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Promise of Blood (The Powder Mage Trilogy) Hardcover – April 16, 2013
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"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
"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."―New York Times bestselling author, Brandon Sanderson
"Brian McClellan is an explosive powder keg of imagination with an expertly-plotted fuse. The stories he tells are the stories we'll be reading for years to come."―Sam Sykes 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)
"McClellan's debut packs some serious heat...A thoroughly satisfying yarn that should keep readers waiting impatiently for further installments."―Kirkus (Starred Review)
"McClellan's debut is a lot of fun --- a historically influenced fantastical romp filled with machismo, intrigue and magic."―SciFi Now (UK)
"McClellan neatly mixes intrigue and action...in a society where new forces like labor unions, gunpowder-armed soldiers, and explosion-causing 'powder mages' clash with traditional magics, more, and beliefs."―Publishers Weekly
"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
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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Story: Adamat is a veteran police detective who finds himself on the doorstep of a coup - an overthrow of the monarchy. Field Marshall Tamas has led a revolution with his powerful powder mages but now must stabilize the situation in the City - especially with neighboring countries circling like vultures. His son, Taniel, resents his powerful but distant father but finds himself embroiled in the coup. And Nila, the laundress, will use all her wiles to protect a little boy, her noble employer's son, from execution. Together, they will find that Tamas' coup will have set far more into motion than either could ever have realized.
First off, this really is epic fantasy. I love that the feeling of a revolutionary era France was taken and woven into an intricate story featuring magic and Gods, guns and carriages. It could have really gone wrong but instead was a perfect complement of technology (guns), magic systems (from powder mages to "knacked"), and very intricate politics. The story starts very small, converges for a short time, and then explodes across the country as we follow the four main characters in their individual quests.
The characters were extremely well done. The interactions between Taniel and Poel, Adamat and SouSmith, Tamas and his generals/bodyguards were grounded, realistic, and fascinating. As well, the incredibly intricate plot that slowly builds and expands - starting with a coup but ending up being so much more, kept me intrigued. This isn't a simple story on any level - not the world building, characters, politics, diverse magic system, or plot. I am greatly looking forward to the next book in the series.
I listened to the audible version and the narrator did an excellent job with all the different characters.
Very fun stuff, just be aware that you will get caught up in the story line and the concluding book is not out yet. The Crimson Campaign is second in the series and book three, The Autumn Republic, will be out In February, 2015. I would suggest reading this on Kindle as there are also several short stories that can be purchased and read to fill in back-story on a few topics that get mention in the books but which would become tedious if included in the main storyline. If you don't have a Kindle I wonder if we have reached a point yet where one could get the free Kindle app for computer or mobile device and download these novellas to read anyway. I see more and more authors using epublishing to release short, "back filling" stories to flesh out a book series. It's an exciting plus for reading on a device. I'm sure the authors of some of our favorite books have had interesting asides in their story outlines but never had a way to get them to us before.
I understand this to be Brian McClellan's first book but it is well-written, with none of the distracting "beginnerisms" you might find from other authors. The story moves along at a good pace and is quite exciting. Well done, Brian!
Once you start this book you will have a tough time putting it down. The adventure careens from one surprise to another without taking time to draw a breath. This is about fighting, political intrigue, personal relationships, mysteries, all balled up in a nonstop adventure. I liked it so much I bought all three books - the third I paid full price on the author's website. As a new writer he can use all our support.
This is military science fiction with single shot rifles, pistols, and swords for backup. Adding magic into the mix gives a nice complication to strategy and tactics. Having a detective chasing a mystery throughout the series just adds to the spice. Mixing in the transition from a monarchy to a representative political system combined with threats from other countries expands the view and gives reason for the conflicts.
I loved it and can't wait for another series to begin.
Most recent customer reviews
The 5 star reviews are very lengthy - the lower scores are pithy and to the point.Read more