Promise of Blood (The wholesale Powder Mage Trilogy, high quality 1) online sale

Promise of Blood (The wholesale Powder Mage Trilogy, high quality 1) online sale

Promise of Blood (The wholesale Powder Mage Trilogy, high quality 1) online sale

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Product Description

"Just plain awesome" -- Brandon Sanderson

Civil unrest cripples the citizens of Adro in the aftermath of the revolution that obliterated the monarchy. Now, Field Marshal Tamas and his lieutenants must confront the true cost of freedom in book one of the Powder Mage Trilogy.

It''s a bloody business overthrowing a king. . .

Field Marshal Tamas'' coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas''s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

It''s up to a few. . .

Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

But when gods are involved. . .

Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should. . .

Winner of the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Debut Fantasy.

Review

" 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 McClellan is an American epic fantasy author from Cleveland, Ohio. He is known for his acclaimed Powder Mage novels and essays on the life and business of being a writer. Brian now lives in Utah with his wife, Michele.

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Top reviews from the United States

leachim
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
started great but i gave up halfway through
Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2019
i downloaded the free sample of this book and i loved it. really sharp writing, memorable characters, a cool magic system, and a very detailed world setting. should have been a bullseye, but once i purchased the whole book and continued reading, the whole novel just... See more
i downloaded the free sample of this book and i loved it. really sharp writing, memorable characters, a cool magic system, and a very detailed world setting. should have been a bullseye, but once i purchased the whole book and continued reading, the whole novel just seemed to fall apart and eventually i stopped caring about what happened next.

i think the biggest problem is that the book builds up story elements and then completely skips over them. the first few chapters build up tension regarding riots that are sure to break out in the aftermath of a violent coup. several times the characters talk about what they''ll do when the riots break out. i was really hyped up about the riots because i expected some kind of major action setpiece ... and then the author skipped over the riots completely with one sentence. like, there''s a space break in a chapter, and the narrative starts out with "a week later, the riots were over and the characters were doing something else." the author just skipped over a very important element of the plot for apparently no reason at all. this happens several times in the first quarter of the book.

there''s a ton of dramatic introspection regarding taniel and his fiancé vlora, who was unfaithful to him. when vlora shows up in the novel, i expected to see a chapter from her point of view, or at least some kind of closure about their relationship, but i got nothing. vlora appears and is immediately shoved into the background, never to be mentioned again, and her infidelity is not discussed. it''s just this weird hanging plot thread that didn''t go anywhere. and then there''s a huge civil war that doesn''t happen. like, it''s a major plot point, but we only get to see one brief glimpse of the action from the point of view of a side character before it''s all over. about a third of the way into the book, the investigator adamat is sent to a distant fort to get information from a guy named borbador. when borbador hears what adamat thought was an inconsequential detail, he freaks out and cries, "you have to tell the general about this, it''s extremely important!" so adamat returns to the general ... and doesn''t tell him at all, he gives him some other random information that the reader never saw him acquire. this kind of thing happens over and over, almost every element of the plot is built up and nothing comes of it.

i really wanted to enjoy this because the magic and fantasy elements was really cool, the magic system was pretty interesting, and the history of the setting seemed well-though out. the character of tamas was a solid protagonist at first. but the plot just failed at almost every point, until i got frustrated with reading about things that didn''t matter, and stopped caring about the character taniel. i finally gave up reading about halfway through.
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Denny DimwitTop Contributor: Fantasy Books
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great Narrative - if you don''t mind stupid.
Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2020
It is strange, because the narrative and dialog are great until some inexplicable stupidity occurs. It''s not like these gaffs are due to the character''s lack of intelligence. I''m ok with less intelligent characters making less than optimum choices and being unaware of the... See more
It is strange, because the narrative and dialog are great until some inexplicable stupidity occurs. It''s not like these gaffs are due to the character''s lack of intelligence. I''m ok with less intelligent characters making less than optimum choices and being unaware of the blazingly obvious. What I''m NOT ok with is supposedly intelligent characters making inexplicably poor decisions. You can''t be the premier strategist in the world and still neglect to secure your headquarters during armed conflict. You can''t plan exhaustively to round-up of noble families and then allow unknown children to leave the surrounded house. There are dozens of these pokes in your eye idiocies. Probably the most egregious is the head of the revolt wanders around with exactly 1 security man, even after several attempts on his life have been made. You can''t categorically conclude that only a traitor explains how you were found, and at the same time send out hunters with magical abilities that can find people miles away. And on, and on, and on. Imagine finding your fiancee in bed with another man (or woman) and a couple of weeks later your ex wants to "talk it out". Imagine a father sending his son off to kill his best friend because he says so. What could possibly go wrong. and on and on. The analogy that comes to mind is beautifully cut gems being set into a necklace with big gobs of bubblegum. If you''re not paying attention, you might miss it from a distance, but the more you examine it the uglier it gets. Not recommended.
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Carson
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Powder Mage Series Review
Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2018
This review is for the series and does not contain spoilers. I''ll start with the good, which is most of the series. The story is well crafted, the plot makes sense, and each book is satisfying through to the end. That''s not easy to do in a longer story, but these... See more
This review is for the series and does not contain spoilers.

