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The Crimson Campaign (Powder Mage #2)

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  15,970 Ratings  ·  770 Reviews
The hounds at our heels will soon know we are lions

Tamas's invasion of Kez ends in disaster when a Kez counter-offensive leaves him cut off behind enemy lines with only a fraction of his army, no supplies, and no hope of reinforcements. Drastically outnumbered and pursued by the enemy's best, he must lead his men on a reckless march through northern Kez to safety, and back
Hardcover, UK edition, 596 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Orbit
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Desmond White More female soldiers and officers, but the only central characters are Vlora (again, not enough screen time in this one) and Ka-poel (I agree with…moreMore female soldiers and officers, but the only central characters are Vlora (again, not enough screen time in this one) and Ka-poel (I agree with Alan, so cool she's worth her own book).(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 07, 2017 Petrik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Flintlock fantasy fans
Recommended to Petrik by: Lema
Shelves: owned-physical
4.5/5 Stars

2 days, that’s the actual amount of time it took for me to finish this 600 pages book, that’s how fast paced this book is.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that The Crimson Campaign is a marvelous sequel that’s better than the first book in every aspect. The revolution that Tamas started in Promise of Blood has turned into an all-out war with the Kez and with it, the plot became so much more engaging than before. Still told from the same 4 main POV, Tamas & Taniel are right in the m



I'm convinced this series was written for me. I'm also DOOMED to shamelessly love it. I feel like I'm in a powder trance after this book, HOLY SHIT. I once again dropped all other priorities to read this and ended up devouring it in two days. Definitely my favourite read of 2017.

"Every night he's looking for the eye behind the flintlock."

So I thought book one was incredible, somehow this book was better. I just need to scream *screams* *screams some more* *loses voic
Dan Schwent
Aug 01, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Tamas is lost behind enemy lines and presumed dead. Taniel Two-Shot is wasting his life away in mala dens. And Adamat is hunting for his missing wife. Not only that, Kresimir lives and is looking for the man who shot him in the eye...

So yeah. This was pretty great. As much as I loved the first volume, Promise of Blood, this book slightly surpassed it.

The Crimson Campaign is everything the second book in a trilogy should be. The danger is ramped up to 11 and beyond, the characters continue to evo
TS Chan
Feb 09, 2017 TS Chan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

The 5-star rating is just within grasp based on the promising enfolding of events in this worthy sequel to The Promise of Blood. This is a good example of how a sequel leading into the final book of a series should be written. There was no unnecessary padding, plodding or diversion from pre-established plots from the previous book. It did not suffer from what is termed as middle-book syndrome; even though it did feel like a middle-book albeit one that dexterously bridges the beginning
Feb 18, 2017 Samir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I enjoyed the first book of this series very much and it got me interested in further exploring of the flintlock fantasy so I was eager to continue with this series and to find out was my infatuation with Promise of Blood a one time thing and after reading this I must say that it grew into something more; it grew into affection.

I could ramble on about this book but that would be hard to do without giving away important parts of the story so I’ll refrain from rambling and I'll keep it simple.

Jun 13, 2014 Conor rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

The Crimson Campaign is a brilliant follow-up to Brian McClellan's promising debut Promise of Blood. In only his second full-length novel (having also released a number of cool short stories set in this universe) McClellan produces another fast paced story with a complex plot, deep, sympathetic characters and the same intriguing magic system. He also improves on many of the features of his previous book while managing to avoid ‘middle book syndrome’ where the second book in a trilogy i
Feb 27, 2017 Bookwraiths rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths

Fantasy lovers! Flintlock aficionados–
And everybody else here who just loves great books:
Today, today, you find yourself equals.
For you are all equally blessed.
For I have the pride, the privilege, nay, the pleasure
Of introducing to you a middle book of a series which does not suck,
A tale which can proclaim that it is better than its predecessor in every way.


When I first picked up The Crimson Campaign from atop my huge t-b-r pile,
It instantly dazzled me with its
Jan 30, 2017 Aristea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to publish it but here is the full review on the book!

