Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Book Review: Promise of Blood

Promise of Blood

By:  Brian McClellan

Publish Date:  April 16, 2013

Format:  Hardback print 545pgs

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Powder Mage trilogy

Recommendation:  Hell ya!  This is my kind of fantasy, nonstop.  I recommend to fans of Brandon Sanderson & Ken Scholes.

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

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...

First Sentence:
Adamat wore his coat tight, top buttons fastened against a wet night air that seemed to want to drown him.

Purchase At:
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**I requested this one from the publisher for an honest review because it sounded like my kind of fantasy.

My Thoughts and Summary:
There is someone after the man who lead the rebellion against the King and Adamat is hired to investigate who along with other information Tamas is looking for.

Adamat is summoned to the King, before morning light, to find the copious number of lanterns taxed paid for - out.  Darkness surrounds the palace also lacking the forever present guards.  With each step, his suspicions rise of what may have happened.  Adamat is summoned by the Field Marshal for his known investigation skills when he was on the police force, to ask to investigate now.  A coup meant to help the poor people of Adro, but the panic spreads with news of the King falling, even if he was a broken king with only debts remaining.  There are always different groups of loyalty in a kingdom, some now wage war for their now lost king and slaughtered nobility.  The city's divided.  The information Adamat needs - about Kresimir's Promise - is missing from every book in the city after he's found ways into the opposing Royalists.  Now he needs to travel to talk to the one remaining Privileged, who also now has a mark on his head.  But what those at work for the people don't know, could kill them all.

We learn right away why and who overthrew the King.  But there was mor in the works as well that muddy up the outcome of the land.  With each page the story grows deeper, the world sharper and bigger, the magics defined.  This is how fantasy is done.  Everything with each word and interest is held with whats to come.

We have four Point Of Views we follow.  Neat having a mystery investigation going on while a war as well.  We get all seats as the reader on the war front, in the investigation, the Royalist, and the man who lead the coup.  Adamat, the investigator looking to get us the history information and also a few possible leads on who's behind the troubles from another kingdom as trouble finds him.  Tamas, the Field marshal who set the coup in motion.  Taniel, Tamas's son and weapon.  Nila, a wash maid who has found herself with one child who's to be dead with the rest of the nobility.

The magic is catching here.  I love the feel with the powder mages and their ability to take powders to influence powder and bullets.  The key - gun powder.  But it's neat.  There are different magics here as well.  The Privileged are an interesting group that we constantly learn secrets from and of another mysterious group. The Privileged seem to be at odds with the powder mages and a bit on the opposite realm of magic.  They have what feels as traditional magic in terms of fantasy and gods.  Then there is the gods that left the world as well.  There was a strong magic there.

The story.  I'm stuck on the idea.  the man who kills the king and any chance of distant heirs for the good of the people.  Only to still have people loyal to the kings line and an even stronger reason for why the Kings line has been here since the beginning of time.  For me this story showed a side we don't always see and I enjoyed it.  I can see the right and wrongs in what is being done, but as a reader I'm seeing both sides of the story.  The characters aren't.  And this makes a grey line that is amazing to follow.  I think this is the part that made the story all that much sweeter for me to read.  By the end, we learn what the truth of the world is with their gods.  And it could create more issues and troubles than any had ever imagined.

What happens after the King and nobles are overthrown? This is it! Loved the feel of different magics and gods here. Loved the fantasy action and wars. This is highly suggested to fans of Brandon Sanderson and Ken Scholes. This is another amazing story of the fantasy I love, and how it's done.

Are the Gods and the stories real?  I love what Tamas learns, and means troubles for him and the world - to come.  Ooooo to see what's to come!!


Blodeuedd said...

*waiting for the library to hurry*

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh seeing both sides is usually frustrating (in a good way) and interesting. Oh this sounds like a fab read!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

January, Blodeudd. January. :) You'll enjoy, I think. :D

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Oh Melissa (B&T) Yes, it was a fab read. I can't wait for more of this series. :) Thank you!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

This sounds quite good and I love that you get a perspective from all sides, wonderful review Melissa :)

JezzebellJC said...

I love the idea of the different point of views for the different points of the story. Also, the different types of magic are interesting. Great review :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

Oooh, this sounds hardcore. The diff kinds of magic sound exciting.

Melliane said...

oh another fantasy books, I need to go back to these. I have one, so soon!

Bibliotropic said...

I very much want to read this book, but after finding out that the author was one of Sanderson's writing students, I hesitated. I haven't read any of Sanderson's work myself, but from a trusted friend whose tastes are pretty similar to mine, I wonder about the quality. She said that his writing was very formulaic and predictacble, which made the claims that the Mistborn trilogy was so original and creative just seem like a kick in the pants. And maybe I won't find it the same way, but after that opinion, it does worry me a little that I will find it dull and predictable, where it could have been interesting.

Only one way to find out, though!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Kimba, I really liked the different POVs in this one. Really made the story pop for me. Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Jaclyn Canada, Yes. It was really fascinating to read from different views in the full world. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Jennifer Bielman, a fantastic Fantasy read. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Melliane, I do hope you enjoy the Fantasy read you pick when you get to it. :) Thank you for stopping.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Bibliotropic. I've heard that about Sanderson's work. But I really enjoyed his stories. To me the magic and the twisting of the story was amazing. A few pieces I didn't even know until the end. I didn't think they were predictable as some fantasies, but also were amazing non-stop to keep you reading.

I'd be curious to see what you think if you ever get to try this one or a Sanderson book. :) Thank you!