I''ll start with the good, which is most of the series. The story is well crafted, the plot makes sense, and each book is satisfying through to the end. That''s not easy to do in a longer story, but these work.

Like most fantasy books, the stories branch off and switch back and forth. I''m not a big fan of the practice usually. Too often fantasy authors (Robert Jordan, for example) have too many stories running, and you''re never sure whether the people in the side plots will reappear or exist only to communicate one piece of information. Other authors just tell two parallel stories that only intersect when the characters physically meet up again. McClellan''s side stories are better than most. There aren''t any characters that bored me, and the side stories actually end up mattering and contributing to the overall plot. For example, one character learns a crucial piece of information related to another character''s current situation. The readers learn something at the right time, and it can add tension to the story while the other character doesn''t know what we know.

There are some negatives worth pointing out, too. The writing style and quality had their off moments. One of the more common rules you''ll hear as a writer is "show, don''t tell." There''s a lot of telling in these books. McClellan relied heavily on telling us what the characters were thinking rather than getting to know people by their words and actions. There are also moments where the bad (or at least missing) writing leads the reader to not care very much about things we''re supposed to care about. I''m trying to avoid spoilers, so I apologize if the example is vague. The plot makes heavy use of Tamas''s past regarding his wife, and that plays out in the affairs of neighboring nations. This hugely important part of the story is told in a few paragraphs, and never shown. We never have a flashback and never witness the past, people, and relationships. This makes it hard to care very much. Don''t get me wrong: I cared about the characters and stories, but not the histories we''re told and people we barely meet.
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David
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good story, but with some problems
Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2019
Promise of Blood starts off tossing the reader right into the middle of a mystery. A former police investigator, who now does the same thing for private clients (not the only similarity to our modern world, more on those later) is called to the palace and discovers the... See more
Promise of Blood starts off tossing the reader right into the middle of a mystery. A former police investigator, who now does the same thing for private clients (not the only similarity to our modern world, more on those later) is called to the palace and discovers the aftermath of the coup. The leader of the coup, Tamas, asks the investigator to find the meaning of a phrase some of the victims of the coup uttered as they were dying.

There is a certain charm to a book that throws you headlong into the deep end and lets you figure it out as you go along, and the author does this very well. We follow the stories of three main characters. Tamas himself, the leader of the coup and a Field Marshal in the army of Adro; Taniel, Tamas’ son; and Adamat, the investigator mentioned earlier, as they deal with the aftermath of the coup, including trying to identify traitors amongst the conspirators and stave off invasion from a neighboring nation.

The author has a definite feel for how to keep a reader interested by giving out little bits and pieces of information as the story progresses. There are no big info dumps and you’re left to figure it out from the clues he reveals throughout the book. The story even includes a couple of real mysteries, as Adamat tries to find out the meanings of an obscure phrase and then later determine who the traitor in the new Cabal is. The story almost has the feeling of a mystery with a fantasy setting, though there is a lot more going on than just the mysteries.

Along with private investigators and firearms (primitive barrel-loading rifles and pistols), some other things that will be familiar to modern readers are newspapers, printing presses, and trade unions. The overall picture, as far as I can tell, is a world moving away from sorcery and towards industrialization, along with a battle between two different types of magic users.