I immensely enjoyed the first book of the series Promise of Blood; and I was fearing to be disappointed. Silly me! This book was sublime, action, fast pace in the development (better, right pace for the development of the situations because it never felt like I needed more information), drama, magic, powder (duh!) and grief. (view spoiler)
Peter Tr
Feb 07, 2016 Peter Tr rated it really liked it
I had a hard time deciding if i liked this or not.
This book have 4 different POVs. Tamas, Taniel, Adamat & Nila.
Both Tamas' and Taniel's POVs were great. Action packed, full of mystery & intrigue, and a great storytelling for some well built characters (Including sidekicks as Ka-Poel, Olem & Mihali).
Adamat's and Nila's POVs in the other hand, were quite boring. I, not once, found myself interested in Adamat's family, the young Eldaminse, or even Lord Veta's fortune.
I was torn betwee
Scott  Hitchcock
That was a fun read with nonstop action from start to finish. Better than book one which was very good in it's own right. I look forward to book three which has a lot to live up to. There's still so many story lines and people in flux. Abilities not yet completely defined.

McCellan has a very fluid writing style. Not fancy or poetic but the flow is terrific.
Now we're talking!

4.5 stars

May 11, 2014 Terence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
Tamas's defense strategy on the Kez Adro border fails because of treachery. Even worse Tamas, the majority of the Powder Mages, and a large portion of the army is trapped behind enemy lines. There is no easy way for the Adran army to return to Adro and now they must travel a large mountainous stretch of Kez with no supplies to safely return. Meanwhile Taniel miraculously lived through the destruction of a mountain and he's the last Powder Mage remaining to defend Adro from impossible numbers and ...more
May 26, 2017 Choko rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
*** 4.75 ***

A buddy read with my friends @ BB&B! Because we love Flintlock Fantasy!!!

I wish I had the time and was not on my phone app, so I could write a review worthy of the story of those very human and very compelling, imperfect Powder Mages! I wish I had the skill to write it in a way which would express the beauty and power of the simplicity of the prose the author employees to deliver the gritty details of a world in the flames of war. I wish I had slept since the moment I started thi
Well! It's been a few days since I finished The Crimson Campaign and my opinion hasn't changed. This was definitely better than the first book. More action, more magic, and above all else more gritty determination by our lead characters. Brian McClellan is putting the flintlock fantasy genre on the map.

The multiple POV's are done extremely well. Taniel and Ka-poel are by far my favorites. Adamant came in second, with Tamas following in third.

Adro's war with the Kez is in full swing, but there
C.P. Cabaniss
Mar 18, 2017 C.P. Cabaniss rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 Stars

This was so good! The Promise of Blood was interesting and a promising start to this series, but this improved so much from that first book.

Taniel was by far my favorite character and perspective in book one. In this one I gained more of an appreciation for both Adamat and Tamas. There were very few dull points in the story and very few characters I didn't like.

In the beginning Taniel was really irritating me, but he developed a lot throughout this installment and I started to underst
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I find myself thoroughly enjoying the Powder Mage series. Brian McClellan’s star continues to rise, following up last year’s debut Promise of Blood with a strong sequel. While there were some parts I thought he did better in the first book, others that were better in the second, overall I can’t be happier with the direction this trilogy is taking.

The book starts out by easing readers back into the setting. With the help o
Alex Ristea
Brilliant! One of my top reads of 2014 for sure.

I'm telling you right now that this is an author to watch. Brian's first novel was good, but I wasn't fully convinced. This one sealed the deal, and I feel confident in predicting that he'll be a major player in the Fantasy genre for years to come.

The thing that worked best in this book is the incredibly tight writing. There are no wasted scenes. Each is introduced perfectly with goals and motivations, and ends in a place where you can't help but k
Sep 02, 2013 seak rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-review, 2014
The Crimson Campaign picks up right where Promise of Blood left off in Adro. The Kez are at the Adran's doorstep and Tamas' plan to get behind them has back-fired, Taniel is drugged out and not looking to improve, and Adamat is still searching for his kidnapped family.

It used to be, a sequel was just a bridge to the exciting events of the final volume of the trilogy. Not so here and with a lot of trilogies I've been reading lately. Crimson Campaign belongs to a new breed of sequels. Where the s
David Sven
As good as the first book My review of Promise of Blood". The story picks up where the last book left off barely skipping a beat.

Christian Rodska again does a great job with the audio narration. I think if I read this on kindle I would still have Rodska's voice for Tamas stuck in my mind. I love his French accent in particular for the Kez - and why not French in a novel that emulates industrial France during the French revolution. Although, it's a little peculiar given that the revolutionaries
Oct 30, 2013 Kaora rated it it was amazing
I have a bit of a confession that some of you may find surprising. Perhaps even shocking.

I am a bookaholic. I am addicted to books and even while reading books I often count the pages until the end of the book and the point in time where I can start YET ANOTHER BOOK.

