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Promise of Blood
Cover of Promise of Blood
Promise of Blood
Powder Mage Trilogy, Book 1
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"Just plain awesome"—Brandon Sanderson


Civil unrest cripples the citizens of Adro in the aftermath of the revolution that obliterated the monarchy. Now, Field Marshal Tamas and his lieutenants must confront the true cost of freedom in book one of the Powder Mage Trilogy.


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.
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...


Winner of the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Debut Fantasy.

"Just plain awesome"—Brandon Sanderson


Civil unrest cripples the citizens of Adro in the aftermath of the revolution that obliterated the monarchy. Now, Field Marshal Tamas and his lieutenants must confront the true cost of freedom in book one of the Powder Mage Trilogy.


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.
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...


Winner of the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Debut Fantasy.

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About the Author-
  • Brian McClellan is an American epic fantasy author from Cleveland, Ohio. He is known for his acclaimed Powder Mage Universe and essays on the life and business of being a writer. Brian now lives on the side of a mountain in Utah with his wife, Michele, where he writes books and nurses a crippling video game addiction.


Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 18, 2013
    Borrowing from the French Revolution, McClellan’s debut (the first in a planned trilogy) is a gritty tale of political overthrow complicated by divine retribution. Field Marshal Tamas leads a coup to prevent his country from being handed over to the hated Kez, sending profligate King Manhouch and his nobles to the guillotine. Concerned by their cryptic final oaths about “Kresimir’s Promise,” Tamas hires former inspector Adamat to learn the phrase’s meaning. Tamas’s son, Taniel Two-Shot, meanwhile chases a rogue sorceress to the Kez-besieged Holy City, Kresim Kurga, to stop her from summoning a vengeful deity. McClellan neatly mixes intrigue and action, effectively showing the tensions among uneasy allies (military, church, underworld) in a society where new forces like labor unions, gunpowder-armed soldiers, and explosion-causing “powder mages” clash with traditional magics, mores, and beliefs. While the villains are too obvious, they’re balanced by sympathetic portraits of dutiful folks caught up on both sides of the rebellion. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from March 15, 2013
    First of a fantasy trilogy, sort of a French Revolution with wizards; McClelland's debut packs some serious heat. "The Age of Kings is dead...and I have killed it" declares Field Marshal Tamas, having overthrown the self-indulgent and utterly uncaring monarch who not only bankrupted the state of Adro and left his people starving, but intended to sell what was left to powerful, warlike and covetous neighbor Kez. Tamas, a powder mage, one who eats or snorts gunpowder in order to gain magic powers, slaughtered the monarch's royal cabal of Privileged mages and now proceeds to guillotine the remaining aristocracy, feed the people and set up a ruling council. He asks Adamat, a retired police inspector with a perfect memory, to discover what the mysterious Kresimir's Promise might mean. Tamas must still deal with assaults by royalist fanatics, power struggles among his supposed allies (the church, workers unions and mercenary forces), and his own disaffected son Taniel, a powder mage and master marksman. Taniel's companion is Ka-poel, a young, mute barbarian female whose powerful magics are unlike those of other mages. Julene, posing as a hunter of Privileged, turns out to be something else altogether. Mihali, possibly quite mad in claiming to be the son of a god, indeed proves to be a master chef, evidently with the ability to conjure food out of thin air. If that's not enough, Adamat discovers there's a traitor among the ruling council. And then the Kez attack. This is a stew of splendidly diverse and flavorsome ingredients, outstanding action sequences and well-handled, relentless if sometimes overelaborate plotting, despite some worrisome indications than McClellan hasn't fully thought all the concepts through. A thoroughly satisfying yarn that should keep readers waiting impatiently for further installments.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • New York Times bestseller Brent Weeks Promise of Blood is a hugely promising debut. Guns, swords, and magic together? What more could you want? How about tense action, memorable characters, rising stakes, and cool, cool magic? Not only the finest flintlock fantasy I've read, but also the most fun. Brian McClellan is the real thing.
  • New York Times bestselling author, Brandon Sanderson 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.
  • Sam Sykes on Promise of Blood Brian McClellan is an explosive powder keg of imagination with an expertly-plotted fuse. The stories he tells are the stories we'll be reading for years to come.
  • RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars) The world of the privileged sorcerers and the strange abilities of the powder mages who can manipulate gunpowder are just as well drawn in this captivating universe.
  • Kirkus (Starred Review) McClellan's debut packs some serious heat...A thoroughly satisfying yarn that should keep readers waiting impatiently for further installments.
  • SciFi Now (UK) McClellan's debut is a lot of fun —- a historically influenced fantastical romp filled with machismo, intrigue and magic.
  • Publishers Weekly McClellan neatly mixes intrigue and action...in a society where new forces like labor unions, gunpowder-armed soldiers, and explosion-causing 'powder mages' clash with traditional magics, more, and beliefs.
  • Peter V. Brett Gunpowder and magic. An explosive combination. Promise of Blood is the best debut I've read in ages.
  • Django Wexler I love the world Brian McClellan builds, Powder Mages with flintlock pistols against white-gloved Privileged for the fate of a nation and more. Promise of Blood feels like the start of something amazing.
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Powder Mage Trilogy, Book 1
Brian McClellan
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