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Promise of Blood | [Brian McClellan]

Promise of Blood

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....
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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    Hassan Springfield Gardens, NY, United States 04-30-13
    Hassan Springfield Gardens, NY, United States 04-30-13 Member Since 2009

    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= :'(

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First it was weird, but then AWESOME!!"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christian Mesa, AZ, United States 05-08-13
    Christian Mesa, AZ, United States 05-08-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A Promise of Awesome!"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caleb L. Allen California 05-05-14
    Caleb L. Allen California 05-05-14 Member Since 2008

    Caleb

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    "Wonderful Fantasy set in Napoleonic-Era style tecn"

    I'm sick and tired of nobles, kings, emperors, dukes, lords, and knights. It looks like Brian McClellan feels the same way.

    The narration was fantastic. Christian Rodska usually does great and this is no exception.

    Main components are as follows:

    * Oliver Cromwell style protagonist. "The age of kings is dead" indeed.
    * Magic Musketeers, or "Powder Mages." They're super interesting and fun.
    * Old Magic/Feudalism vs. New Magic/New Technology
    * Frontiersman + Native Tribeswoman ala French/Indian war style groups.
    * Old Gods and Ancient wizard creatures.

    The Characters feel real and realized, the plot is interesting and fun, and the ending is satisfying and a good setup for the next book in the series.

    Give it a try! :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JPaladin Carpinteria, CA, United States 11-02-13
    JPaladin Carpinteria, CA, United States 11-02-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Interesting world, good characters, engaging"

    An immersive world with engaging characters. Interesting conflict and told from compelling character perspectives.

    I enjoyed it and will look for the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin Delano Ontario, Canada 05-29-13
    Benjamin Delano Ontario, Canada 05-29-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Promises Kept...."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Promise of Blood to be better than the print version?

    Narrator was fabulous - female voices were not annoying at all and every character was easily differentiated. Almost like listening to a full-cast audio!


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended and really looking forward to Book 2.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlene North Highlands, CA, United States 04-22-13
    Marlene North Highlands, CA, United States 04-22-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Best debut novel in many years!"

    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!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael New Orleans, LA 04-13-14
    Michael New Orleans, LA 04-13-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

    Here in New Orleans, one of the most passionate pursuits of its citizens is cuisine, and that's no surprise. In this wonderful city of diverse cultures and rich history, that's a given. Some of the very best dining in the world is served up right here, day in and day out. From the very first glass of wine, to the final napkin to the lips, the meal's presentation and it combination of flavors and aromas ARE the event, and set the evening's pace for conversation, enjoyment and celebration. And all of this begins with the preparation of the ingredients. Whether it's a fried shrimp po-boy with a col-drink down in da "Ninet Ward", to a five-star evening of fine dining at Commander's Palace, it's all the same: Preparation and presentation.

    You know where I'm headed with this, don't you?

    A great story, like any good meal, takes detailed preparation and solid presentation for a memorable experience. The table must be set, and the greater the destination, the bigger the table, the better prepared. Otherwise, the evening is ruined.

    And in "Promise of Blood,", McClellan has all the makings of a experienced chef. Think alternate colonial historical fantasy - Sort of a musket, pike and magical story that might have been. One that can be a bit overwhelming at first. You'll need to listen very closely to this audiobook, because you're thrust into the story immediately - A royal coup by the military, right in the first few minutes. Done. Over. And the military is mopping up. So you don't have a lot of time to acclimate.

    And it's a well-thought, rich world, full of deeply defined characters, diverse story lines worth your pursuit, a magic system both smart and sensical, and a helping of political/historical machiavellian mayhem that sweetens the meal. The dialogue is believable and doesn't meander. McClellan also does a fabulous job of suspending disbelief, which is so essential for an author to accomplish within the journey, In such an ambitious undertaking, all these positives come together for a very, very good listen.

    The narrator is solid, but I want more from Rodska in the second novel, to step up his game, if you will. He can add much more to an already good effort, and I'm expecting improvement the next time around.

    If you read my reviews, you'll note that I do NOT give spoilers or plot lines - There are countless other reviewers that will do that for you. This is a fantastic meal that doesn't need anyone to throw leftovers at you to get your attention.

    This meal has been well-prepared and the presentation is excellent.

    Please step up - Your meal is prepared. Your table awaits.

    Bon Appétit!

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Reno, NV, United States 04-18-13
    Joel Reno, NV, United States 04-18-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Truly excellent"
    Would you listen to Promise of Blood again? Why?

    Without a doubt. Strong characters, awesome magic system, and just plain awesome.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Forest Eugene, OR, United States 04-20-13
    Forest Eugene, OR, United States 04-20-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you value your self worth read this review."

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Desmond Grand Prairie, Texas, United States 06-29-14
    Desmond Grand Prairie, Texas, United States 06-29-14 Member Since 2011
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    "OK story, good narration. No Game of thrones."

    I read several of the reviews before deciding to finally try this book, and for the most part, all are sort of true. It is weird at the start, and you have to pay attention to the names and characters during the beginning to fully understand what the motivations are for the protagonists and antagonists alike towards the middle and final chapters of this book.

    Based on a French colonial setting where the upper class is met by a pseudo lower class revolution fueled by a magic system based on a sometimes drug-like addiction to ...gunpowder(???) - Yeah, even I had a hard time following this magic system, which was a big indication that this was not perhaps the best thought out magic system, nor best edited story.

    Don't get me wrong, its not bad, and in some parts its actually pretty good, especially the intended corollary to the church, and the authors thinly veiled critique of the priesthood ( I am assuming that was what the author was going for but ..you decide). But even then these moment of brilliance are marred by lack of fully developing story arches or incomplete character development - for example, why does a person studying to be a priest, motivated by a desire to marry the daughter of a professed womanizer...who so happens to be his boss. Yet after that introduction to the character and the important yet minor role they play in the events in the book, the author makes no further mention of the girl in question afterwards. This was one of those moment that leaves anyone who has ever taken a creative writing class scratching their heads. Especially after you have read the entire story.

    There is a lot to like about this book, and I suspect that some of the questions are being left unanswered just to motivate the purchase of another book in the series, but I also suspect that many of the unanswered questions here were not intentional and may (Or may not) be answered in another book as the questions were left hanging a bit clumsily and some characters seem to have been written in and just as quickly forgotten (like the one above).

    Overall the narrative was good with decent voice acting and distinctions in the various character voices to make the experience worth while - which says a lot when you consider the above. The wrong narrator would have made this a horrible experience (If you doubt me listen to anything by Michael Page - one of the worst in the business in my opinion)

    Is it worth the credit? in my opinion Yes, but please if you base such purchases on the strength of the authors prior works, or lacking that, strong reviews (like me) please understand that my "yes" comes with a caveat. That caveat is that if you are a purist of clearly defined magic systems in your fantasy, be warned, you might have issue with this one since the basis of the magical abilities really doesn't make much sense.

    Yes - I know - I can already here the mumbling. But think about it - gunpowder being a man made product of chemistry, really is a terrible premise of the magical abilities in the book, and the Author spends no time explaining why gunpowder, and probably because they also couldn't think of any plausible way of making it "Magical" - so why bother. It is "Fantasy" after all and the reader is expected to simply go with it. Thankfully the author did not take this position with all aspects of the story.

    I for one will get the next book only if the price is right, and just purely out of curiosity to see if it does get better and not much else. I hope this review helped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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