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The Crimson Campaign (Powder Mage, #2)
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Powder Mage > TCC: Section 2 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 16

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message 1: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Section 2

Please keep all discussion to the events and speculation from Chapter 10 - Chapter 16.

No spoiler tags required. Though it would be highly appreciated if you Uncheck Add to my Update Feed to avoid accidentally spoiling this for your good read friends.

Please do not discuss events from later chapters. Referring back to events from a previous section/book is fine.


David Sven (gorro) | 316 comments Alex wrote: " think I had this question in the last book too, but forget if it was answered. How do Powder Mages see so damn far? I understand being able to shoot a bullet a mile away because of magic, but how can you spot and aim that far without a sniper's scope?"

The powder enhances speed, strength and senses including sight.

Taniel has definitely levelled up in his powder mage abilities - he's also being a bit of a dick.


message 3: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I brought up PTSD, and I totally think that's why Taniel's acting this way.

I agree about the pacing. I don't really have much of note. I'm enjoying the book though.


Jake m (atticus55) | 76 comments I'm really enjoying it as well. It's kind of bugging me how Taniel is being treated though, it just doesn't ring true. If he was actually the last man on all the lines and killing hundreds of people he would be treated better. It seems like no one believes him or something even though it's probably pretty evident.

When that General (forgot her name) sneers at him and says he doesn't have talent, i was like what? He would be a rally point and all the men would look up to him. Just because everyone thinks Tamas is dead they just don't like powder mages, even one that is saving multiple lives by risking his?


Jake m (atticus55) | 76 comments Alex,
I was wondering the same thing about hitting targets from a mile away. I also wondered how they nudge the ball in the air. If they can control gun powder that doesn't really make sense because the combustion reaction initially propels the bullet but has nothing do with it while it is in the air. But it's magic, and sometimes I just sigh and take it with a grain of salt.


message 6: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Taniel is well treated by the common soldiers. It's the higher ups that aren't. Without Tamas yto keep them in line, I think their fear of him is driving their actions.

Also Taniel thinks there may still be a traitor among them. It could just be his state of mind, but I doubt it.


David Sven (gorro) | 316 comments Well it's rather convenient that Tamas isn't going to be around when they decide to be a democracy - Tamas would get voted in as First Minister for sure. I'm thinking Ricard for traitor.


message 8: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I don't really have any theories as yto who might be a traitor. I don't really trust anyone though.


Kaleb Am I the only one dislikes Nila? She doesn't seem to have matured at all since the last book. And Faye hasn't been around as long as Nila, but I really like her more than Nila.


message 10: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I'm kind of indifferent towards Nila. I do like Faye more so far.

Like many fantasy books, I find the women underwhelming. Kapoel seems the most interesting, and she can't talk. Nila is a very weak POV character for me, though I find her story interesting despite her.


Kaleb Ka poel is definitely the most interesting female character. But I do have hopes for Vlora becoming something more.


message 12: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Kaleb wrote: "Ka poel is definitely the most interesting female character. But I do have hopes for Vlora becoming something more."

If this remains a trilogy, he's running out of time to promote her from the minor character she currently is.


Kaleb Hopefully she'll get her moment in the spotlight.


message 14: by Jake (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jake m (atticus55) | 76 comments I'm not a fan of Vlora, but thats because I like Taniel. I don't think Richard is the traitor but I could be wrong.

I saw in an interview that he was under contract for 4 more books. I don't know if he is going to stick to the trilogy then ass more or what.


Kaleb It's sad Taniel doesn't realize how much Tamas loves him. I wish he could see that.


message 16: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I think he said after this trilogy he's writing a sequel trilogy.


David Sven (gorro) | 316 comments Alex wrote: "Their powder trance allows them to see that far. As far as the bullet, it's a bit of a "see the bullet, be the bullet" situation"

But bullets from air rifles don't work - so it must be trace gunpowder on the bullets that they connect with?


Kaleb What if Ka Poel is one of Kresmir's siblings? It'd explain hiw she is able to do all the things she has done. It'd also explain why even Rozalia seemed to fear her in the last book. Either that or she is the predecessor of the Privelaged. What were they called?


