Review: Promise of Blood

Written by Robin Lythgoe - 5.0

Wow. What a tense, action-packed, intrigue-filled, story! While not without its (few) flaws, Promise of Blood is an extraordinary debut. So much about it was epic: revolution, religion, magic, world-building, family issues, addiction issues, mystery—and McClellan has managed to blend them all together completely and seamlessly. This book sets a very high standard for *epic* flintlock fantasy. And the characters! More wow. They're as far from cookie-cutter as you can get. McClellan brings them to life with unique perspectives on what is happening around them. Those that matter are completely fleshed-out and fascinatingly multilayered. Never do the multiple points of view confuse the reader or stop being interesting. (Though I wanted to knock a few of them upside the head now and then…) The magic system receives an injection of originality and interest, though I might have liked to see better how and why a powder mages “works.” (Snorting or ingesting gun powder isn’t really a logical course of action to my way of thinking!) The vivid story-telling wonderfully supports a fast-paced plot that gradually increases in tension and intrigue—and just plain human interest. I don’t often give five star ratings, but I find McClellan’s style and talent satisfying in ways that most authors never achieve. The third and fourth books in the series are equally gripping, but lost a star each to both some slow sections and to increasing gore. Yes, I realize it’s hard to pull off a revolution without blood and guts, but I’m a fan of the technique that leads me up to a critical moment and lets me fill in what appears to be obvious with my own imagination. Still a great addition to my bookshelf!
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About the Book :: Promise of Blood

Brian McClellan Release date: April 11, 2013
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasyhigh fantasy
Tags: david gemmell award

David Gemmell Morningstar Award nominee 2014.

The Age of Kings is dead... and I have killed it.

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 greedy scrambling for money and power by Tamas's supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, ... (more)

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