That brings us to the different kinds of magic. We see at least four in the first book, which I’d class as one minor type, two major types, and one that is largely a mystery, based on the descriptions given. The minor magic is called being Knacked, or having a Knack. This seems to be defined as having one single special ability. For example, Adamat the investigator has a Knack of a perfect memory, he can remember absolutely everything he’s ever seen or heard, apparently. Another Knacked character has no need to sleep, which leads to him being hired as a bodyguard. The first major magic users are the sorcerers, called the Privileged. They appear to wield a largely elemental magic, and they wear gloves that indicate what element they are best at working with. The Privileged are just what the name implies — they’ve always been the elites, and very often the powers behind the various thrones. The second group of magic users are the Powder Mages, also called the Marked. They have various powers centered around firearms and black powder. They can inhale or ingest black powder to enter a “powder trance,” which gives them heightened senses, pain resistance, and other abilities. They can also set off charges of powder at a distance and “float” bullets farther than even modern weapons can propel them, with pinpoint accuracy. The fourth magic system, which we see only from one practitioner, seems to have similarities to what we’d call voodoo, complete with little dolls. It may be the most powerful magic system, or perhaps the lady that uses it is simply a very strong mage, but she does manage to kill a number of Privileged with her magic.

A major theme of the story is the feud between the Privileged and the Marked. The Privileged look down on the Marked and at least one promises that Kresimir will destroy all Marked, which he thinks would be a very good idea. The Marked, for their part, are tired of being put down by the Privileged and are beginning to flex their own muscles. Both Tamas and Taniel are Powder Mages, and one of Tamas’ stated reasons for the coup is to replace the Privileged Cabal with a Marked Cabal.

Now, I admit to being fascinated with new and different systems of magic, but there are things about this book that made me cringe. First off, Tamas is, to put it mildly, a world-class jerk. He sends his own son, Taniel, to kill his best friend Bo, who happens to be a Privileged. I, personally, call that cold. He also admits to arranging marriages between Marked in order to breed more Powder Mages, including one that breaks Taniel’s heart.

Second, some of the characterizations don’t seem to work very well. For example, we have a doctor who seems to go from “surgery might kill the patient” to “okay, let’s go ahead and operate” pretty quickly based on my experience with doctors (full disclosure, I work for the local hospital so I know quite a few doctors personally). It just struck me as a sudden change of mind, and not in keeping with any of the doctors I know. Most doctors, if new information comes to light that changes their mind about something, will at least make a comment like, “Well, that changes the situation.” It makes sense for the doctor to explain his change of heart because if the patient dies there’s a really good chance he’ll end up hanged.

Also, the ending of the book is really pretty anticlimactic. We get told over and over during the story that Kresimir is going to return to the planet and set things right, which is one of the major sources of tension in the story. Then when he appears, he is defeated, honestly, without a lot of fireworks or even much of a fight. Come on, if you’re going to have humans battling gods, at least make them good battles! The fights between the Powder Mages and Privileged we see are more exciting than the fight between a Powder Mage and a god. What this means, if you apply logic, is that the Privileged were more powerful than their gods were, which kinda makes me scratch my head.

For Christians, there are other potential issues. There are references to multiple gods, and also speculation that what they call gods are just very powerful sorcerers, which could be disturbing to some Christians. Honestly, I kind of took those in stride given the nature of fantasy fiction, but one of the leaders of the Kresim church is mentioned as having orgies at his mansion, which also houses a chapel — which is a much bigger problem for most Christians, I believe.

Overall, it was a fairly enjoyable read despite the problems, and I will probably return to read the second and third books, just to find out how the Powder Mages deal with the problems coming their way. I guess I’d summarize it by saying it’s a great concept, just that the execution was a little lacking.
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Geoff
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
THE new fantasy author to watch
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2019
It has been nearly a decade since I''ve been this enthralled after starting a new series. I can''t stress how impressed I am by this piece. The learning curve that every fantasy series must guide it''s reader through is easily passed without the author doing much... See more
It has been nearly a decade since I''ve been this enthralled after starting a new series.

I can''t stress how impressed I am by this piece. The learning curve that every fantasy series must guide it''s reader through is easily passed without the author doing much handholding or going into lengthy, unnatural exposition for the sake of the reader. The magic system is at once intuitive and familiar, but unique. This is probably because of the different systems in play, the Privileged who wield powerful, elemental based magic we''re all familiar with. The Knacked, individuals with singular, highly unique abilities. And the eponymous Powder Mages, who have the ability to ''burn'' powder to direct and empower bullets, as well as consume it to enhance their senses.

