Thursday, January 30, 2014

Book Review: Forsworn


By:  Brian McClellan

Publish Date:  January 21, 2014

Format:  ebook, 64pgs

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  Novella in The Powder Mage series, 35 yrs before Book 1 ~ The Promise of Blood

Recommendation:  Oh wow. To see Kez from a forbidden Powder Mages eyes.

Erika ja Leora is a powder mage in northern Kez, a place where that particular sorcery is punishable by death. She is only protected by her family name and her position as heir to a duchy.

When she decides to help a young commoner—a powder mage marked for death, fugitive from the law—she puts her life and family reputation at risk and sets off to deliver her new ward to the safety of Adro while playing cat and mouse with the king’s own mage hunters and their captain, Duke Nikslaus.

Occurs 35 years before the events in Promise of Blood.

First Sentence:
The forest filled with the dry bone sound of fallen leaves swirling in the wind as Erika drew back on her bow.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

**I requested a copy of this novella from the author for an honest review.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Erika, a Kex duchess, is learning to fend for herself with a bow and arrow. She is forsworn to the Kez king and the black powder weapons are illegal and forbidden to her. In a land where powder mages are not welcome and sentenced to death, Erika finds a young girl branded and on the run for that very reason. Erika is determined to help Norrine make it to Andro where powder mages are accepted.

First and foremost, I have to mention I love this world created by Brian. The powder mages and the magics of the Privileged. When I was told Brian was looking for readers of this novella, I could NOT pass it up. And I'm thrilled I didn't.

This story is told from Erika's and Norrine's point of views. The passages are short, as this is a novella, but complete in every way. The story is quick into happenings, the threats Powder Mages face in the land of Kez. Death. But there is a small escape for nobility that turn up to be powder Mages, they can take an oath and become forsworn to the king. But there is always an eye on them, wanting to eliminate the threat of the hated powder mage. Erika is a noble woman and Norrine is a young commoner girl on the run. They both are in danger, and Erika puts herself in more harms way along with her family with helping Norrine. And her family goes along with it.

I felt the anxiety and worry of being a forsworn powder mage along with a runaway in Kez. With the Longdogs, the kings mage hunters, hunting for you.

It was nice to see the small ties to The Promise of Blood even though this is thirty-five years prior to the happening of The Promise of Blood. There is a character name you will recognize upon first sight, but that is at the end of this novella - the small tie in. You don't have to read the first full novel of the series to read this novella, but if you do you will be fully aware of the magic and the strain between Kez and Andro.

A novella in page count, but a full story in reading. Well worth picking up, especially if you have loved the world and magics created here.


  1. I really liked how it felt like a whole story :D

    1. Blodeuedd, oh yes. I love these stories. Oh, and finished The Girl of Hrusch Avenue. You need it. lol. It's Vlora's story when she meets Taniel and Bo and Tamas. Very good. :D

  2. Oh I think I would want to read the novel first but I appreciate how the novella captured you. Doesn't happen all the time with short stories. Great review!

    1. Melissa (B&T) I understand. But do hope you get to give this fantasy series a try. :)

  3. Interesting, very different. Never heard of powder mages before.

    1. Lily B. Thank you for stopping by. So glad to share the powder mages with you. :)

  4. This sounds like fantasy goodness!!!

    1. Oh Jennifer Bielman, it really is. :D All fantasy goodness.


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