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review 2018-07-19 19:51
The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan - My Thoughts
The Autumn Republic - Brian McClellan

And so the saga of General Tamas et al draws to a close and our tale gets a highly satisfactory ending.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this trilogy and what was my introduction to what they call the Flintlock Fantasy sub-genre. 

There were so many plotlines that had to come together and that we needed to get answers to, and I think that the author managed to do all of that successfully - at least to my satisfaction. :)  Yeah, there were a few small questions that I would have preferred have better answers or maybe more involved answers, but they were few and far between.

I loved the characters and had so many favourites.  But I think Taniel Two-Shot was my #1 favourite with Bo, his best friend, being a close second and I was quite happy with the way their stories panned out. 

I'm not really a fan of short stories or even novellas, but I will say this - I will be looking up the many stories and novellas that the author has written about these characters.  And I will be reading his newest trilogy, set in the same world. 

Anyway, if you like Djano Wexler or Brian Stavely or even Bernard Cornwell's "Sharpe" books, you'll enjoy this author. 

Oh... and the covers of all three books are TERRIFIC! 

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review 2018-06-03 05:09
The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan - My Thoughts
The Crimson Campaign - Brian McClellan

I'm late in writing up my thoughts again.  Bad habit, that.  I must get better.  Especially when the read was as good as this one was.

I totally enjoyed my first foray into what they call Flintlock Fantasy with the first book in this trilogy, Promise of Blood, so finally, tired of waiting for this second book to go on sale, I actually paid full price for it.  $12.99 for an e-book published 4 years ago.  That is SO not me.  But I needed to read it!

All my favourites were back - well, except the ones the author killed off in the first book!  *LOL*  Adamat, the police inspector; Tamas, the veteran field marshal; Taniel Two-shot, Tamas' son and powerful powder mage; Ka-poel, Vlora, Bor, Olem... and more. 

I love the fullness of the characters, not a one is totally light or totally dark.  They're nuanced and believable.  The setting is richly drawn, the atmosphere alive and the world-building nothing short of remarkable, IMO.  The plots are intricate, be they the big over-arching ones or the small, private ones.

Brian McClellan is a terrific story-teller and I love the world he's created and the people he's populated it with.  The third novel of the trilogy is calling for me as are all the novellas and short stories. 

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review 2017-05-11 01:03
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan - My Thoughts
Promise of Blood - Brian McClellan

I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would and I don't know why I held off reading it for so long.

Promise of Blood is a military fantasy filled with political intrigue and not a little magic.  It has everything I like in it, an engaging plot that's full of believable twists and turns, characters that are flawed but have redeeming qualities and have logical reasons for doing what they do, and a world that's familiar yet different.  As I read, I found myself laughing in some places, tearing up a time or two, sitting on the edge of my seat anxiously and even cheering a time or two.  And for a change, most of the characters are over the age of 25!

McClellan's world-building is nifty.  It took me a bit to catch on to what everything meant, to be a Marked, a Privilege, Knacked and how gunpowder and munitions fit into things, but once I decided to just let it flow and not worry about things, it all became easier.

I think much of that is that McClellan is just a good storyteller.  He kept my attention and the pages turning with great anticipation.  This was one of those books that I was anxious to finish but damned reluctant to reach the end.

I hope the second book in the series goes on sale soon so I can add it to the TBR.  I need to know more about what happens to all my new friends but I can't afford the $13 it'll cost me for ebook right now.  But it's most certainly on the list... HIGH on the list!

Oh, and look at that cover!  I'd hang that on my wall, it's that cool!

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review 2015-12-19 08:16
Return To Honor
Return to Honor (Powder Mage series) - Brian McClellan

Immediately following the event from the first book in the Powder Mage series, Promise of Blood, one of the surprisingly good series I've started this year, this was a very nice, albeit short return to the Powder Mage universe.


If you enjoyed Promise of Blood you will most likely like this story, since it had the same vibe to it. I was really glad that I read it and it made me want to continue the series even more. I was already planning on reading the second book some time soon, but now I want to read it even sooner.


Vlora is an interesting character and I hope we get to see more of her later in the series.


Return to Honor is a short story in the Powder Mage trilogy, consisting of Promise of Blood, The Crimson Campaign and The Autumn Republic.

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review 2015-04-17 19:06
#TheAutumnRepublic: What a Finish!
The Autumn Republic - Brian McClellan

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you a book done right…


Whew.  I finished this book a couple of days ago, but its taken me this long to calm down enough to write about it. 


The Autumn Republic--the third and final book of the Powder Mage series--is a 600-page heart attack.  Shortness of breath.  Elevated heart rate.  Tears.


The Powder Mage series is really one long book divided into three parts like LOTR or Mistborn.  Thinking of it this way, The Autumn Republic is a 600 page climax to a really cool story.


From Promise of Blood to The Crimson Campaign to The Autumn Republic, the Powder Mage series is awesome.  It's a world with multiple unique magic systems, set in a civilization just breaking into the industrial age. Think the civil war combined with Sanderson-esc magic. Black powder muskets and bayonets, God's and armies, kings and revolutions.


As great as the story is, the people are even better. Early on its hard to tell who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.  It sorts out eventually, but every one of these characters are flawed--and that makes them perfect.


About 100 pages into book one I wasn't feeling very fluent in the characters.  I discovered there are six short prequel novellas that take place in the years before Promise of Blood, so I stopped reading book one and quickly read these prequels--they are only 30 to 70 pages each. They give the back stories for all the main characters and introduce you to some minor characters as well. They are technically optional reading in the scope of the bigger story, but I recommend them to all. For me, they turned the characters of the story into people I cared to read about.


A warning to those with sensitivities, there is a good bit of violence and colorful adjectives.  I recommend it for mature teens and adults.


Happy reading friends!


The Value of a Star: Ratings Explained

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