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Sins of Empire

(Gods of Blood and Powder #1)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  12,998 ratings  ·  876 reviews
The nation of Fatrasta is a haven for criminals, rebels, adventurers and sorcerers seeking relics of the past. As insurrection grows, only the iron will of the Lady Chancellor holds the capital city of Landfall together.

Yet an ancient power as old as time is rising, and the fate of this young nation now rests in the hands of a spy, a disgraced war hero and a mercenary gene
Paperback, 604 pages
Published March 9th 2017 by Orbit (first published March 7th 2017)
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 ·  12,998 ratings  ·  876 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Just as good the second time around, if not better. I also recommend this on Audio!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
That was amazing. So glad I ended up giving this a go. What an explosive return to McClellan’s beloved Powder Mage universe.

It’s been two years since I finished reading the Powder Mage trilogy. Honestly, I felt satisfied with the ending I got in The Autumn Republic that I thought I would’ve been fine with not reading the Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy. Thankfully, so many reviews and word-of-mouth have spread throughout the years, and they convinced me that this trilogy is even better than the
Petros Triantafyllou
Sins of Empire is, undoubtedly, the undisputed high point of McClellan's career so far.

Colonel Ben Styke, a decorated war hero of the Fatrastan's war for independence, has been convicted and imprisoned for the past ten years as a war criminal.
Silver Rose Michel Brevis, a governmental spy of Fatrasta, is tasked with the duties of a detective, a job with a required set of skills that he doesn't possess.
Lady Vlora Flint, a General and co-owner of a mercenary company called 'Rifle Jackets', is
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
So damn good! McClellan is now definitely among my conservative list of favorite authors, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for me next!

Just like the entirety of the Powder Mage Trilogy, Sins of Empire absorbed me completely from start to finish. It’s a slow-burn story that built beautifully to a snowball ending that had me on the edge of my seat!

External conflicts aside, the true beauty of this author is his ability to develop characters. They feel like real people, which might be th
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, own
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

Flintlock fans! Powder pundits–
And all lovers of spellbinding stories of magic and mayhem:
Today, today, you are redeemed from boredom,
Set free from the doldrums of reading despair.
For that most adroit of authors, Brian of McClellan,
Has fired off the opening salvo of another fantasy series.
Challenged all comers to brave his newest creation.


From the beginning, Sins of Empire is a dazzling delight,
Spun from the same enchanted stuff as The Powder Mage Trilogy,
Set i
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The re-read is as beautiful - it not more - than the first read. The book is full of interesting characters, one more interesting than the other. Some of old favorites and some new favorites just make their way through the story in a continuous change of pace and events, twists and turns and dynamic story, just in Brian McClellan's style.
If you have not started this series yet (and you have read The Powder Mage trilogy), this is a great story to begin and be brought in a new world with known ma
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"No one else's suffering is ever as acute as your own."

What a fantastic read! I didn't know if Brian McClellan would be able to pull it off again. I absolutely loved The Powder Mage trilogy. So, the bar was set pretty high in my mind when starting this new trilogy Gods of Blood and Powder. But, McClellan didn't disappoint. The characters, world building, and writing were all top notch.

The story has a diverse cast of characters. There are a few familiar characters from the original t
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

As you know, I’m quite a fan of Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage trilogy, and so I was thrilled when I discovered he was planning to write a new series called Gods of Blood and Powder set in the same universe. Sins of Empire is a return to this world of magic and war, taking place approximately ten years after the end of The Autumn Republic. While the main cast may contain a few familiar faces, this novel is in fact a new sto
Stefan Bach
Okay, main character of this series is Vlora, right? Vlora Flint, right?
Same no-POV, misread, misunderstood, shallowly developed Vlora Flint from Powder Mage series that everyone complained about?
Well, that’s the problem.
New series, new world, new timeline – same Vlora Flint.