What''s especially impressive is that this is the author''s, Brian McClellan, first book and he nails difficult aspects of writing a novel as well as avoiding a lot of pitfalls. For one, each character comes across as an individual, not the same character repeated x10 with a different name and backstory. Moreover, every character, or hardly any character rather, falls into the common stereotype the the snarky. sarcastic character that''s always quick with a quip. It''s an easy, fun character to write, that''s why some books contain nothing but this archetype. The fight scenes make sense, not just in their meaning but what''s happening. He doesn''t gloss over them (ala Scalzi), go into incredible detail (ala Martin) or make then indecipherable (ala Robert Jordan). They''re well described, easy to read and make their point. The author also pulls of some neat tricks by taking advantage of using multiple character perspectives. Time easily passes and scenes transition organically when you switch from character to character in a time progression and don''t need to track one or two the entirety of the journey.

I also appreciate that while this isn''t a grimdark, super serious work, that the characters feel much more ''real'' than say, a Brandon Sanderson novel. Sanderson is great, but so squeaky clean that reading about say, two characters who are romantically entangled is always like reading the transcription of two awkward homeschoolers flirting with eachother. Yet McClellan doesn''t dive into the depths of human depravity that Martin does to show just how ''realistic'' he can be. It''s a nice balance that I appreciate a lot.

Finally, what I think I enjoyed the most, especially having just come off a Scalzi book is that this novel is messy. Plans, both from heroes and villains, never go as planned. People do dumb things for believable reasons. Accidents happen. Sometimes protagonists are just flat out tricked, outsmarted or outgunned. This makes for a riveting, tense read which is exciting after getting used to comfy scenarios where our clever heroes always come out ahead and their plans that are never described to us ahead of time unfold perfectly. If the rest of the series keeps this level of quality up, the Stormlight Archives have worthy competition for this decade''s best fantasy series.
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Shawn T. King (stk_kreations)
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A fantastic adventure with a unique magic system. Loved it!
Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2020
Wow! That was a fantastic adventure...or the start of one. I enjoyed every page of this. McClellan has created a very imaginative story here, full of great characters, a very unique magic system, and tons of creativity -- I often found myself looking away from the page... See more
Wow! That was a fantastic adventure...or the start of one.
I enjoyed every page of this. McClellan has created a very imaginative story here, full of great characters, a very unique magic system, and tons of creativity -- I often found myself looking away from the page to just bask in his ideas as they were introduced.

The magic system was probably the most intriguing part for me.
There''s three different types of magic-wielders. One is your kind of traditional mage. Then there are those who have certain abilities called Knacks (a unique ability akin to a superpower almost). And then there are the Powder Mages, who can control gunpowder (they can bend bullets like in the movie Wanted) and can ingest it to gain temporary boosts to their physical traits...it can also act like a drug to those who don''t ration it well.
Really great stuff! And the range of that magic system creates a lot of great scenes such as a Powder Mage trying to get a shot off while dodging fireballs slung by a mage.

Some pretty nice worldbuilding. There''s only a few locations you travel to, but there''s mention of other areas to explain different races of certain characters, so maybe those will be explored more later on, but the foundation is there.

