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Blood of Empire

(Gods of Blood and Powder #3)

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,535 ratings  ·  132 reviews

'A fast-paced story, set in a brilliantly realised world . . . One of the best fantasy novels of recent years' Bookbag on Sins of Empire

Brian McClellan's Sins of Empire began an epic tale of magic and revolution. The story continued in Wrath of Empire, as rebels, spies and sorcerers clashed. Now this thrilling adventure reaches an explosive conclusion in Blood of Empire,

Kindle Edition, 673 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Orbit
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Jeremy Guebert Short answer: the narrator got cancer, and they're letting him recover from chemo to do it rather than looking for a new narrator.

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Average rating 4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,535 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Start your review of Blood of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #3)
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

Six years after the first publication of Promise of Blood, it’s time to say goodbye to the Powder Mage universe.

Blood of Empire is the third and last book in the Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy. McClellan has also said that this will be the final novel in the Powder Mage universe, and there’s a chance there won’t be any new full-novel in this universe, at least not for years because McClellan has a new series—Glass Immortals
Brian McClellan
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I mean, *I* certainly liked it.
"One of the greatest dangers a soldier could face was the feeling of his own invincibility."

Blood of Empire is Brian McClellan's third and final novel in the Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy. Let me begin by saying I really enjoyed the characters in this series. The three main POV's; Vlora Flint, Mad Ben Styke, and Michel Brevis were some of the best written characters I have come across in some time. Ben Styke was the highlight of these books for me. His personality, commanding page
Maja Ingrid
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Should maybe have reread Sins ans Wrath because I thought I remembered more than I actually did, and spent some time being confused while reading this one. But the books are bit long and I was also too impatient for rereads.

Apart from that, I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did McClellans previous works. Not sure if I liked the ending. It felt rushed and I don't know how I feel about certain outcomes from it.

Would still recommend this series, and of course the Powder Mage trilogy. Since it
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ka-Sedial and the Dynize Empire are on the cusp of creating a new god. Vlora, Ben Styke, Michel Bravis, and many others go to extremes to prevent that from happening.

Blood of Empire was largely what I expected from the conclusion of the Gods of Blood and Power series. Lots of intrigue and battles. I was hoping to see if Brian McClellan had something more or truly unexpected in store for this book, but he unfortunately didn't. Blood of Empire is the first book in the Powder Mage universe that I
Whew, what a ride.

Brian McClellan is one of my favorite military flintlock fantasy writers. His Powder Mage trilogy has one of the best magic systems I ever read while his characters were compelling and memorable.

Three years ago I was pleasantly surprised when he announced a new trilogy set in the same world, featuring one of the characters that I felt was underused, misunderstood and even marginalized in the first trilogy, Vlora Flint. There are of course two other main POV characters, a
Reggie Kray
And yet, another great series that ends horrifically. Disappointed is a gross understatement.
Andrew Jaden
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-need
In 2020 I’m going to be a bit more critical with 5 star ratings. I pick most of the books I read very carefully though, so there’s still bound to be a lot of 5 star ratings.

I really liked this book, but it just was a bit too tame for a Powder Mage book.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Characters pick up where we left them. Flora the general a worthy heir to Tamas. Michel the spy a great character. I could not put it down and was refreshed to be in the company of the mad Lancer Ben Styke. Many interesting journeys (ie Taniel's, Delia's, Linnet's, Ibana's, General E---) were not wholly recorded in the book. Concludes in a satisfying way. I pray for a battle with the Nine.
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Watching an author create his borderless fictional playground is a reader’s ultimate pleasure. When it comes to epic fantasy novels, there are a couple of authors who achieve this and effortlessly expand their universe with incredible expertise, as they not only explore different zones, characters, and stories, but also tackle different periods in time and generations in the past, present, and future. This often leads readers to appreciate the
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blood of Empire is the third and final novel in the Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy, which is a spinoff of McClellan’s Powder Mage series. I’ve never read the Powder Mage series, so I can say with confidence you do not need to read that series to understand and love the story and characters McClellan presents to reader in Gods of Blood and Powder.

What I enjoyed the most about this trilogy, especially with Blood of Empire, is the balance between the military fantasy elements and magic. I’m not
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One can't help but feel wistful at the end of this series, such a thrilling journey it has been.

It has been a rich, deeply satisfying journey of near-death scenarios with half crazed, exasperating, and sometimes near-invincible characters who had to prove their worth again and again in the face of overwhelming odds.

The characters enjoyed the dizzying heights of triumph, often side by side with the despairing depths of defeat. Of course, the characters are unique, one of the standouts of this
Cameron Johnston
A truly fantastic end to a superb series.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gods of Blood and Powder is no doubt a great series. And the finale is also very good for a most part. I am in deep awe with McClellan character development, Ben Styke is my favourite, but Vlora grew on me the most from the start. And with the characters is my most dissapointment of this book. Not by what they did, but by the lack of them in the final conclusion. They were our heroes but in the end they mostly observed events, not much participated in them or even if they did, we couldn't see it ...more
An excellent conclusion to the series, brimming with tension, sorcery, politics, and bloody action when it comes. This last book is a slow burn unlike the previous two books, but, McClellan keeps the suspense frayed throughout the edges of the story which has a thrill of its own. I enjoyed reading this very much, it was pure fun. The story is brought to a satisfactory ending, but, it also has the possibilities of further adventures to the told in that world of gods, guns & cannons, and ...more
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I’m having a hard time to write a review for Blood of Empire. I tried to sleep over it and still don’t really know how I feel about it. I guess, I’m sad to say goodbye, while at the same time, I’m not fully satisfied. But this is complaining on a high level!

