Title: Promise of Blood
Author: Brian McClellan
Publisher: April 2013, Orbit Books
Blurb: The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.
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.
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…
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.
Finally, I have read a Brian McClellan book.
It’s taken ages to finally get to this point (and it honestly shouldn’t have). McClellan’s books have been on my radar ever since they came out, honestly, but somehow, they just kept getting put on the back burner, claiming that, one day, I’d finally read these and see what all the hype was about.
Finally reading Promise of Blood made me wish I hadn’t waited so long.
You’re immediately thrown into the action and I don’t think you ever take a moment to breathe. 10 pages suddenly turns into 100 and there wasn’t a night where I went to bed on time this week, if I decided to read beforehand. I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next, wanting to check back to X’s chapter so I could find out about Y SPOILER, only to get so caught up in W’s chapter that, when we suddenly switch to Z’s, I am like, Wait a second, but W’s was just getting [insert intense ((and prolly add an expletive)) adjective here]!
(I realize that might not have made sense reading that just now, but if you’ve read the book or read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.)
I can’t decide which aspect of the book I liked more: the intriguing world and magic system that felt like war-time, revolutionist history I was (vaguely) familiar with, but with a twist of magic and sorcery I enjoyed immensely. Or, if it was the way in which it was written, showing me events and actions and emotions and inner thoughts of a character to make me root for them, only to twist that and then suddenly I’m questioning if I should be rooting for them at all. Both of these elements made this book immensely immersive and enjoyable and an absolute page-turner.
It was brilliantly done.
My favorite characters might surprise you or they might not, if you’ve read the book. But I couldn’t get enough of Olem (and do I have a slight crush on him? Why yes, yes I do). Pole, I want to know so much more about (and perhaps not through the eyes of Taniel ((how he treats her still irks me)) but I’d kill to see her own point of view). I also just adored Mihali and wouldn’t mind not only reading an entire book about him and his life, but also perhaps just eat in his kitchen for an eternity? Is that possible (and does he bake chocolate chip cookies)?
Then, of course, as all great books do, I get towards the end and, with barely enough awareness to realize that I’m actually reading and not immersed into this epic battle where I’m on the edge of my seat and trying to read faster, only to realize that I have less than fifty pages left and there is no way this can all be wrapped up by then, because there is still SPOILER and SPOILER and you can’t tell me you aren’t going to resolve SPOILERY SPOILER SPOILER before the book ends!?
But, of course, it does.
And the person who has the copy of The Crimson Campaign checked out at the library has it until Oct. 15th.
And that’s if they turn it in on time.
If you were like me and still haven’t read this top notch fantasy author yet, trust me, love, you’re not doing yourself any favors and you’ll regret waiting. Truly. I certainly did, but I’m excited to continue this fantastic series…whenever my library will let me.