The story itself is terrific, and weaves a lot of different storylines together. There''s a coup to replace a King; a servant who is trying to rescue a noble child; a detective trying to unravel a great mystery that leads into some lore for the reader; ancient mages with great plans to change the course of life for everyone; gods who may or may not be real... Ahhh so much great stuff! I won''t say any more in fear of spoiling something, but I really loved this book and am gonna jump right into the sequel.
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Travis HaydenTop Contributor: Fantasy Books
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A great start to this brand new epic flintlock fantasy
Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2018
It is really hard for me to write good reviews for books that I absolutely love. Promise of Blood is one of those books. It literally checked off all my boxes for what I love in a fantasy book. It gave me a great cast of characters, a vast and rich world, a captivating... See more
It is really hard for me to write good reviews for books that I absolutely love. Promise of Blood is one of those books. It literally checked off all my boxes for what I love in a fantasy book. It gave me a great cast of characters, a vast and rich world, a captivating story, and also a wonderfully crafted magic system. Brian McClellan is Brandon Sanderson''s protege and you can definitely see why. Brian''s writing wasn''t mind blowing to say the least nothing truly special and that is totally okay because even though this was epic fantasy; it was so easy to get into. Everything was explained very well. I never once felt myself slowing down while reading because the story was so fast paced. It was like watching a TV show, every chapter was like a small episode. The cast of characters were amazing as well. That doesn''t mean to say I didn''t hate some characters because I definitely did, but those characters were ones I am pretty sure you were supposed to despise. My favorite of our three main characters was hands down Taniel. His and Ka-poel''s story was the most together if that makes sense. I did really enjoy Tamas and Adamat but I think there stories got a little to repetitive. This books magic system was top notch. One of my favorites and also one that is very different. You have Powder Mages, people who use gun powder to heighten senses and are able to control guns that use powder. Privileged, who are pretty much just powerful sorcerer''s. Last you have Knacked, who aren''t really magical but have something they specialize in. For example in this book Adamat, one of the three main leads has a knack for memory, so he is able to retain lots of information. The world in the Powder Mage trilogy is vast and rich and even though we got to explore a lot. I feel like we haven''t even scratched the surface yet, so I am so eager to just continue and dive right into book two!!
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Robin Snyder
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great Start to A New Series full of Magic, Gods and Devistation Just on the Horizon.
Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2017
If you have read my bio or a few of my reviews then you know that Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors ever. So it was a no brainer to pick up this book not just because Sanderson recommended it but also because Brian McClellan was once a student of his. I see... See more
If you have read my bio or a few of my reviews then you know that Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors ever. So it was a no brainer to pick up this book not just because Sanderson recommended it but also because Brian McClellan was once a student of his. I see some of the influence that Sanderson might have on his writing but Brian McClellan is definitely finding his own voice and put together an intricate world and a very gripping story.

This is BM’s first book and so while very good you could definitely see his potential to grow. There were a few minor issues I had just with understanding some of the motivations of the characters and a few things going to easily or swinging in extremes easily. But again they were only minor and I am sure that it is something he will get better at in future books.

Really you could say that this book is about a father and a son, deep at the heart of it. But it just so happens that the father has just killed the king and taken over an entire kingdom and the son has returned from abroad to help with the aftermath. Tamas is an intriguing character to me. He killed a king and many of the nobility besides, he isn’t an evil man by any means but he is definitely not a good man either. He knows the cost of the choices he is making but he is making those choices anyway. I do like that he isn’t blindly stumbling and knows the cost of all of his decisions. He is a hard man.

*** Tamas took them all in with his gaze. “The people want blood right now, not words. They’ve wanted it for years. I’ve felt it. You’ve felt it. That’s why we came together to pull Manhouch from his throne. I’m going to give them blood. A lot of it. So much it will sicken them, choke them. Then my soldiers will funnel them toward the Samalian District, where they can loot the nobility’s houses and rape their daughters and kill their younger sons. I intend to let them choke on their madness. ***

Now that he has taken over the city he needs to consolidate his power but that is hard to do when there are many who appose him and someone who is trying to sabotage him.

Taniel has been away for awhile to other lands and has finally returned to his home. He has brought with him Ka-Poel one of the savages from that land. She is mute and seems to have magic of some kind but even Taniel doesn’t understand the extent of it. I did like these two together, they have a nice bond and it was cute to see a small girl acting much like a bodyguard for Taniel

*** She made the shape of a woman with her hands.
“Julene?” She nodded and bared her teeth.
“I don’t like her either. She could have gotten us all killed against that Privileged. Even a Privileged— especially a Privileged— should know you don’t just walk up to one of them and think you’re going to get the drop. She acts like she knows she’s going to win every fight.”
Ka-poel pointed a finger at him. Taniel chuckled. “Me? I do know I’m going to win every fight.” ***

I got caught up in the story, world and magic that was happening. I love the idea of Gods returning to the world and the danger that will bring with it. There was the main arc of this story which was trying to stop the return of god Kresimer but then there was the set up of the greater arcs of differing factions moving pieces on the board with agenda’s of their own. There is even a murder mystery thrown in to boot.

Like with Sanderson books you can expect a magical system of sorts with rules for different classes of mages. There are also religions, cultures and ancient civilizations involved.

