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Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy) Hardcover – 16 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (16 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316219037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316219037
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.4 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,859,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Promise of Blood is the best debut I've read in ages. Brian McClellan has a bold new take on fantasy (Peter V. Brett)

Guns, swords and magic together? What more could you want? How about tense action, memorable characters, rising stakes . . . Brian McClellan is the real thing (Brent Weeks)

This book is just plain awesome. I found myself enjoying every moment of it. Innovative magic, quick-paced plot, interesting world. I had a blast (Brandon Sanderson)

Excellent . . . a ripping yarn (Buzzfeed)

An historically-influenced fantastical romp filled with machismo, intrigue and magic (SCIFI NOW)

A French Revolution with wizards; McClelland's debut packs some serious heat (KIRKUS REVIEWS - starred review)

Promise of Blood is filled with engaging characters, original worldbuilding, and a plot that left me unable to put the book down . . . An engaging and wonderfully-written work (FANTASY FACTION)

An amazing debut (BOOKTHING)

Promise of Blood is a lot of fun, and the start of something potentially fantastic (CIVILIAN READER)

Stunning, well crafted, compelling and engaging (THE FOUNDING FIELDS)

Everyone should pick up Promise of Blood . . . Yes, it really is that good (ELITIST BOOK REVIEWS)

An extremely engaging novel . . . The addictive narrative pace, inventive world-building, and gestalt of this novel are impressive (SFFWORLD)

A winning debut (FANTASY BOOK CRITIC)

Promise of Blood is, hands down, my favorite read of the year . . . An instant classic (SPECULATIVE BOOK REVIEW)

An excellent debut that promises to captivate readers (STAFFER'S BOOK REVIEW) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

An explosive epic fantasy debut for fans of George R. R. Martin and Brent Weeks, with action and intrigue on every page --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 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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6 of 6 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 Graham Austin-King on 29 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have a few pretty firm prejudices when it comes to fantasy. There are some things that just shouldn't be messed with. It's a bit like the way I've always thought that women shouldn't try and sing songs by Queen. No matter how well it's done, it just never sounds right to me.

When it comes to classic fantasy, I've always had a thing against gunpowder and guns in general. In my head at least, if you're going to have wizards then you can't have modernity to that extent. Oddly I have no issue with steam power. You want trains and pumps? No problem... get shovelling. Gunpowder? Oh hell no! Gandalf wasn't packing heat now was he? As for Saruman's bomb - well the less said the better.

Dwarves were always restricted to crossbows and axes in my imaginings. Sure they could have mines and all manner of innovations but we're not having guns and cannons. I know this is silly but then clichéd stereotypes do have their place and, if you think about it, they form the core of any genre. Give me a dwarf with a vaguely Scottish accent swigging beer by the tankard and with a beard that comes down to his knees and I'm happy. We won't think too closely about how much of a pain that beard would be... Eating soup? Washing? Sleeping without strangling yourself?

With all this in mind then, I should have been less than keen on Brian McClellan's Promise of Blood. The novel is the first in his Powder Mage trilogy and delivers on every image that those two words conjure up. Mages with the ability to draw their power from gunpowder itself and influence the path of bullets.
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