Samir's Reviews > Promise of Blood

Promise of Blood by Brian  McClellan
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really liked it

Actual rating: 4.5 stars.

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 recommendations page and it was critically acclaimed and I was starting to get curious. So, I decided to give it a shot just to see is my imagination, or should I say, slightly formed prejudice, the right guess. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I expected a boring warfare documentary and instead I got a rollicking blockbuster spectacle!

This is the kind of book that grabs you from the first page refuses to let you go. It starts with a coup d'état in the spirit of the French Revolution. The king of Adro and his royal cabal are dead and the military leader of the coup, Tamas, now faces resistance from the Royalist army, impending threat of war from the bordering nation Kez, troubles with his own council and ancient prophecy about a god's wrath.

This story has brilliant depth, with plethora of things happening to get you reading long into the night.

Magic system is truly rich and inventive. I mentioned the royal cabal and they are an example of a more traditional magic system; they are called Privileged and they use their natural gifts and rune covered gloves to control the elements through the 'Else', the source of magic. As their counterbalance, we have the Powder Mages or Marked as they are called. They can magically control gunpowder, setting it off with their own power. They are also consuming the powder which allows them to enter in a state of trance which enhances their strength and senses. The relationship between Privileged and Marked plays a big role in the flux of the world.

There are also characters known as Knacked and they have abilities like no need of sleep or perfect memory and although being less magically gifted, they contribute to the story nonetheless.

McClellan has no shortage of interesting characters and in the end you'll have trouble deciding about your favorite.

This gripping fantasy novel is bursting with outstanding action sequences, political intrigue, awesome and well developed characters and cool magic system, so naturally, I'm excited to find out where McClellan takes us in the next installment of this potentially excellent series.
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Reading Progress

July 7, 2016 – Shelved
July 7, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
January 9, 2017 – Started Reading
January 10, 2017 –
21.0% "Very addicting so far, smooth writing and cool magic system."
January 12, 2017 –
38.0% "Gripping story, a real page turner! I'm so hooked!"
January 14, 2017 –
52.0% "description\n\n"Rake those bastards with shot until they're all running scared!""
January 15, 2017 –
73.0% "\n\n"Doctor, what could you prescribe for Charlemund?"\nThe doctor looked down his nose at the unconscious form of the arch-diocel. "Arsenic?"\n"Now, really. Something to give him a quality headache and agreat deal of memory loss."\n"Cyanide."\n"Doctor!"\n"I'll find something", the doctor mumbled. \n\nLoving the humor!"
January 17, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)

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Tammie Nice review! That is exactly how I pictured this book as well. I'm glad to know that it isn't boring warfare. I added it to my to-read list the other day because of all the glowing reviews.


Samir Tammie wrote: "Nice review! That is exactly how I pictured this book as well. I'm glad to know that it isn't boring warfare. I added it to my to-read list the other day because of all the glowing reviews."

Thanks Tammie :) This turned out to be nothing like I imagined and I'm so glad I was wrong.


☽Luna☾ Great review Samir


Samir ☽Luna☾ wrote: "Great review Samir"

Thank you lovely Sarah :)


Lema great review Samir! just you wait, it gets even more amazing in books 2 and 3 :)


Samir Lema wrote: "great review Samir! just you wait, it gets even more amazing in books 2 and 3 :)"

Thank you Lema :) I can't wait to read them!


Orient Great review, Samir :)))) I have this book as a rec from Milda. After reading your review, I'm more eager to start the series!


Samir Orient wrote: "Great review, Samir :)))) I have this book as a rec from Milda. After reading your review, I'm more eager to start the series!"

Thank you :) I'm joining the rec club, read this book you must :))))


Orient Samir wrote: "Orient wrote: "Thank you :) I'm joining the rec club, read this book you must :)))) "

Then better grab a torch and a pitch fork for encouragements :D I'm a crappy reader, lately *sighs*


Samir Orient wrote: "Samir wrote: "Orient wrote: "Thank you :) I'm joining the rec club, read this book you must :)))) "

Then better grab a torch and a pitch fork for encouragements :D I'm a crappy reader, lately *sighs*"


That is just the slow progress of DG talking. Don't beat yourself up, it's not about the quantity, it's about quality.


Orient Samir wrote: "That is just the slow progress of DG talking. Don't beat yourself up, it's not about the quantity, it's about quality. "

Nah, it's about crazy people who need smth when I'm ready to read :D Oh and work doesn't help :)


Samir Orient wrote: "Samir wrote: "That is just the slow progress of DG talking. Don't beat yourself up, it's not about the quantity, it's about quality. "

Nah, it's about crazy people who need smth when I'm ready to ..."




See, it's not you it's them! :D


Jody Great review as always Samir!


Samir Jody wrote: "Great review as always Samir!"

Thank you Jody! Can't wait to buddy read the sequel!


Daniel Clouser It's been a while since I read these (I'm pretty sure that I read each as it came out), but I'm looking forward to the sequel. I've been thinking about checking out some of the short fiction. There are 4 novellas and a collection of 5 short stories set in the world. They're mostly prequels, filling in the various character's backstories.


Samir Daniel wrote: "It's been a while since I read these (I'm pretty sure that I read each as it came out), but I'm looking forward to the sequel. I've been thinking about checking out some of the short fiction. There..."

That sounds interesting, I'm gonna check them out when I finish the series.


edge of bubble great review Samir!


Samir Thanks!


message 19: by TS (new) - rated it 4 stars

TS Chan Love your review Samir! I had the same misconception about flintlock military fantasy myself.


Samir Thank you TS :) Luckily, we were wrong.


Eon ♒Windrunner♒  Excellent review Samir.


Samir Thank you Eon:)


message 23: by Roy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Roy Great review Samir!!


Samir Thank you Roy :)


message 25: by Andy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andy Spot-on review, the book blew me away too!


Samir Andy wrote: "Spot-on review, the book blew me away too!"

Thanks Andy, it was really awesome!


Choko Great review, Samir!!!


Samir Choko wrote: "Great review, Samir!!!"

Thank you Choko! :)


message 29: by Khaled (new)

Khaled I think I'm just gonna go ahead and jump on the bandwagon myself. This book has been heavily circulating my feed for weeks now. I hope I end up enjoying it as much as you did!


Samir Khaled wrote: "I think I'm just gonna go ahead and jump on the bandwagon myself. This book has been heavily circulating my feed for weeks now. I hope I end up enjoying it as much as you did!"

I hope you do, too. :) I was pleasantly surprised and the sequel is even better.


message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Excellent review Samir! McLellan keeps popping up on my radar too but I’m nervous to give him a go for some reason.


Samir Sarah wrote: "Excellent review Samir! McLellan keeps popping up on my radar too but I’m nervous to give him a go for some reason."

Thank you, Sarah! By all means, give him a try. I was also wary of starting this series and ended up being pleasantly surprised.


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