“No one cares about atrocities decades after the fact, when trade is good and the rich are getting richer.”

Again, it was Vlora, with whom I’ve had the most problems: (view spoiler).
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This final book of the series got bogged down a bit with political machinations in the middle of the tale. I slogged my way through that and was pleased with the ending. Overall, the series was worth reading and importantly was entertaining. I won't bother with summaries, as there are plenty of those out there.

I will look for future stories from Brian McClellan.
Miriam Michalak
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous and very satisfying conclusion to the Gods of Blood and Powder series. Didn't quite make a 5 star review just because Vlora's POV sections left me a wee bit cold and I found myself speed reading through them to get back to Mad Ben & Michel.

Vagabond of Letters
Been waiting for this one a while; just found out the author has novellas in the same universe. It's not often that I wait for something that's not a Sanderson, Lynch, or Rothfuss.
3/5. Disappointing and rushed ending: the trilogy as a whole is still recommended. While insufficient, rushed, a bit out of character (Michel Bravis, anyone?) and somewhat predictable, the ending is exciting enough and does not ruin what has come before. On the whole, the Powder Mage trilogy was far stronger.

Anurag Sahay
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's get one thing right out of the way - this is the final book of a sequel trilogy, so there's no way you're reading this book before you read any of the other 5 books (and possibly even some of the myriad of short stories in the universe) before you read this.

So assuming you're someone who has read all the previous 5 books, the question is basically: does this finale hold up as a capstone to the series?

The answer is that it's complicated. As an individual book, I adored it, just like I liked
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. Perfect bow on top of the gift that is the powder mage universe.
Matthew Bryan
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an immensely enjoyable book however it's my least favourite in this trilogy and I think it's objectively the weakest. I really enjoyed it however when I look at my list of pros and cons, my list of cons is fairly large and my list of pros simply reads "everything else".

My cons are:
The lack of Lindet, Taniel, Olem and Ibana in this book not to mention Serial doesn't actually show his face at all til the end.
I wanted more from Ichtracia.
Vlora kind of sucks here. Also her
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A great book that is also frustratingly disappointing.

Reading Blood of Empire was like waiting for a year to get a table at a fancy restaurant that is supposed to have some of the best creme brulee in the country. However, when you arrive there they tell you they are out of the creme brulee. So you order another dish. This dish is also amazing, but the entire time you are thinking to yourself, "I wanted the creme brulee."

Blood of Empire was my third most anticipated book of 2019. Right behind
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fantastic entry into McClellan's Powder Mage series. Before I had started the novel, I was thinking that this trilogy could not possibly surpass the initial trilogy. Now I'm not so sure. While I still think that Tamas is the best character thus far, Michel and Styke both give the old guy a run for his money.

But what truly makes this book, and really everything McClellan writes, is the pacing. I had a really hard time putting the book down between chapters and barreled through the
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. McClellan has the same problem here as he did in the Powder Mage trilogy of just not quite sticking the landing. There are too many new elements introduced in this final volume and I feel like too much was left unexplained while the main storyline tied up in too neat of a bow for me. Everything that made me root for the characters in the first two volumes just wasn't there. The characters themselves seemed to chafe at the constraints placed on them by the needs of the plot, especially ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, need-it
Blood of Empire is grippingly exciting and intense. Bravo !!! The story is brilliant and the plots? even more!
There are 3 main POV. 1. Michel Bravis whose impressive skill did not impressed me much but his brilliant ideas and humility finally won me in this book. 2. Lady Vlora Flint she was at her lowest point in both health and psyche but her vulnerability made her grew stronger and coming out a different person from the one from the Power Mage series. 3. Ben Styke. Oh how I love him and his
Darren McGowan
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well done

You can say a lot of things about Mr. McClellan, but the man sure knows how to finish a trilogy! No loose ends and leaves the reader with a sense of gratification. All the characters are interesting and well developed. There's some rewarding battle scenes in here,and some personal battles( physical and mental). What I found different was that this book had a lot more politicking than previous novels. Not that it was bad, it was essential to the plot, but unexpected. This is a must read
Roumen Ganeff
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fitting end(?) to the series. I honestly did not expect how it would end - it could go either way until the very end. Everyone developed nicely and the action was epic on all fronts.
Reece Dinn
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thrilling end to a fave series of books of mine. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Part of me wanted the finale to have more bang than it did but it was, for the most part, a satisfying conclusion
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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

Other books in the series

Gods of Blood and Powder (3 books)
  • Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #1)
  • Wrath of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #2)