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Promise of Blood (Powder Mage, #1)
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Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  24,550 Ratings  ·  1,824 Reviews
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 al
Hardcover, 545 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Orbit
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Jason ON No, there's no sexual content in this book. It's referred to a couple of times, such as infidelity, harems or partners, but nothing overt and nothing…moreNo, there's no sexual content in this book. It's referred to a couple of times, such as infidelity, harems or partners, but nothing overt and nothing graphic.(less)
Mattisl Well it doesnt pass the bechdel-test, at all. Which makes me sad because several women in this book are very interesting.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mark Lawrence
Dec 12, 2012 Mark Lawrence rated it it was amazing
This book took me a while to read - so you might take that to mean it's easily put down. Actually it wasn't really, the main trouble for me was that when I did put it down the bugger vanished. EVERY. TIME. I've never had a book that's such an escape artist. I half-thought the cover might have an adaptive camouflage mode...


When I did get to hold onto it for any period I found the book highly readable.

The characters and description are good. McClellan's real forte though is in building tens
Apr 30, 2017 Petrik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Petrik by: Lema
Shelves: owned-physical
Buddy read with these Powder Mages: Sarah, Mary & Haifa lurking

Promise of Blood, the first book in The Powder Mage trilogy and the debut work of Brian McClellan, Brandon Sanderson’s apprentice is indeed imbued with great promises and it didn’t disappoint.

It’s not uncommon for a high fantasy book to start their story with the dead of a king, it’s been done a lot of times already and Promise of Blood used the same plot device but there is a little bit of a twist. The main protagonist, Field Ma

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



I haven't had the FEELS like this while reading a book in a such a long time. I swear, I had the feeling I had when I first read mistborn.. wait okay, maybe not that amount of feels but it was close. I love when you find a book you can't put down! Every chance I got to read this book I would drop all my other priorities. Even eating! This is my favourite read of 2017 so far.

"He had to do it the old fashioned way. One bull
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
*Read with some wonderful friends over at BB&B*

When I first started the book things were just thrown at me left and right. My poor little brain couldn't keep up with all of the people and what was going on, but my peeps in the book group said it gets better. And guess what? It did, I started to learn some of the people and what was going on. Now make no mistake, I am still a little confused about things but I always am in books and that's okay.

This book is told through 3 different POV's. We
Petros Tr
Feb 05, 2015 Petros Tr rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Promise of Blood is one of those books you pick up with low expectations and they proceed to blow your mind. The storytelling was great, as was the pace. Interesting circumstances kept occuring, and the tension was building slowly but steadily. Brian McClellan is unique on codifying the inherent over-specificity of juxtapositions.

"The world is changing. People do not exist to serve their governments or their kings.

Governments exist to serve the people, so the people should have a say in those go
Apr 18, 2017 Choko rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with the Fantasy fans @ BB&B! Because we love Fantasy in every shape and form:-)

Well, this was a pleasant surprise! Flint Lock Fantasy is nothing new for me, but this is the debut book for this author and you never know how it would go, despite the many good reviews. I am very pleased to say that it was not disappointing ☺

Field Marshall Thamas and his cabal of Powder Mages have staged a coup in the tradition of the French and Russian Revolutions. Now they have to figure
Dan Schwent
May 02, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2013
In the aftermath of a bloody coup against the monarchy, Field Marshal Tamas struggles to hold the country together while trying to figure out who among his trusted allies is a traitor. Meanwhile, his estranged son goes into the mountains to kill a friend and stumbles upon a plot to summon a god...

As I've said in other reviews, there are certain times when a reader stumbles upon a book that hits all the sweet spots. For me, one of those special books was Promise of Blood.

I've read a fair amount o
Dec 31, 2015 Bookwraiths rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

When this debut novel by Brian McClellan first hit shelves several years ago, it had loads of hype. Everyone seemed to be raving about how creative it was, how amazing the powder mages were, and how cool the whole flintlock fantasy setting was. And because of all that great word-of-mouth, I . . .stayed away from Promise of Blood like the plague.

Might sound strange, I know, but I did have a good reason: I never seem to like hyped books. Not sure why, but we do n
sana  °¤°
May 05, 2017 sana °¤° marked it as on-hold-continue-later  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sana by: ☽Luna☾
Shelves: fantasy, adult
I got my copy earlier!! So now it's time for some sexy grandpa! ;)

also BR with my favorite sexy grandpa loving toto ❤ AND Maggiepoo
Jan 17, 2017 Samir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
First time I’ve heard about flintlock fantasy I imagined a bunch of military men in trenches wielding muskets and fighting for a small piece of territory day after day and having long and dreadful conversations about tactics, armory and shortage of supplies and personnel whilst drawing plans of attack on a huge map.

