Promise of Blood

 I will hold my hand up and say I was less than enthusiastic about this book based purely on a brief read of the cover blurb.  However, since I was still enjoying being on a fantasy kick and wanting something new to sink my teeth into I picked it up.

It was actually the strapline on the cover that rescued the book for me – “The Age of Kings is dead… and I have killed it.” I loved it, both powerful and intriguing and that alone was enough to turn the first page.

I’ve never been happier to have been proved wrong.  I was pleasantly surprised by the plot – while it might have seemed like a common fantasy trope at first glance, Brian McClellan managed to turn it on its head and shake it around.  The result is an amazing debut that entertained and engaged me, while giving me that tingle of discovering something good and very special.

The writing was descriptive without being too wordy.  I could clearly envisage the scenes in my head, even without extra padding and that made for easy reading that flowed right to the end.

The characters were superbly envisioned and no one was clearly cut out as good or evil, just varying shades of grey.  Believing you are doing the right thing is a powerful force even in the face of evidence to the contrary.  As the plot unfolded, my allegiances changed, time and time again and while I have to confess my favourites were Taniel and Adamat, both were very different characters but there was something special about them that really touched me.

The magic system McClellan conjured was just as intriguing as the story.  Magic is very common but in the majority of the Knacked population it’s very minor and often no more than a help to do their job.  The more powerful Marked are pretty dangerous and the top ranking Privileged are utterly lethal.  Then there are powder mages, those who can use gunpowder to augment their abilities, often making them unbeatable in a fight.  Of course that’s a very simplistic description of something integral to the story so I can only suggest you read and find out the intricacies for yourself!

The ending of Promise of Blood was nicely done even and sets things up solidly for the next book. As an aside, I really liked the fact that while I really want to read the next one, I’m not left feeling desperate due to a cliffhanger.  It was no less powerful an ending because of that either.

Definitely an author to watch and highly recommended for any fantasy fan.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Brian McClellan
  • Series: Powder Mage Trilogy (1)
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Our Week in Books – Week 15, 2013

 Tracey

Another slow week for reading this week but I still managed to fit four books in. I finished Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Jones – a very good start to the series and I am looking forward to the rest, full review to appear later this week – 4 stars.

I then went back to my Kindle and started Scandal of Love by Janelle Daniels, I enjoyed it but it was a bit too short for me, I am not a big fan of novellas unless they are linked to a favourite series. The story was good though, definitely more of a pure romance and not really as scandalous as the title suggests. I do enjoy a good romance though and would look to read the others in the series if I could find them very cheap or free on kindle – 3 stars.

Next I started a review copy I received from NetGalley – What a Lady needs by Kasey Michaels (Published by Harlequin), and is released 30th April.  I loved this one and a full review will follow this week – 4.5 stars

Having been nagged constantly by my husband about reducing the amount of physical books I have, I felt I should read another and picked up a romance by Kathleen Creighton – The Sheriff of Heartbreak County. While I expected an enjoyable romance I actually got a good suspense story too. A good read which kept me glued throughout and of course a wonderful romance – 4 stars

Thats all for this week folks!

 Grete

I’m still trying to get up to speed with my reading as I have so many great books begging to be read!

I finished Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan which ended up really surprising me.  Find out why in my review in the next few days 😉

Next I turned to Darynda Jones and her Charley Davidson series.  I read, loved (and reviewed) the first book at the start of the year but with my memory being what it is right now, I wanted to re-read it so the characters were fresh in my mind before I moved on to the second.  So First Grave on the Right was just as good the second time round and I finished Second Grave on the Left yesterday which was fantastic.  A review will be coming and I am going to start Third Grave Dead Ahead tonight!

That’s it from me, time to get my nose stuck in a book 😉


Our Week in Books is a regular blog post from Tracey and Grete, catching up on everything they’ve read recently.

Our Week in Books – Week 14, 2013

TraceyTracey

I had a week off from work this week, lots of reading time I thought – it would appear not, not sure what I did all week but did not read anywhere near as much as I expected!

I started the week with book two in the key trilogy by Nora Roberts – Key of Knowledge. This is probably my favourite series by this author, it has a paranormal basis with of course a solid romance running through. I love the characters and am looking forward to reading the final book in this trilogy even if it is very far fetched. If you are thinking about reading it start with the first one – Key of light. 4.5 stars.

I then decided to read some books on my Kindle which have been building up. I started with Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid by Maureen Driscoll and really enjoyed it. A very romantic story with strong characters – the heroine is working as an unofficial surgeon in a small village, shunned by people she once thought of as friends after a major scandal (for the 19th Century anyway!). The hero is part of a large ton family – the Kellingtons, the great thing is there are books about all the family members – yay! It did not always seem appropriate to the period in either language or deeds but I still enjoyed it – 4 stars

I then moved on to The Dying Game by Beverley Barton. I always enjoy her books, the plots are so good and keep you guessing all the way. Those of you who enjoy a good romantic suspense should give her books a try, she has a lot! 4.5 stars

My next book is currently in progress – Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Jones, very good so far – comments to follow next week.

Unfortunately I am now back at work – something else to interfere with my reading time!

GreteGrete

Well I failed miserably on the reading front this week, as I have been doing spring cleaning and getting some of the clutter out of the house. There have also been several PC games I have been waiting for, so in the last few weeks have finished the new Tombraider, Bioshock Infinite and Dead Space 3, all highly recommended!

I have read some more of The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan but am taking another break to start Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan.  It’s great so far, excellent beginning and there should be a review up this week!

That’s all from me for now… must try harder!! 😉


Our Week in Books is a regular blog post from Tracey and Grete, catching up on everything they’ve read recently.