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The Crimson Campaign

(Powder Mage #2)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  32,649 ratings  ·  1,569 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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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  32,649 ratings  ·  1,569 reviews

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May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Flintlock fantasy fans
Recommended to Petrik by: Lema
4.5/5 Stars

Two 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 four main POV, Tamas & Taniel are right in the
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Faye adjusted her dress and took a deep breath. Her eyes traveled around the room. A mix of emotions ranged across her face: anger, panic, dear. For a moment Nila thought she might snatch up a frying pan and kill her.

Nila wondered who she was. Why was she here? Obviously another prisoner. Another player in Veta's schemes. Could Nila trust her?

"I'm Nila," she said. "And this is Jackob."

Fayes eyes settled on Nila and she nodded with a frown.

"I'm Faye. And I'm going to kill the bastard."

Luna. ✨



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* *lo
Robin (Bridge Four)
I probably should have written a review for this before plunging into the last book of the trilogy, but it could not be helped I had to know how it would all work out.


Definitely better than Promise of Blood and a great action packed free-for-all.

“One man always makes a difference. Sometimes it’s a small one. Other times, he tips a war.”

I’m not huge on loving military campaigns and since this had 2 character PoVs with military type campaigns I should have been totally bored with thi
Aug 01, 2013 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
4.5 stars

“The hounds at our heels will soon know we are lions.”

The Crimson Campaign was better in almost every way compared to its predecessor. All those problems I had with the character development? That’s gone. Those problems with the pace? That’s totally gone. I wasn't bored and remained almost 100% locked in throughout this entire book, which is absolutely incredible because I have the attention span of a goldfish, so I am amazed.

One of the most important parts of a book to me are the
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5/5 stars] This book didn't let up!! RTC ...more
TS Chan
Feb 09, 2017 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
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm loving this series. This one was even better than the first, and definitely sets up the third really well. I was a little skeptical about this new "Flintlock Fantasy" trend, but if this is typical of the subgenre, I'm sold. ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 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
Jun 13, 2014 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
Phee 💗💜💙
Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit.
This is one of the best if not THE best second book in a trilogy I have ever read. Second book syndrome is not a problem here let me tell you.
I loved Promise of Blood and thought it was a cracking 5 star read. It’s sequel The Crimson Campaign absolutely blew book one out of the water. This was outstanding!!! It out did book one in almost every single way and did it so well. I’m actually enthralled.

I don’t want to dig into the plot too much as this is a sequel a
May 26, 2017 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 this bo
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.
Petros Triantafyllou
Feb 07, 2016 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 between 3 & 4 star
Jul 18, 2016 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)
Michael Britt
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.75/5

This book was soooooo close to becoming a 5 star book for me. There were just a few minor problems I had with it. Things that could be explained in the third novel, so I decided to give McClellan the benefit of the doubt. But I'll get to that later.

I think I've said this a few times, during my updates, but I can't believe this is the same writer from Promise of Blood. I felt very "meh" about it and was nervous to continue it. But PoB showed so much potential that I had a ha
Deborah Obida
Reading this book was epic, I hate that it ended with a cliffhanger though. Its a good thing all the books have already been published, I can't imagine what waiting would have felt. Gladly this book didn't suffer from middle book syndrome, the plot here is even better than the first book. I'm getting used to the characters and I love them. The battle scenes were still awesome, I really enjoyed reading them. I love the way the author depicted the character relationship, it was realistic, Adamat's ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, 2018, library, fantasy
Book 2 of this series down! While I am enjoying it, each of the first two books took me forever to get through. I am not sure what it is, but it just felt like I was never making any progress. Usually it only feels that way when I don’t like a book.

Also, I am amazed when I look at the giant brick of a book sitting on my desk and think, “Hmmmm, not much happened in that book for that many pages.” Again, not a bad thing, it just seems like there would have been much more story progress than there
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2017-shelf
For all you fans of the grimdark fantasy epics, this one shines bright. Blindingly so.

I particularly like the fact that we stick with the same three PoV's as the first book, namely Inspector Adamat with his quest back at home, Taniel with his self-destructive god-killing front-line support, and Tamas far into enemy territory fighting the war against Kez while the rest of the army assumes that he's long-dead.

There's a lot of war and interesting developments, here, but primarily it's all about the
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Actual rating : 4.25 blowing stars

The 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).

The Crimson Campaign 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, one would ask ?

Because, while addressing
Mayim de Vries
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
It appears I am the disgruntled minority. Beware! This review is sponsored by letter B. Actually, B&B.

No, not like in Bed & Breakfast. It's not a one-nighter novel. And assuming I'd take it to bed with me, I would not like to spend the morning with it.

B&B as in brutishly boring. Crimson Campaign is a book of skimming quality. That's right, you can read every third page and still follow the plot without any problems. In fact, you wouldn't even miss crucial details. Worse, if you read Promise of
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 the
Sep 02, 2013 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
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lovers
"The Hounds at our Heels...Will Soon Know we are Lions."

What a terrific quote from the cover! This book was an excellent follow-up to the first book in the Powder Mage series. Equally as good for me. The characters I liked in the first book grew on me more. The themes of love of country, indomitable spirit, perseverance, loyalty and especially love of friends and family run strong in this one.

I'm totally hooked to finish this series.

4.5/5.0 stars.
May 11, 2014 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
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...

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
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such an incredible world this is. I can't get enough of it. Also I need more Ka-poel in my life. ...more
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
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Brian McClellan is an American epic fantasy author from Cleveland, Ohio. He is known for his acclaimed Powder Mage Universe and essays on the life and business of being a writer.

Brian now lives on the side of a mountain in Utah with his wife, Michele, where he writes books and nurses a crippling video game addiction.

Brian's novels include the Powder Mage Trilogy (Promise of Blood, The Crimson Camp

Other books in the series

Powder Mage (3 books)
  • Promise of Blood (Powder Mage, #1)
  • The Autumn Republic (Powder Mage, #3)

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