For that reason alone, I avoided this kind of fantasy and this book in particular because I didn’t want to go through that kind of experience. But this book kept popping up in the re
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
DNF @ 53%

Alright so real talk.

I am not enjoying this book. There are some redeeming qualities. It's well written, the magic system is sort of neat (very similar to Allomancy), etc.

But I'm struggling to care about what's happening. Like REALLY struggling. So I'm going to leave it officially unrated for now, but it was shaping up to be a 2-3 stars.

As I read this I'm starting to build up a resentment toward it that I don't think is entirely the book's fault, and so I'm going to put it down for now
Jan 11, 2017 Aristea rated it really liked it
Extended review on my blog and I am looking forward to reading your thoughts about it!

- -
First and foremost, this book reminded me that I am a book addict. I was not able to stop thinking about it when I was not reading it. Sleep was secondary to reading.
So I need to find a AA meeting for book readers.

Now, let's talk about the book though because this is what this media is dedicated to. 4.5 stars well deserved!

The story is told with majestic skill. It s
Apr 24, 2017 Haïfoun rated it really liked it
Shelves: top-priority
Actual rating : Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars

Buddy read with the Fantasy lovers at BB&B !

You can check Choko's excellent review if you want a more enthusiastic perspective :)

Alright, this was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 !!

And I should have learned by now to keep my expectations reasonable ! Don't get me wrong ! This was a pretty good book and a debut, at that !! But despite bringing together amazing Fantasy elements and magic syste
Jun 20, 2017 Brad rated it it was amazing
I've been hearing a lot of good things about this book and while I was somewhat skeptical at first, I am quite pleased to announce that it was delightful. :)

Delightful as in lots of blood and guts, gun-mages, sorcerers, revolution, plain war, resurrected gods, a very sneaky Chef and a fantastic investigation that's all gumshoe mystery in a fully-realized fantasy realm.

What makes this stand out, though?

I think it's mostly the characters, the bright pacing, and the magic system.

A lot of these epic
This was a buddy read with my fellow fantasy fanatics at FBR.

Promise of Blood drops you right into the action from the first chapter. With a unique magic system and a diverse cast of characters this is a fast paced story that kept me turning the pages deep into the night.

Field Marshall Tamas is doing what he thinks is right for his country by overthrowing the king and nobility of Adro, but the consequences may be more than he and his co-conspirators are ready to handle. Events have been set i
May 25, 2014 Conor rated it really liked it
Promise of Blood was an intense, action packed opening to a series that I'm really excited to continue. It had a complex, brilliantly executed magic system, great characters and a good plot that was interesting up until the very end. I'm definitely going to read the sequel soon.

The magic system in this book was incredible. I've heard it compared to Sanderson's Mistborn series but having never read it I can't really comment. What I can say is that this was one of the most complex and intriguing
Liam Degnan
May 19, 2017 Liam Degnan rated it really liked it
4 stars. Sorry I'm only just getting this up now, I had a very busy weekend =].

I'll say this right at the beginning: everybody should pay careful attention to Brian McClellan. I have a feeling that this trilogy is just the start for him. If the quality of his writing is any indicator, we can expect great things from him. I had my few issues with the book, but seriously, this guy knows how to write.

This was a great book. Truly interesting world, as well as excellent characters with multiple POVs
Will M.
May 08, 2014 Will M. rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2014, war
When you've read a few novels of the same genre simultaneously, odds are you'll eventually start rating the latter ones lower than it should receive. I've been in a Fantasy marathon, and some were really great, but some were terrible. Promise of Blood falls under neutral, it wasn't boring or bad, but it didn't blow my mind. I picked this up because the premise seemed really interesting, and gunpowder sounded really cool to me. I didn't get what I wanted though, but I almost did.

Promise of Blood
TS Chan
Feb 12, 2015 TS Chan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to know about Brian McClellan as an up-and-coming author who has attended Brandon Sanderson’s writing classes at BYU. Now those of who you know me or have followed my reviews are well aware of how I pretty much worship all things Sanderson. Did this in any way influence how I view this book? Not in the least.

Given that this is a debut, Promise of Blood is really darn good. While the magic system (powder mages specifically) seemed to be inspired by Sanderson’s Allomancy, McClellan made it
Milda Page Runner
Jan 11, 2017 Milda Page Runner rated it really liked it

Light and action packed blockbuster of military (flintlock) fantasy. Interesting complex plot, flawed but easy to relate to characters, innovative and complex magic system and mad pacing. One of those books that throws you straight into action and doesn’t let go. It doesn’t bother with any explanations or descriptions – gives you just enough info to keep you going. Amount of things happening in the storyline would be enough to write a trilogy for another writer.

