising stakes, and cool, cool magic? Not only the finest flintlock fantasy I've read, but also the most fun. Brian McClellan is the real thing."―New York Times bestseller Brent Weeks on Promise of Blood
"This book is just plain awesome. I found myself enjoying every moment of it. Innovative magic, quick-paced plot, interesting world. I had a blast."―Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author on Promise of Blood
"The world of the privileged sorcerers and the strange abilities of the powder mages who can manipulate gunpowder are just as well drawn in this captivating universe."―RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars) on Promise of Blood
"McClellan's debut packs some serious heat.... A thoroughly satisfying yarn that should keep readers waiting impatiently for further installments."―Kirkus (Starred Review) on Promise of Blood
"Gunpowder and magic. An explosive combination. Promise of Blood is the best debut I've read in ages."―Peter V. Brett
"I love the world Brian McClellan builds, Powder Mages with flintlock pistols against white-gloved Privileged for the fate of a nation and more. Promise of Blood feels like the start of something amazing."―Django Wexler
"Brings a welcome breath of gunpowder-tinged air to epic fantasy."―Anthony Ryan on Promise of Blood
"McClellan's fitting conclusion to the trilogy which introduced an amazing world of rival traditions of magic at war with one another, a world of blood-soaked battlefields, gunpowder-snorting powder mages, and gods who can't help interfering in the mortal world."―Library Journal on The Autumn Republic
About the Author
Brian now lives on the side of a mountain in Utah with his wife, Michele, where he writes books and nurses a crippling video game addiction.
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In my mind the biggest problem is the falling apart of the Adran/Kez conflict. I don’t know if the author got bored with the war or just wanted to throw a twist in, but it didn’t work, especially after two books where this is a central focus. I found it frustrating that it was resolved in too tidy of a manner and all the while no one in the army seems to notice that lines of communication out of the capital are nonexistent, so the “real” conflict is hidden from most of the characters.
Along with that, too many characters end up overpowered and yet at the same time, pointless. Seriously, Nila’s storyline was done after the Lord Vetas incident in the previous book, but now she’s the super special Privileged who barely knows how to use her powers but still does awesome magic. Nope. Not buying it. Taniel and Ka-poel have the same issues. I was even okay with her outsized abilities as she practices an entirely different type of magic so conceivably she could be mediocre and still seem powerful against the magic practiced in Adro, but no, she’s apparently insanely powerful too. Taniel’s magic has apparently transcended the normal parameters of powder mages, but honestly, it is used to no effect in this book. As a character, he has managed to go nowhere over the course of the trilogy, which saddens me as he had such potential. I also didn't appreciate that the magic system's internal consistencies aren't as solid as they should be, particularly in reference to gods, dead gods, and those stupid gloves.
Lastly, I think McClellan blew the opportunity to explore just how hard it is to establish new forms of government on the ashes of a deposed monarchy. Yes, the royalists were around in the first book, but by the third, we have a country that is on board with all of this change business and the only problem is the foreigners who won’t stop interfering with Adro. I understand the compulsion to not put too much reality there (in real life, Tamas would have never stepped aside and poof, he’s no longer the good guy), but the characters in Adopest would have had real stakes to deal with. Instead, we have a reasonably fair election right off of the bat in a country that had no representative assembly at all and I’m supposed to buy this as the tidy ending. That’s about as realistic as the US’s nation building exercises of this century succeeding. Along this same vein, one of the characters even mentions the religious right. ::head desk:: With no history of representative government, that statement makes zero sense in the world portrayed.
So what did I like? Tamas. I would follow this character anywhere, including lifelong dictatorship. Does he make crummy decisions sometimes, absolutely. Is he a terrible father, probably not as much as Taniel thinks, but certainly not going to win any awards. I cared what he cared about even when I didn’t want to, and that’s what makes me like a book. I loved how imperfect of a person he is, and that he knew it, but still worked for what he considered the greater good knowing his less than pure motivations. Additionally, Adamat and his interactions with secondary characters were top notch as it has been the entire trilogy. I overall liked the book, above mentioned quibbles aside, and am happy with the time I’ve invested in reading this trilogy.
Field Marshal Tamas leads the war effort, fighting the Kez and multiple traitors. A potential foe arrives at the shores of Adro. With Tamas and his army away, the people must handle the new arrival on their own. Adro must decide what to make of the man and his army. Is he there to cause war or is he there to bring peace?