And why am I more invested in characters like Ben Styke? Michel Whatever-His-Surname-Actually-Was?
Mr. Tampo and Mama Palo? Oh, don’t get me started on Mr. Tampo and Mama Palo, characters which were sin
The start of the new series from one of my favorite fantasy authors and the only returning character announced is my least favorite character from the previous series. Cool, cool. And now it seems that Vlora is even going to be one of the major characters. Cool. Great. Even more Vlora. I'm not mad at all. At all.

Seriously though I'm looking forward to this series. The Powder Mage was one of my favorite fantasy series in recent years (with the added bonus of being delivered on time without any ex
Scott  Hitchcock
Although a second trilogy it's a continuation of many of the same characters as the first. The new characters that are introduced however are very engaging and overshadow Vlora who I just cannot warm to. She just doesn't have the depth and charm a lot of the other characters.

The first 80% is mystery and intrigue. The last 20% the battle we've been expecting. The cloak and dagger was entertaining. Round up to a 4* but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first series.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up on audio and I am really very glad I did so as I have previously tried the Powder Mage series by this author and although it had promise it didn't really feel as developed as I wanted it too (probably because it was a debut series)...However, this series is set in the same world, following on from the events of the previous series, but it can be read as a series on its own. I only read book 1 in the Powder Mage series before starting this one, and it all made sense to me an ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fatrasta is a nation at conflict with itself. It subjugates a people group and their desire for equality. The Lady Chancellor uses not only her secret police the Blackhats, but also employs the Riflejack Mercenary Company led by Lady Vlora Flint. Fatrasta has also buried it's heroes who helped win them freedom, most notably Ben Styke. Styke has spent 10 years rotting in a Fatrastan labor camp. Fatrasta's problems may be worse than they initially feared, as a long silent threat appears to have re ...more
William Gwynne
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy
My extended review is now on BookNest!
BookNest review

Sins of Empire is set around a decade after the ending of the previous series and takes place on the continent of Fatrasta, with most of the story being contained within the huge city Landfall.

The book is told from three POVs:

General Vlora Flint, the leader of the famous mercenary company called the ‘Rifle Jackets’ is a powerful and renowned Powder Mage. She is working for the Governor of Fatrasta and her task is to crush any chance of a unit
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tried reading Promise of Blood a few years ago, and although I finished, it didn’t leave any lasting impression on me and I didn’t continue on with the series. From what I remember, it had all the elements I’m usually intrigued by, but for whatever reason, it just didn’t land for me. So, when I heard that this series was better than the first I decided to pick it up, and I’m really happy I did. Giving a second chance to authors who didn’t suit you the first time around is a good habit to get i ...more

Update after the re-read: It holds up! I didn't want to say much about a certain character(s) (view spoiler) before it came out, but I feel like I can say a bit now. I'm really happy with how Brian treated them. I liked their arc in the other stuff he's written, and I'm happy they get such a prominent spot in this series. I think it's really great to show flaws in characters, and it's easy to see how the flaws from someone's history really i
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At long last I returned to my beloved world of the powdermages. The first trilogy was and still are my favorite saga and I wondered sometimes if the magic can ignited again. The answer is yes.
The second trilogy takes place ten years after the events of the first trilogy and in Fastrata a former Kez’s colony. If you had read the short stories you know that Fastrata is now free from Kez but alas after a independence war , the country is under a civil war. The native people called Palo are fighting
Nils | nilsreviewsit

‘The smell of the dead, the wind in his hair, the blood on his steel: it made him feel vibrant and alive like nothing in the world had ever done for him.’
Sins of Empire is the first instalment of the Gods of Blood and Powder series by Brian McClellan. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know how much I love The Powder Mage trilogy, so you can imagine my anticipation in reading this novel which is set in the same world. I’m delighted to tell you that this book was an absolute pleasure
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I read this earlier in the year and wasnt overly fond of it. I gave it a 2nd read after a friend pestered me to read it again, and for some reason it changed my view. 10 years have passed and we enter a new city with some new characters and some old characters from the original trilogy who had smaller bit roles.Great action, pacing was fun, characters were not as strong as the 1st trilogy, but still likeable. Perfect setup/intrigue for the 1st 3/4 and a great climatic battle in the last 1/4.
Executive Summary: An excellent start to a new trilogy in Brian McClellan's Power Mage series. This one is a lot more political than the previous series was, which may be why I think this may be his best book yet.

