The Age of Kings is dead...and I have killed it.
It's a bloody business overthrowing a king....
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....
The Powder Mage Trilogy, Book 1.
©2013 Brian McClellan (P)2013 Hachette Audio
Narrator was fabulous - female voices were not annoying at all and every character was easily differentiated. Almost like listening to a full-cast audio!
Promise of Blood starts out with a bang and the action continues to ratchet up right to the end. Characters are well developed and the story grabs you right from the start.Brian McClellan writes epic fantasy in a setting not usually experienced - magic mixed with guns! The story is complex and contains lots of human drama mixed with magic, monsters and political intrigue.
Highly recommended and really looking forward to Book 2.
A review of A Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
I enjoyed Brian McClellan's A Promise of Blood. It was a fun read from start to finish. It also perfectly meets the need I've been feeling for a while now. I love epic fantasy, but I feel the swords and sorcery trope is a bit tired. Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of room for awesome in medieval-based fantasy, but we've been stuck in the dark ages for quite some time. I want to see how wizards deal with the industrial revolution, which is exactly what McClellan does in this book.
What's great about A Promise of Blood, is that most of the bread and butter fantasy tropes are still there, they just have to deal with the upstart middle-class powder mages who have decided that the oligarchic sorcerers have had their turn. In fact if you took, say, the Wheel of Time, and revisited fifty or a hundred years after the events in A Memory of Light, you'd basically have A Promise of Blood. It basically has the same back story - way back when the sorcerers did stuff that makes today's elite look like children; the sorcerers can manipulate the classical elements; the sorcerers and kings have all the power and most of the wealth. There's even the threat of gods returning to wreak havoc on mere mortals' best laid plans.
But the times, they are a changing, thanks to Field Marshal Tamas and his cabal of powder mages, who ingest gunpowder and can manipulate bullets, whether that be bouncing them around corners or sniping someone from several miles away. And McClellan definitely delivers on his promise. Overthrowing the King and all the nobility can be a messy affair, and you can bet that the neighboring monarchs aren't thrilled that Tamas killed god's chosen king. Their own subjects might get ideas, after all.
I thought McClellan did a good job choosing his viewpoint characters. The story is told through the eyes of the General and interim dictator, his son, the common soldier, a middle-class investigator, and a laundress of one of the erstwhile noble families. I'm not giving names because I listened to the Audiobook and don't know how to spell anyone's name. I felt that giving us these different viewpoints lets us really feel the impact of all these social changes. Plus, the legion of secondary characters are also well-rounded and add to the depth.
As a note on the Audiobook, Christian Rodska does an excellent job narrating. He really gets into almost acting out the dialog instead of merely reading it.
I wish u could comment on other peoples comments, add a new dimension on what people write, some reviews deserve more than a 'yes or no'
I LOVE the new fantasy world McCellan created, the diff mages, diff style, focuses a lot on magic & a dark ages world... It reminds me of Joe Ambercrombie's 'the first law' immediately, but I loved his trilogy, one of the top Fantasy books
Looking fwd to the next 2 books
If u liked the Ambercrombie world with a LOT more magic & in-depth concepts of the magical essence
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
At first when I started this book, I was thinking its going to be awesome because it was a recommendation from the great author Brandon Sanderson, as Brian McClellan was a student of his. But after a chapter or two, it had a bit of confusion in it. I have assumed that the detective is the lead character at first, then I got a bit lost with the names of some of the characters.
That was the down side, the plus side was is plenty: story was good, specially towards the end of the book. A great ending which lets you think what the hell is going to happen in the next book. some funny twists here and there. Narration was good Christian did a good job with the characters, although it could have been better.
What I recommend is after you listen to it the first time, to give it another listen so you would understand everything that is going on, specially the beginning.
Waiting for the next book to come, don't be late.
Do not miss out on this book! It is a fantasy book about believable people, idealism warring with necessities. The magical system is fresh and inventive. And to top it off you get to laugh out loud now and then. One of the best books (if not the best) I have listened to.
Christian Rodska is awesome as a narrator. He is one of the best!
Brian, the hate I bear thee can afford no better term than this,--thou art a villain. I shall weep endlessly and with remorse at reading your awesome book! Idling away a year's time till book two is released (Feb 2014) is an excruciating Ecstasy!
The characters. A flawed bitter old man that does the right thing for the wrong reason. A scarlet woman who wants to earn back her place. A fatherless young man who must work under the new commander of his country, his father. The family man who must choose between his family or his country. A cast of other characters who will dance the jig for you at the end of Brian's fingers to be entransed by. The stage is not lacking!!
Best unexpected rockstar purchase so far of 2013.
Without a doubt. Strong characters, awesome magic system, and just plain awesome.
If you're a fan of Sanderson's work, you'll like this book. The magic system is new and fresh but it still has those element slinging loons in it too. Great characters as well. Guns & Magic = WIN.
An immersive world with engaging characters. Interesting conflict and told from compelling character perspectives.
I enjoyed it and will look for the next book.
I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)
The story is pretty good. It's kind a little more French Revolutionary then I'd like but the gore is limited. It clearly based on the first year of the French Revolution but set in a industrial and conloy holding city state system...I know it's a tad weird.
My actual problem is that the story is badly in need of proofreading to clear out the fact it was clearly written chapter by chapter and then not checked to see if things were explained logically. Some stuff never seems to be explained and other things are explained 3 or 4 times with 30 mins.
The character excluding the field marshal are good and reason characters but the seems little join them. It more of a history with 3 views of events in differently places and motives but not really a common link that make a story strong.
The narrater is very good and I would buy another book in an instance.
The story was gripping andf the world realistic for a fantasy. The character seemed reasonable, in that they act with emotion.
I want the next book NOW!!!!. This is how I can tell that it is entertaining. My desire for more is unsated.
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