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Review: The Powder Mage Trilogy

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Review: Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Series #1)

Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should In a rich, distinctive world that mixes magic with technology, who could stand against mages that control gunpowder and bullets? Promise of Blood is the start of a new epic fantasy series from Brian McClellan. Guns, swords, and magic together? What more could you want?

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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.

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I found myself enjoying every moment of it. Innovative magic, quick-paced plot, interesting world. I had a blast. The stories he tells are the stories we'll be reading for years to come. A thoroughly satisfying yarn that should keep readers waiting impatiently for further installments.

Brian McClellan is an avid reader of fantasy and a former student of Brandon Sanderson. When he is not writing, he loves baking, making jam from fruit grown in northeast OH, and playing video games. He currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife. Find out more about Brian McClellan at www. Average customer rating 4 2 comments.

ISBN 13: 9780316219037

As a lover of fantasy and an amateur French Revolution scholar I found Promise of Blood to be fascinating. Author, Brian Mcclellan, combined "sword and sorcery" with gunpowder and guillotines, thus creating powder mages; and the result was a layered magic system with lots of intrigue and action. I will admit that I had a hard time getting past the first chapter as there were many creative proper nouns introduced some of which did not need to be remembered , but I encourage you to keep reading.

By chapter three I had the names down and I was knee deep in the detailed plot. Expect political intrigue, gripping characters, and lots and lots of action. There is someone after the man who lead the rebellion against the King and Adamat is hired to investigate who along with other information Tamas is looking for. Adamat is summoned to the King, before morning light, to find the copious number of lanterns taxed paid for - out. Darkness surrounds the palace also lacking the forever present guards. With each step, his suspicions rise of what may have happened.

Adamat is summoned by the Field Marshal for his known investigation skills when he was on the police force, to ask to investigate now. In the second POV, it involves a random investigator dude called Adamat doing essentially eff all. There are no plot twists. There are no diversions. There are no red herrings. And Adro in my opinion, is completely empty and unrealised.


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The capital city itself, which is the main setting of the novel and is supposed to be this seething hub of militia, nobles, and burgeoning industrial unions, exists on an empty stage where there should be buildings, markets, streets… city things. As a result, it comes across as disjointed and over simplistic where it should be complex and colourful.

But guys, I could forgive both these flaws. The attempted rebellion against socially sanctioned female behaviour, and ultimate humiliation at the hands of a patriarchal hero, is a standard femme fatale villain character arc. This is surprising, because Taniel has exactly Yeah, right. Taniel is boring, and spends most of the book moping about his ex-fiance in a very jerk-ish manner. Meanwhile, Ka-poel kicks arse every time she appears. It turns out that the reason Ka-poel is a bizarrely obedient puppy is because Taniel once saved her life whilst she was naked and blindfolded of course.

Which begs the question as to why half way through the book, Taniel, who is over a decade older, and holds the significant power of both rank and obligation over her, randomly wonders if he should marry her. So that makes it okay that Taniel, and the narrative, were purposefully sexualising a girl everyone actively believed to be a child until now!? Do you want a clue, McClellan? The answer is no. Why even contain this twist? Why have her randomly and pointlessly fake her age for pages, when the only purpose is to endorse the sexualisation of underage teenage girls??????

Oh, and she was a widow who had only inherited her power from her dead husband, a militia owner, of course. Magic muskets and shape shifters and gods on earth… sure, of course people will buy it! But women in positions of power?? LOL, u must be joking mate ha ha HAaa….

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I also got quite tired of reading about Nila, barely out of her teens, having to constantly live with the fear of sexual threats from gross and violent men. But wait. Maybe McClellan is just trying to portray the horrors of a more barbaric and ruthless time than hours? In the first chapter, Tamas, our noble protagonist gives the word that for a three day period, the soldiers and people of the city are free to do whatever they want to the aristocracy who have mistreated them.

Ah, mob justice! Beat up a few nobles, and loot all their ill gotten gains?

Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy, book 1) by Brian McClellan

Seems reasonable I guess! We are then treated to the joys of description of girls being dragged, crying and clothes ripped, on to the street. And then Adamat casually — so casually it truly shocked me — has this exchange with his wife in his second scene. Adamat closed his eyes. There will be riots. I want you and the children out of the city within the hour. Just a precaution, of course. Damned woman.