Audiobook: I got Promise of Blood in ebook for cheap, so I stuck to that format for the rest of the series. Now I wish I had gone audiobook instead. Christian Rodska is absolutely fantastic. He doesn't attempt to do any feminine voices, which is probably a smart move on his part, but hi
I must confess that this read has proved to be more enjoyable and interesting than its prequel trilogy Powder Mage.

It wouldn't be far from the truth to describe Sins of Empire as a recycled version of its prequels, but mostly in a good way: the narrative is still consistent and enjoyable while the action is fast-paced.

However, the new characters are definitely the highlight of this novel. I've become really attached to them to the point of preparing myself to go on a manhunt if McClellan killed
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I find that I’m having trouble finding words eloquent enough to describe how much I loved Sins of Empire. I adored McClellan’s Powder Mage trilogy and getting to return to this world and catch up with familiar characters is one of the most satisfying feelings ever. Sins of Empire is set about 10 years after the events of the Powder Mage trilogy and rather than being set in The Nine, we get to more broadly explore the nation of Fatrasta.

Those of you already familiar with McClellan’s books may re
Skylar Phelps
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These Powder Mage books just keep getting better.

I have zero complaints and I’m enjoying the ride! One thing I really enjoy about Brian McClellan’s books is that there is always plenty of intrigue. There are always plans within plans within plans and the POVs are showcased in a way that really maximizes the suspense and keeps you guessing.

Wonderful characters, unique world, and very talented storytelling. You really can’t go wrong with these books.
Oct 22, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
More Brian McClellan? More Powder Mage? Only ten years after the original trilogy?


After binge-reading his first trilogy and deducing that every book is an improvement of its precedent, I can easily say that I can't wait to get my hands on this one.
4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars!!

Dark Epic Fantasy- Engaging from the start!

I was not sure when I added this to my TBR what to expect. I did not read the Powder Mage series so this was my first Brian McClellan Novel. It sounded pretty interesting- so when I opened the book to start, I was pleasantly surprised from the very first page. Starting out with a bang- literally from the prologue- This book took a hold of my attention and immediately, I was invested.

The world building was amazing and the characte
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some quick reflections:

Ben Styke was giving me a major Logen Ninefingers vibe throughout the book. More of the please.

Secondly, am I supposed to like Michel or something? Because I don't. I really really don't. I do appreciate his mothers view on books tho!

All in all this was a great read, even though it took me some time to get through. My love for this world is as strong as ever and I look forward to getting to see more of it in the next installment.

5 sulfuric stars
Julia Sarene
This one was once again a fast, entertaining, thrilling and action packed ride!

There are some recurring characters, as we start off with Vlora and Olem we feel right at home.
We also get some all new characters, as it takes place years after the Powder Mage series. And they once again were amazing! Ben Styke who we met in one of the novellas is a main character - and I absolutely love him! Others are good, bad and in between - just like I want my characters to be.

There are as expected sume unexpe
Olivier Delaye
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imaginative and immersive world, memorable characters, gunpowder magic (?!?), intriguing story and plot(s), effective prose… what more can a Fantasy lover ask for?
C.P. Cabaniss
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Why did I wait until a year after it was released to read this book? The only good thing about it is the fact that book two is not available and I won't have to wait long before reading it. And hopefully book three will be released in less than a year.

This was excellent. I really enjoyed the Powder Mage trilogy when I read them last year, but I wasn't sure how this series would go since it was set in the same world a few years down the line and had some of the same characters. That either usual
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books, where you turn the last page and relise that’s there no more to go till the next book comes out. Then you start calling the author rude names because he hasn’t made it longer and he’s ruined your enjoyment of his excellently written book.
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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

Gods of Blood and Powder (3 books)
  • Wrath of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #2)
  • Blood of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #3)

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