I like that while we get a clear resolution to many of the plot lines for this book specifically there is just the foundation for the other arcs that will go through the entire series. At the end of this book I was ready to jump into the next one right away to find out how the people who made it through would fair. I’m pretty sure there are some bloody times coming soon and we are in for some hard deaths to come.

A really well done first book and I look forward to the rest of the series.
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Top reviews from other countries

Sam | The Book in Hand_
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
From start to finish this book is outstanding
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2020
I decided on writing another review for this book because my previous one was just bad. It pretty much consisted of ’yay this is awesome read it’. Don''t judge. ......... So here we go. From start to finish this book is outstanding, I don''t think I can find one thing I...See more
I decided on writing another review for this book because my previous one was just bad. It pretty much consisted of ’yay this is awesome read it’. Don''t judge. ......... So here we go. From start to finish this book is outstanding, I don''t think I can find one thing I didn''t like about this book. I was that good. This was a completely new genre for me having never read flintlock fantasy and I can definitely say it won''t be my last. I think the fact I had never read a book of this nature before only added to it''s enjoyment because I found the magic system brilliant. It was new and well thought out and sometimes costly. McClellan’s writing ability is flawless, he creates deep and meaningful connections and evokes a full range of emotions from the reader despite being beautifully crisp and simple. Pair that with the realism his characters possess and you have a winner. McClellan also excels in his world building, I didn''t once find myself overwhelmed with information, he gently weaves its setting (industrial revolution), culture and religion into the character interactions seamlessly. Laying what is a solid foundation for the other installments. Promise of Blood is told from several POV’s; Tamas, Taniel and Adamat (and that is probably the order in which I rate them 🙈). There is Nila too but she isn''t a huge feature. McClellan has crafted an incredible cast of characters for Promise of Blood, with even the smaller parts being memorable and entertaining. Tamas and Olem were fun to read throughout, I loved the contrast between the two of these and how well they gelled despite it. ”Tamas suppressed a smile. He could like this man. Too free with his tongue, perhaps.” Tamas is all about rules and against his better judgment he likes Olem. ”Olem shrugged. “You’re a teetotaler, sir, and it’s well known among the men you won’t abide smoking either.” “Then why are you hiding it behind your back?” “Waiting for you to turn around so I can have a hit, sir.” Then you get another enjoyable duo; Taniel and Ka Poel. The fact that Ka Poel is mute just adds to this, by seeing the way they communicate with gesture and body language is greatly entertaining. The pacing of this book is somewhat up and down, and does have several stages we''re it is slower and less exciting but I didn''t feel like this to take anything away from the book. This is because the story is filled with action, investigating, political plays and more, all of which require different paces. As for the series: I have read the complete trilogy and would rate the overall experience as I have the books, with five big stars.
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Lynnette
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A roller coaster fantasy adventure with lots of twists
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2017
Phew... Where to begin? First of all, as the book description states, fans of Brent Weeks'' "The Night Angel Trilogy" and "The Lightbringer Series" will love this book. McClellan shares Weeks'' ability to seamlessly run multiple complex plots in cohesion with...See more
Phew... Where to begin? First of all, as the book description states, fans of Brent Weeks'' "The Night Angel Trilogy" and "The Lightbringer Series" will love this book. McClellan shares Weeks'' ability to seamlessly run multiple complex plots in cohesion with one another and leave the reader intrigued and guessing. (In some cases more coherently than Weeks does, in my humble opinion, but admittedly this is only the first book, we''ll see how well it all sticks together in the second and third books) A unique variation on the theme of traditional magic makes the mechanics of this world fascinating. The book provides a solid foundation to the world without branching into long chunks of dialogue or exposition to keep the reader up to speed. Making a setting feel real and "lived in" from scratch is a difficult thing but this book achieves it effortlessly.The amount of description of characters and locations is deep enough to allow the reader to form an image in their own mind without burdening them with excess text to pour through. Some books go to extreme lengths in their descriptions and can bore the reader, sometimes less is more and this book does it well. The characters are believable and relatable, they pull you into their lives and I never felt like I was simply reading characters in a book. There are many sub-plots; a valiant yet bloody battle against a foreign aggressor, an ancient magical mystery, a man trying to create a new and fair government out of the ashes of a coup and all of the political intrigue that entails, an estranged son sorely trying to win the approval of a distant father, struggles with addiction, and an element of "who dun it," each riveting on their own while combining and intertwining to make a greater whole culminating in a suspenseful finale. One review I read here complains that the middle of the book seems to lose steam but I disagree, never during my first read through did I feel like there was lost momentum. There were different pitches of intensity but nothing less gripping than the pure-action parts. I was engaged and left wanting for more the whole way through. A thoroughly enjoyable read and I''ll be moving straight on to the next in the series.
