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Promise of Blood (The Powder Mage, #1)Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This new book bears some similarity to Brandon Sanderson’s books, which makes sense since he studied under that author. Personally, this book flowed well, but there were some parts that dragged a little. When not paying close attention, I sometimes got confused between two of the protagonists’ names, Tamas and Taniel, father and son. Props for having an old man as one of the protagonists, instead of just a young cast. In fact, another protagonist, Adamat, is middle aged. So males of different ages are represented well, but there’s not really any female voice (Except Nila, who only appears in a few scenes and doesn’t do much). The magic system could be explained better, as well. There are three types of magic users: Privileged, who are powerful but traditional sorcerers; Knacked, who have special attributes like perfect memory or going around without sleep; and Powder mages, who get high off gun powder, go into trances, and can control bullets and fire off gun powder, but the book doesn’t explain much about how they came about or why the privileged consider them abominations. The book starts out good, with the nobility all being executed for their corruption. It might have been better to show why they deserved execution, but it was easy enough to imagine. Unlike most fantasy, this setting is a bit more modern, somewhat victorian, with guns playing a big part. It is an interesting debut, I will be looking for further books when they come out, and hopefully some of my questions will be answered. Overall, a promising debut, with some pacing and length issues, but mostly enjoyable.

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