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Promise of Blood: Book 1 in the Powder Mage trilogy Hardcover – 16 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (16 April 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 035650199X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356501994
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 4.5 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

McClellan's debut is a lot of fun - a historically influenced fantastical romp filled with machismo, intrigue and magic (SCIFI NOW)

An engaging and wonderfully written work that is going to do great things in the fantasy genre this year (FANTASY FACTION)

Excellent . . . a ripping yarn (Buzzfeed)

Brian McClellan is a veritable word mage and I shall remain on the edge of my seat with anticipation, excitement and impatience until Book 2, The Crimson Campaign, comes out (BOOKBAG)

Book Description

An explosive epic fantasy debut for fans of George R. R. Martin and Brent Weeks, which starts with a bloody coup and has action and intrigue on every page

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
It's refreshing to see a new fantasy series take the time to establish a firm foundation for its setting without having to rely on the old conventions of the genre. Promise of Blood, the first in the Powder Mage trilogy, is appropriately epic in its scale and ambition, not just depicting the vast power struggles of huge forces, sorcerers and demons fulfilling some ancient prophesy, but also taking into account the social and economic cost of the upheaval on the ordinary citizen when Field Marshal and Powder Mage Tamas overthrows the corrupt reign of King Manhouch in the kingdom of Adro. That's only just beginning of Tamas's troubles, but if the rest of this series remains as gritty and as thrilling as the set-up alone it will be one of the best new fantasy works for a long time. And there is indeed every sign that the series has a lot more to offer.

Having overthrown the King and publicly executed the nobility right at the outset of the first book, the real substance of Promise of Blood then is to be found in the disorder that follows in the wake of the revolution. Tamas has to quell the civil unrest that follows, sweep up pockets of royalist resistance, account for the kingdom's debts and put the economic house into order (not least of which is finding a way to pay his soldiers), but the unrest also places Adro in a dangerous position with its neighbours in Kez only waiting for the opportunity to take advantage of the instability. McClellan does well to cover all these angles though a number of characters who all provide a different perspective on the aftermath.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
OK, you're looking for something a little different for your fantasy reading time. You want intrigue, you want double dealing, you want mystery and of course you want it all wrapped up in a fantasy world that will draw you deeper into the shadows of darker deeds.

Sounds like a lot to ask for? Well you might think so but wait until you get a load of the startling debut by Brian McClellan.

Also add to the mix fully rounded characters with multifaceted personalities that change the way that the tale unfurls, all round make this a title that's going to be one of the fantasy debut's to beat this year. Cracking stuff.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By V. Nicholl VINE VOICE on 22 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Opinions have been mixed about this book, with one review making me wish I hadn't ordered it - it claimed it was far too complex and that there were totally unnecessary plot lines, like random gods appearing. I am glad I persevered. Although the opening chapters are a bit melodramatic and shaky, this book soon sharpens up and I found myself racing through it and genuinely anxious when switching to another character whilst leaving another in peril. There is some good world building here, with the author showing a good consideration of how different societies would function and interact with each other, and how a revolution would need to be planned. The concept of magic (Knacked, Powder Mages etc.) is clever and I can see this developing nicely. The author juggles a number of plot lines well, and allows the characters to 'live' - they act according to the natures he describes, they don't do things for plot convenience. Bring on book 2!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Annette Gisby on 16 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In my time, I have read a lot of fantasy and I have to say this is one of the most original, most unique form of magic in a fantasy setting that I've ever seen! There are a few different types of magic users in this world: the Privileged - who are what you would expect of a sorcerer in a fantasy book, then you have the Knacked - who have one particular skill only, such as knowing when someone is lying or the ability to read minds. Then there are the Powder Mages who wield magic through gunpowder - they can make the gunpowder in an enemy's gun explode from a distance, for example, or they can ingest gun powder to induce a trance like state where they can see further etc.

The book has three main POV characters, Field Marshal Tamas, his estranged son Taniel and the ex-police inspector Adamat. After the king and nobles are overthrown and executed, Tamas sends Adamat to investigate the mysterious dying words spoken by every one of the royal cabal of Privileged: "Kresimir's Promise must not be broken".

The author uniquely blends elements of magic, mystery and political intrigue to give a very interesting plot. Some parts were a little bit bloody for my taste, but you couldn't really have the story without them - the book opens on a bloodbath in the royal palace as part of the military coup to take over the country.

It was an interesting read and I think I will be picking up the rest of the series once it's out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By andrew on 29 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback
A PROMISE OF BLOOD 2013
BY BRIAN MCCLELLAN

I came to this series rather late I’m afraid. I only bought this book in 2014 because I wanted something to read and the cover seemed interesting. I am also currently listening to it on my IPOD while I work out at the Gym. Here’s the blurb.

*Winner of the 2013 David Gemmell Morningstar Award*
It's a bloody business, overthrowing a king. Now, amid the chaos, a whispered rumour is spreading. A rumour about a broken promise, omens of death and the gods returning to walk tthe earth.
No one really believes these whispers.
Perhaps they should.
Like all blurbs it gives you a taste of what the work is about. Going into further detail it is a story about Field Marshall Tamas, a man who has just overthrown a King and his attempts at rebuilding the country after the event. Unlike most novels we find ourselves joining the story after the event, and don’t spend an entire trilogy building up to it. Other characters include: Taniel, Adamat, and Nila.

I know most people have a view of fantasy as Tolkien rejects but these days are exciting times for Fantasy as each year there seems to be a new take on the genre. I’ve noticed more and more people seem to be moving away from the medieval times and toward a much more modern world. A Promise of Blood is one such book and is more akin to the French Revolution in its setting than Richard the Third.

Characters.
There are four POV in which the story is told. There is Field Marshall Tamas who is obviously the driving force behind the story. The reasons for why he does things is slowly revealed throughout the novel, but isn’t dumped at your feet. The reader is for the most part left to use their brain to figure things out. Which is what I liked.
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