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LucyLovesBooks
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An absolute triumph
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 29, 2019
This was one of the most imaginative fantasy books I’ve read.. ever. I adored each and every one of the characters because I felt none of them were actually heroes they all had flaws and I just loved them for it. The magic system is unique and I’ve never read anything...See more
This was one of the most imaginative fantasy books I’ve read.. ever. I adored each and every one of the characters because I felt none of them were actually heroes they all had flaws and I just loved them for it. The magic system is unique and I’ve never read anything similar to this day. The action scenes were outstanding, but it didn’t overshadow the story. The characters were relatable, you could understand the motives behind their actions and I felt so emotionally invested in them all.
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Mrs Mac
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Highly recommended, the best new fantasy series in ages.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 13, 2018
Possibly the best new fantasy series I have read for years. Well fleshed out engaging characters and a multi-stranded (but not incomprehensible) plot. It''s gripping and the story is told with proper pace. I''m now halfway through the second book which, if anything, is even...See more
Possibly the best new fantasy series I have read for years. Well fleshed out engaging characters and a multi-stranded (but not incomprehensible) plot. It''s gripping and the story is told with proper pace. I''m now halfway through the second book which, if anything, is even better, and have just ordered book 3. Not standard sword and sorcery, the concept of the powder mages, and a far less medieval feel, makes this a different beast. Highly recommend it. As an aside, it would make a terrific TV show, albeit needing a Game of Thrones level budget to do justice to some of the battles.
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Tim
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Take a Powder...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 23, 2016
It has taken me quite a while to read this book, that is down to lack of time rather than not being able to get into the novel. In fact, I was itching trying to find the time to read and getting more frustrated when that time was not forthcoming. Which is a sure sign that...See more
It has taken me quite a while to read this book, that is down to lack of time rather than not being able to get into the novel. In fact, I was itching trying to find the time to read and getting more frustrated when that time was not forthcoming. Which is a sure sign that the book is one that is to be enjoyed. A fantasy, but one that is a little different to the standard epic, there is a more down to earth feel to it, at least to start with. The story itself concerns the overthrow of the decadent and insular monarchy, reminiscent to the French Revolution, but there I also that feeling that it is merged with parts of the American old west, albeit one with a slightly lower level of technology – in this case muskets and flintlock pistols, rather than six shooters. Of course there is a lot more going on than just the revolution, there is the aftermath and the growing realisation that just removing the nobility is not going to solve all problems in one fell swoop. There is going to be a period of instability, of power grabs, and of course there are other things going on at the same time, which start of just as urban rumours that seem to grow into life of their own accord. McClellan introduced an interesting and varied magic system, from the Privileged, almost a traditional style magic user, using their hands to form and control their powers. They are the dominant form of magician, and are used by many as a power base to maintain order and power. They are joined by the knacked, individuals that have one talent that is beyond normal – a perfect memory or not needing to sleep. And then there are the newer former of magic users, the Powder Mages, individuals who are able to gather strength from gunpowder and use it to strengthen themselves and improve their abilities with guns. Seen as dirty and wrong kind of magic… And it is one of these, the near legendary General Tamas who has caused the revolution. Initially it seems that he has done it out of altruism , but as the story it progresses we begin to see hints that there might be more to it than just that. Just as in the way we see that Tamas’ true motives might be a little obscured we begin to learn that there is more going on than might be originally anticipated. Religion that seems to be little more than stories of another time begins to be looked at in more detail as new (perhaps old) powers begin to reveal themselves. In the end it leads to a satisfactory story of political intrigued, entwined with more mystical happens. They are delivered in a well written and engaging manner, with characters that stand out. Some you just want to like, some you respect, some you hate and some you just want to punch in the nose, which is always a good sign.
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