It’s a debut novel so no wonder th
Feb 03, 2017 Emma rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
2.5 stars rounded up to 3 stars because I know this book is better than I think it is! This was my third attempt to read this book and I finally made it through. I don't really know why it didn't gel with me- maybe something in the writing style? I didn't really bond with any of the characters. The magic system itself was quite different but even that didn't really inspire me. Meh.....
“What must be done will be done.”

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I tried hard to convince myself to give Promise of Blood the complete 4 stars I wanted to give it. I have no negative feelings toward this book and I’m actually extremely fond of it, but after thinking about it and weighing all the pros and cons, I just couldn’t. I feel sort of bad about this because I really did enjoy the book, but like Sabon said, you do what you gotta do. I’m still a little upset with myself though ☹

Alright, so this bo
Emily (BellaGrace)
This book was fantastic - best book I've read this year and I can't wait to read the rest (right after I finish the new Darker Shade of Magic book). I loved the characters, I loved the story line, and I liked the innovative idea that magic and guns could be used together.

So one thing that has me a bit worried. I looked at the author's Goodread page and compared my books to his - I noticed he's read the Malazan books (which are huge favorites of mine), but then I noticed a disturbing similarity
Oct 17, 2012 seak rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review, 2013
Guns, Germs, and Steel... well, minus germs...and probably not so much economics... oh and plus magic.

Okay that was not even remotely applicable. Why would anyone think that even made any sense?

Pretty early in my reading of Promise of Blood, I said, "An investigator looking into a mystery, an assassin-type chasing a mage, and then Tamas, just Tamas. I look forward to every POV, how is that even possible?"

I can't say this really changed throughout the entire book. There's one small POV that's in
May 05, 2017 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
I've stewed on it, and I'm going with 4.5/5 stars for me on this one. That's higher than a lot of other reviews I read (well except for Sarah, who went with 1000/5 stars - I didn't even know we could do that!). I asked myself what it is I want out of a fantasy read - great characters (none too perfect or too flawed), well-defined and believable setting/world building, unique and powerful magic system, mystery, intrigue, adventure, action, battles and surprises. I felt this book delivered all of ...more
Oct 13, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016, fantasy
Definitely a solid start to a series although not completely without flaws. However, the story really builds on itself which allowed me to get more and more engaged as the book went on. It's unique, the setting is different yet familiar enough to be immersive, and the magic system feels well thought-out.

I won't lie though. I had a hell of a time getting into this story and it almost became one of my "to finish someday" books. The skeleton of something great was there which kept it from being an
Oct 07, 2016 Lema rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Update: After finishing the whole trilogy and most of the novellas:
I want to get into the adult fantasy genre but I am intimidated by the size and tedious world building: then this trilogy is for you! it has probably the most exciting and fast-paced introduction to the new world and characters I've ever read in this genre.

I'm a fantasy buff and only well-crafted worlds and complicated magic systems satisfy me: Again, this is the trilogy for you! Throughout the three books and many novellas you
Mar 17, 2014 Terence rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
King Manhouch is set to sign accords to practically enslave Adro to a neighboring country, Kez, to settle the debt he owes them. Before that can happen Field Marshall Tamas, the hero of Adro and pride of the people, staged a coup on his king and other members of the nobility. Now Tamas and his council must govern Adro while protecting it from threats within and without. The threats go beyond knives and guns, it extends to people who can wield the elements with each finger of their gloved hands. ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Picture me standing and softly banging my head against a wall....

See when I started this book, first in a series (really unusual huh?) I saw the second book pictured...cover art, title. Then as I was almost finished with this one I went to check on said second book in series...

And found it's not due out till next February!!!!!!!!!

Somebody's head should roll for this.


Well anyway, this is another that almost, almost got a 4 star rating. But even though it doesn't come up to the standards (qui
Robin (Bridge Four)
If you have read my bio or a few of my reviews then you know that Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors ever. So it was a no brainer to pick up this book not just because Sanderson recommended it but also because Brian McClellan was once a student of his. I see some of the influence that Sanderson might have on his writing but Brian McClellan is definitely finding his own voice and put together an intricate world and a very gripping story.

This is BM’s first book and so while very good
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Share This Book

“Doctor, what could you prescribe for Charlemund?”
The doctor looked down his nose at the unconscious form of the arch-diocel.
“Now, really. Something to give him a quality headache and a great deal of memory loss.”
“You’ve one mark on your record,” Tamas said. “You once punched a na-baron in the face. Broke his jaw. Tell me about that.”
Olem grimaced. “Officially, sir, I was pushing him out of the way of a runaway carriage. Saved his life. Half my company saw it.”
“With your fist?”
“And unofficially?”
“The man was a git. He shot my dog because it startled his horse.”
“And if I ever have cause to shoot your dog?”
“I’ll punch you in the face.”
“Fair enough. You have the job.”
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