David Sven (gorro) | 316 comments Ka Poel is a Bone-Eye which is the version of Privileged where she comes from. But they use different magic. I guess if a cook can be a god then why not Ka Poel - but I'm happy with thinking she's a very powerful sorceress for now.


Suzanne | 1582 comments I was thinking today about how realistic the lack of communication/slow communication is in this book. Tamas doesn't even know Taniel is awake (and now he's out of the communication loop). It is probably minor, but it is certainly well-done.


message 21: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
That's a good point Suzanne. I hadn't even given that much thought. I grew up before the internet and instant communication were prevalent, but nothing like this where you could go weeks without news.


message 22: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I said before the internet was prevalent. It predates me, though not by much. I didn't have it until I was 12 or 13 though.


Andreas | 220 comments Haha, I once knew all existing web pages - but that was end of 1992 when I set up one of the first http servers :) If you count the Arpanet then I'm born in the same year as the internet.

I think the higher ranks of the military are not quite believable. Taniel - undisciplined hero - should have grabbed not only the attention of the lower ranks who cheer at him, but also of colonels upwards. I see that the author wants to rise an opposition to this hero to somehow get him to the ground. But this way isn't realistic - even during action, Taniel is described as fighting alone which wouldn't be the case, as he is a rally point.

I'm slightly connecting to the 19th century Austrian atmosphere (coffee houses, newspapers etc.). However I don't love it.


message 24: by Conor (last edited Aug 06, 2014 05:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Conor | 57 comments The pace has picked up even further in this section with Taniel finally getting off his ass. The Adamat storyline is still interesting (and way better than book 1), Tamas' is awesome as well. It's kind of similar to the Chain of Dogs but it's different enough to stand out. I love battle scenes in fantasy and it's really cool to see 'flintlock fantasy' battles. From what little I know of battles in the time period they're also pretty realistic.

Taniel's storyline is sometimes awesome and sometimes annoying. Surely if the policy the army is following is so stupid all of those senior officers wouldn't continue doing it. It would be really cool if Taniel turns out to be in the wrong here. I'm hoping this doesn't turn out to another case of 'the protagonist is always right', especially since Taniel's strategy is so simplistic (stop running away you morons!).

Nila's POV is extremely underwhelming. Again. I'm really disappointed that we're now halfway through the trilogy and female characters are still firmly in the background. I'm hoping that Vlora will step up soon and start being more than a vague presence in the background of Tamas and Taniel's storylines. It would be really cool to see a redemption storyline where she makes amends to Taniel. Ka-Poel is awesome. Obvs. But we still don't have any information on her background or motivations. Kaleb had an awesome theory that I hadn't thought of that she might be one of Kresimir's siblings (she might be one of the 'Predeii' who summoned him as well) either way that would be an awesome plot-twist.

I don't really like that a 19th century style military has a load of female soldiers without any explanation. This bothered me in the Malazan books as well. In pretty much every society in history there were a lot of barriers to women joining the army. The fact that it happens here without any explanation undermines the world building and romanticises the time period it was based on by glossing over the sexism that was so prevalent in society. It would also have been really cool to see female powder mages (because even the most misogynistic 19th century guys couldn't object to someone that badass in the army) having to overcome gender inequality.

Anyone have any thoughts on the Black Wardens? After the Volarian empire in Tower Lord the Kez have upped the stakes in the cartoonishly villainous evil empire contest by basing all of their military success on a bunch of twisted zombie-monsters created through a process of horrifically evil human experiments. It seems that a lot of fantasy authors are really determined to show that their bad guy nations are inferior to the good guys and can only be successful by being super evil.


message 25: by Kaleb (last edited Aug 06, 2014 04:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kaleb Conor wrote: "The pace has picked up even further in this section with Taniel finally getting off his ass. The Adamat storyline is still interesting (and way better than book 1), Tamas' is awesome as well. It's ..."
I completely agree with you on the lack of female character depth. Nila was one of the things I disliked about the book too. And Ka-Poel is one of my favorite characters. Still want to know more about her. Glad to see your enjoying the book though.


Conor | 57 comments Yup, the book overall is awesome. So far it's a big improvement on PoB which was itself a very good book. Especially impressive when you think that most 2nd books in a trilogy tend to be the weak link.


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