Title: Promise of Blood
Author: Brian McClellan
Series: Powder Mage #1
Read via: 3M eBook/Hardcover
Summary: Tamas is a powder mage, a rare being who gains supernatural powers by consuming and manipulating gunpowder. After overthrowing the king, Tamas must unite with his estranged son, Taniel (also a powder mage), and Adamat, an embattled investigator, to quell the chaos and impending war that his uprising has created.
Review: This one had been on my radar for awhile and it never quite piqued my interest enough for me to pick it up. I’m glad I gave it a shot, but on the whole, I was disappointed.
The three primary characters (all male) are mostly uninteresting and undifferentiated. The secondary characters are a real strength with oddball characters Ka-Poel, the mute, and Mihali, the chef with a god-complex, turning up to contribute to the story in unexpected ways. The tertiary characters were abundant, thin, and hard to care about-especially when a few of them turned out to major players in end-game story and I was left wishing I knew them better.
McClellan moves his narrative forward fluidly with no time wasted on flashbacks or long interludes. Everything exists to serve the final confrontations and provide set-ups for future novels. Unfortunately, it didn’t feel like the story built in any significant way and I ultimately wanted deeper engagement in the novel than I was able to find.
★★ out of 5