Field Marshal Tamas remains a formidable ally and enemy. True to his word, Tamas continues to battle, to finish what was started the night of the coup.
In a sad, heart-wrenching ending, Tamas, Taniel, Bo, Vlora and the soldiers fight to fulfill their purpose to make Adro a democratic republic, free from the tyrannical rule of Kings. These men and women give their lives for their country and their loyalty is inspiring.
In the end, when the dust settles, even the most battle scarred and tested soldiers grieve, love and forgive. War is complicated and takes on new forms, even after guns are laid down.
Excellent story. Highly recommend the series!
Book one was a bit difficult to get into; the writing in the first half or so was a little awkward (like it had been edited too enthusiastically). Book two was an improvement over that, and I'm pleased to say that this volume (the third) also has better writing, with none of the choppiness that marked the first part of book one.
You can't read this as a standalone. There are simply too many characters and subplots that were introduced in previous volumes. But the first two books are fun, anyway, so you might as well read all three. I understand this is supposed to be the final volume of a trilogy, and there were definitely some "final" things that occurred in this book, but there were also some issues left unresolved. I'm still not 100% clear on why the "savage" character Ka-Poel is so attached to one of the POV characters (Taniel). I suppose love is the intended reason, and maybe a sense of duty, but since we're only in Taniel's head and never in Ka-Poel's head, sometimes that just doesn't come across as well as it should. Also, it's never explained why the character Nila, who finds out she is a powerful sorceress, can touch the Else (this books phrase for manipulating magic, to grossly oversimplify) without the gloves that other sorcerers must use. I suppose there is room for a follow-up series with these and some of the other characters. Finally, I'm not completely satisfied with respect to the absence of the Prime Lektor character.
This is a multi-POV book, and we basically get the same POVs as in previous volumes (with a few exceptions). Field Marshal Tamas is back, of course. He's kind of reckless in this book, but I suppose he's also desperate. The odds are stacked against him, against his army, etc. He doesn't just have to deal with an angry and insane foreign god, or an invading army, or a traitor in his midst, but multiples of each of these. Taniel is another POV character but he spends most of the book either on the run or chasing after someone who has kidnapped Ka-Poel. You really feel for him; he doesn't know what has happened to her and he is worried (while at the same time being amazed by her abilities). Nila is another POV character. I like her growth in the series although she takes rather more strides in this book than she did in books one and two, so the pace there was a bit uneven. And Inspector Adamat is back, once again drawn into events even when he doesn't want to be. I am sad for him; he has most of his family back but he is still missing his eldest son after book two. He wants to be there for his wife and children but he finds it difficult to let go. I understand his anguish and I feel for him. But I find the conclusion of his storyline a bit unexpected in view of everything that's happened to him over the course of the series.
I like that the characters have flaws without being unlikable antiheroes. Tamas was not always the best father (and then there's that recklessness). Vlora (another soldier, who was originally engaged to Taniel) admits to making mistakes. Nila is powerful but hates what she can do (and yet, she takes to power easily). Bo (a sorcerer and Nila's mentor) seems affable but does some pretty nasty things, as well, when the need arises. Adamat lies when he has to. And so forth.
The pace is amazing. So much is packed into this book. I read every spare moment for almost three days. It's just one event after another. There was hardly a moment to catch a breath. This was probably the highlight of the book for me. There were even a few moments when I was worried for the main (viewpoint) characters; sometimes that doesn't happen in books but it did here. The author has established enough of a willingness to kill side characters in past book that I was on edge a bit, even for the more important people here.
Worldbuilding was basically the same as in past books. The magic system has already been established, as have several countries/nations, several gods, and the local political situation. Some things do happen to change the balance of power. And some elements of books one and two start to make sense in the context of things we learn in book three. (It probably helps that I remember these elements since I read the previous books quite recently.) This suggests a good deal of planning on the part of the author, and I appreciate that. He knew what story he wanted to tell and he finished it up in the intended number of volumes. I won't say every bit of foreshadowing was perfect, but this was good in general.
Overall, I'm glad I picked up this series. I won't say the ending is happy, but it definitely makes sense for these books. Hope to read more from Mr. McClellan soon. 4.5 stars.
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