But every once in a while a book comes along that grips me so completely that I forget to count pages, and instead feel both excitement and dread each page flip as it brings me ever closer to the end of the time I am lost in another
Mr. Matt
Jan 11, 2014 Mr. Matt rated it it was amazing
The Crimson Campaign was so good I literally had to stop reading it. I was in New Orleans on vacation with my wife and I had to put the book down. With Tamas’ small army trapped against the Fingers by an overwhelming force of Kez cavalry I was unwilling to read it without devoting my full attention to it. (Rest assured, I finished it on the flight home).

The Powder Mage series is not so much a set of books as a revolutionary event. The fantasy genre was growing stale, with adventurous stories in
Milda Page Runner


Even better than the first one! Writing feels smoother; we are already familiar with the characters so the storyline engages you instantly. And then it’s just insanely fast roller-coaster of non-stop action moving from one Pov to another. Hell of the ride – just buckle your seatbelts and hold on tight.
Oct 09, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it
Well this a non stop action read. Very well written, with tension oozing in all of the 3 storylines.

Highly recomended to all who have read the first book and those who havent I have to say you are very lucky to read both books straight after each other, this will make the reading much more enjoyable.

Most of the characters have matured and filled out in the new book, apart from one.
Mike (the Paladin)
Have I mentioned how much I hate cliffhangers????

Well let me repeat...I HATE CLIFFHANGERS. I mean, I'm really, really not fond of them...really, I'm not.

I waited a year for this book....

And it's a great book. Everything the first had going for it this one has going for it. There's only one thing in the actual book I find a flaw and no where near a deal breaker.

But now I'm waiting....again...and I'm past 60. Come on Mr. McClellan, I don't have as many years left as I used to!

This opens where we
Executive Summary: Another great entry in this series that I found even more enjoyable than the first.

Full Review
I have a feeling I'm going to be sick of Flintlock Fantasy soon. Not because this book is bad, but quite the opposite. I think that this series and Django Wexler's Shadow Campaign series is going to inspire a whole bunch of other people to write Flintlock Fantasy until we're saturated with it.

The story picks up right where Promise of Blood leaves off. Taniel is sort of suffering a k
May 03, 2017 Haïfoun rated it really liked it
Shelves: top-priority
************* Full review is now up **************

Actual rating : 4.25 blowing stars

Crimson Campaign is the second book of the Powder Mage trilogy and it picks up a few days after the last events of Promise of Blood. The story is still told from 3 main male POVs and a smaller female POV (that is gaining in importance).

This book was really, really good ! Brian McClellan showed in it some of the great potential Promise of Blood hinted at !

So why not a 5 stars rating, o
Chris Thomas
Nov 17, 2016 Chris Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A vast improvement on book 1, the plot is fabulous, the characters are more nuanced and I really enjoyed reading them. I still don't like that everyone has some sort of magic, but it is still a really good book. It fully makes it worthwhile reading book 1. I will be reading Autumn Republic soon!
Emily (BellaGrace)
Mar 20, 2017 Emily (BellaGrace) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
This series is fucking awesome. It's been a long time since I've stayed up half the night reading, just because I could not put the book down. Brian McClellan has definitely made my "favorite authors" list. Tamas and Taniel are so bad ass, and Ka-Poel is still my favorite, and even Vlora is growing on me. If you're one of my Goodread friends, it's probably because we like the same kinds of books, and if you haven't read this series - go, do it. You're missing out.

PS if I had to nitpick one thing
Oct 18, 2016 Lema rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
These books keep getting better and better... Thank God I decided to read this series after it was completed, otherwise those cliffhangers would have left me royally pissed!

I'm always fearful when going into a sequel of losing the safety and coziness that characterizes the first book of a series. Man, this sequel was amazing though; full of action and intrigue and character and plot development. We also get to see more of the world, unravel some of its mysteries but at the same time, face new on
Kelly's ( Next Best Read )
 photo the-crimson-campaign_zps2im5blii.jpg
What a wonderful, action pack, fast pace sequel. I freaking Love it!!! This book was wayyyy better than the first as their was a lot more character growth and development with most of the characters. I was pleasantly surprised with characters like Bo and Nila that just came up from the mist to steal this read for me. I kept wanting to get back to their POV's in a hurry. My Love for Tamas has grown even more and I'm at this point (in love with him ) and also afraid for him. I will go mental if a
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Powder Mage (3 books)
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“You missed the morning’s festivities,” Bo said to Adamat. “You call torturing a man ‘festivities’?” Adamat asked. “I’m not a good person,” Bo said.” 16 likes
“First rule of bathing,” Gavril said. “If you can’t smell yourself anymore, it’s time to wash.” 7 likes
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