Sins of Empire

Narrated by: Christian Rodska
Series: Gods of Blood and Powder, Book 1
Length: 20 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,575 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A new epic fantasy series from highly acclaimed fantasy author Brian McClellan, set in the same world as the Powder Mage trilogy.

A world on the cusp of a new age...

The young nation of Fatrasta is a turbulent place - a frontier destination for criminals, fortune hunters, brave settlers, and sorcerers seeking relics of the past. Only the iron will of the lady chancellor and her secret police holds the capital city of Landfall together against the unrest of an oppressed population and the machinations of powerful empires.

Sedition is a dangerous word....

The insurrection that threatens Landfall must be purged with guile and force, a task that falls on the shoulders of a spy named Michel Bravis, convicted war hero Mad Ben Styke, and Lady Vlora Flint, a mercenary general with a past as turbulent as Landfall's present.

The past haunts us all....

As loyalties are tested, revealed, and destroyed, a grim specter as old as time has been unearthed in this wild land, and the people of Landfall will soon discover that rebellion is the least of their worries.

©2017 Brian McClellan (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Furious, visceral, and relentlessly thrilling action." (Kirkus)

"Fans of McClellan's Powder Mage trilogy will be happy to return to this fascinating fantasy world, where magic and technology come together in the midst of complicated relationships and unsure alliances.... [A] compelling read." (RT Book Reviews)

What listeners say about Sins of Empire

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Making a great book: Mystery, magic, and mayhem

In short, this is a well-written book that is worth your time and money.

The good: The narrative is great, certainly a lot better than I was expecting. There is a fair amount of mystery about what the real motivation is for everybody. About every quarter of the book you learn something important to change how you view the world. Going into the book, I was cynical about the character tropes based on the publisher summary; however, I found every character reasonable and believable (even the antagonists). Each character has their own motivation and didn't seem to do things just so the author can move the plot along. The magic system is interesting, but is not fleshed out too much. The narrator does a good job keeping tone and rate of speaking consistent with the tone of the book. When the action is getting fast and furious you can really feel the tension.

The bad: the narrator does a bad job with female voices. Men voicing for women are not usually very good, but this was particularly bad. I think if the 'Lady' in Lady Vlora Flint was removed I would never have known her gender based off the narrator's voice. It also took me about an hour to warm up to the narrator's voice in general, but I found it enjoyable (eventually). It could have been like one of those "the beatings will continue until the morale improves" situations.

There are several references to the past of some characters that would probably be appreciated if prior novels were read (this is the first book I've read from this author).

Normally I find more than a few things to gripe about in a book, but for this I only found the narrator irritating sometimes. This book was a great experience and I can't believe I found it from a random pick.

59 people found this helpful

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I thought the last book was the peak. I was wrong

Narrator has just the perfect gravelly, gritty tone that game sets the entire series.

The book is set after The Autumn Republic and brings back several favorite characters from the short stories and is simply glorious.

15 people found this helpful

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Plods Along - PowderMage Trilogy had Great Pace

Same world with same magic system and politics. It is good. Not nearly as good as the Powdermage Trilogy.

The main characters in this series aren't anywhere near as intriguing as the Powdermage Trilogy. It is great writing. Needs a significant amount of editing. The conversations drag on and on and on. The pace of the novel is slow. I'd rather it be 15 hours long with all the unnecessary commentary taken out.

It's like being held hostage while somebody you don't really enjoy continues to enlighten you on their personal business. I had high hopes.

12 people found this helpful

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Best McClellan book yet

New characters new intrigue,and plenty of action. This is by far my favorite of all the powder mage universe.

7 people found this helpful

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A Great Start to a New Series

This is an excellent start to a new series in the world of Powder Mages. It has call backs to characters from the previous series without requiring you to have read that series and tons of new characters and story to keep you riveted to your seat. Buy this one. You won't regret it.

6 people found this helpful

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Just fantastic

I actually think this is even better than the Powder Mage books. And that's saying a lot because I gave those a five star rating. The characters are so skillfully crafted that I in many ways feel I actually know them in the sense I could predict their reactions beforehand. The universe these books play themselves out within is beautifully illustrated and described. The world feels vibrantly "alive"
and very vast place indeed. I also think Christian Rodska does a wonderful job bringing the author's intentions to light with his narration. Go read the Powder Mage trilogy this instant unless you already have. I rank the author up there among my absolute favorites like Abercrombie, Rothfuss and Lynch! They all put something new on the table that none of us ever tasted before, and it's delicious!

6 people found this helpful

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Write More!!!!

Excellent plot and character development! This story continues to build into a wonderfully epic crescendo by the end. Very artfully written and planned.

5 people found this helpful

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Incredible & Magnificent

If you could sum up Sins of Empire in three words, what would they be?

Unbelievable world building

What did you like best about this story?

Some of the characters are the best in the fantasy genre. Ben Stykes is one of my favorite characters of all-time.

What about Christian Rodska’s performance did you like?

Performance is great.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

This novel can be compared to any of Brandon Sanderson's novels.

4 people found this helpful

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Fun new story, 10 years after original trilogy

If you could sum up Sins of Empire in three words, what would they be?

Gritty, fast-paced, flintlock fantasy

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mad Ben Styke is a great new character to the series. He's a tough, brutal man who wants to protect his friends and countrymen. Be sure to read the original trilogy and Ghosts of the Tristain Basin before you read this book.

Which character – as performed by Christian Rodska – was your favorite?

Christian Rodska is perfect for this series. He has a dark, grisly voice that is completely appropriate for Ben.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Maybe I'm getting too old for this

What did you like best about Sins of Empire? What did you like least?

Enjoyed the first half of the book

What was most disappointing about Brian McClellan’s story?

Not close to his original trilogy. Way too many cringe worthy story arcs that only exist to push the thin plot along the way he outlined. Characters, with the exception of Ben, very flat.

Which character – as performed by Christian Rodska – was your favorite?

Ben

Do you think Sins of Empire needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It will, but not sure I'm going to jump on it as quickly as the prior books.

Any additional comments?

Not sure how this is getting 5 star ratings from readers of the previous books. Just a thin facade of the Power Mage trilogy.

18 people found this helpful