Blood of Empire

Blood of Empire As The Final Battle Approaches A Sellsword, A Spy, And A General Must Find Unlikely And Dangerous Allies In Order To Turn The Tides Of War In This Epic Fantasy Tale Of Magic And Gunpowder By Acclaimed Author Brian McClellanThe Dynize Have Unlocked The Landfall Godstone, And Michel Bravis Is Tasked With Returning To Greenfire Depths To Do Whatever He Can To Prevent Them From Using Its Power From Sewing Dissension Among The Enemy Ranks To Rallying The Palo PopulationBen Styke S Invasion Of Dynize Is Curtailed When A Storm Scatters His Fleet Coming Ashore With Just Twenty Lancers, He Is Forced To Rely On Brains Rather Than Brawn Gaining New Allies In A Strange Land On The Cusp Of Its Own Internal ViolenceBereft Of Her Sorcery And Physically And Emotionally Broken, Lady Vlora Flint Now Marches On Landfall At The Head Of An Adran Army Seeking Vengeance Against Those Who Have Conspired Against Her While Allied Politicians Seek To Undo Her From Within, She Faces Insurmountable Odds And Dynize S Greatest General

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

[Read] ➫ Blood of Empire By Brian  McClellan –
  • 592 pages
  • Blood of Empire
  • Brian McClellan
  • English
  • 16 February 2019

10 thoughts on “Blood of Empire

  1. says:

    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 coming in 2022 So overall, was this a satisfying conclusion to the saga I ll say yes I have a few issues with it that prevent me from giving it a full 5 stars rating, but overall I m satisfied There aren t many things that I can say regarding the details of the plotline without going into spoiler territory, and I don t want to do that, so I ll get into what worked for me and a few things that in my opinion would ve made this final book awesome Styke was willing to put up with all sorts of creeping things for the sake of an ambush He would not, however, allow a man to piss on him Every time I talk to readers and fans of McClellan s work, the majority have agreed that McClellan is very well known for his fast paced and action packed oriented storyline Contrary to The Powder Mage trilogy, every installment in Gods of Blood and Powder adapts a slow burn story that escalates towards a big explosive conclusion Both Sins of Empire and Wrath of Empire uses the same method, and the situation is even apparent in Blood of Empire where the big action sequences happened only at the final 15% of the novel McClellan has spent a lot of time building the setup towards reaching the final confrontation set piece In fact, out of all six novels in the Powder Mage universe, it felt like this is the one where action scenes happened the least It s different from the first trilogy but it s not a bad thing per se It may be slower relatively, but McClellan was still able to tell a compelling story without neglecting the high focus on characterizations, relationship developments, and politics Cultural differences, greed, faith, responsibilities, loyalty, love, and learning from mistakes were some of the patent themes used effectively to enrich the narrative in Blood of Empire I m an officer A shitty one, most of the time But I ve always protected my men from the injustice of tyrants It s one of my few good qualities, and I ve reached the age that I m just not going to let that go The main characters in this series, especially Ben Styke, Celine, and Michel Bravis, are some of the best characters McClellan has ever written in his career so far As I ve mentioned in my previous review, Ben Styke is up there with Taniel Two Shot and Ka poel for being my favorite characters in the saga It shouldn t come as a surprise that, once again, I enjoyed reading the character s development of these characters I loved reading the interaction between Styke and Celine and Ka poel I loved reading Michel s subterfuge and spycraft What surprised me, however, was how much I enjoyed reading Vlora s storyline here I ve never been a fan of Vlora, but I think in Blood of Empire McClellan successfully characterize and leads her towards a development that made me care for her Vlora is a flawed character and seeing her learning from her mistakes to do better while she struggles with the dilemmas of living up to her father was engrossing All of these characters have come a long way since their first entrance into the story, and I found the closure for each character s arcs to be incredibly satisfying I feel that Blood of Empire has given these characters an apt ending It s than something It s my promise A word is worth a lot, Vlora Don t forget it in your grief and anger Although I did mention that I m satisfied with the closure of each character s story, the climax sequences are also where Blood of Empire gets trickier to rate and review Seriously, the quality of the action sequences itself in the last 15% of the book showcases McClellan s fast paced actions at his best The way he ended his chapters with cliffhanger continuously will make you want to continue reading non stop I loved the sense of danger I felt in the relentless battle and unpredictability with no respite I mean, I finished reading the second half than three hundred pages long in a single day That should say enough how captivated I am by the second half of the novel But your arrogant prick of a Great Ka still hasn t learned his lesson What lesson is that That I m Mad Ben Styke Unfortunately, despite how much I enjoyed reading Blood of Empire, I have to admit that several elements in it stopped me from giving it a full 5 stars rating The first reason being Ben Styke s storyline that pushes him to rely on brain and subterfuge One of the greatest things about this trilogy, for me, was Ben Styke s contrast in his brutality and his love towards Celine and the Mad Lancers Seeing him sitting in the sideline observing events from a bystander s perspective and relying on other characters was not exciting The strong and distinctive strengths of the series also felt underused in this concluding installment We ve heard about the power of the enchanted armor worn by the Mad Lancers for almost three books long now, the end of Wrath of Empire gave huge hints that led me to believe that we re going to see its usage in its full glory here, but that didn t happen the armor blocked a few bullets but that s it, nothing too special shown Unlike the previous books in the saga, we also don t get to see the Powder Mages unleashing their power here We do get to see the Privileged and bone eye in actions, but they re not as memorable as it was in the first trilogy or Sins of Empire Finally, the final confrontation with the villains emperor of Dynize and Ka Sedial ended up being super short and anti climactic, not to mention that it required a bit of Deus ex Machina element to resolve too It is very odd for me to say that this almost 700 pages long novel felt rushed, but the climax sequences, at least, felt that way to me.The execution of the climax sequences and the underused potential of the series did fell a bit short to me, but honestly speaking, I still had a great time reading the novel I was captivated by my investment for the characters, and I wanted their story to end in the most fitting fashion McClellan has achieved this, and I m satisfied with the conclusion of the series McClellan has been writing stories in this world for six years now I m sure the things he learned from writing Powder Mage and Gods of Blood and Powder will be put to good use for his future writing endeavors the premise of the new series sounds awesome already, and I m looking forward to reading it Overall, Blood of Empire is an absorbing final installment that satisfyingly closed the main stories in Powder Mage universe Thanks for the stories, McClellan, it certainly has been a blast Series Review Sins of Empire 5 5 stars Wrath of Empire 4 5 stars Blood of Empire 4 5 stars Gods of Blood and Powder 13 15 stars You can order the book from UK US Book Depository Free shipping The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

  2. says:

    I mean, I certainly liked it.

  3. says:

    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 soldier and a spy Both were sympathetic characters as well, but I gotta admit that I care about Vlora the most It was a roller coaster journey since book 1, Sins of Empire I was amazed with the tight plotting, the world building and so on In fact, I think I gave the first two books five stars, with the hope that the last book continued that trend.It did not I think the ending could be better, epic, with stakes It felt a bit rushed Morever, I think some characters lucky it s not Vlora are underutilized or confined by plot prison Ben Styke spent most of his time watching other people actually doing stuff, for instance And where s all the magic We did get some cool Privileged stuff but the others, like the magical armor of the renowned Mad Lancers Where was it The Powder Mage magic which is the best part of this universe was also very unnoticeable, it s almost MIA.Having said those, the book still kept me awake for three nights in a row because it was entertaining Gods of Blood and Powder is therefore still one of the best fantasy trilogies I ever read and I am sad I have to say good bye to the fantastic world of powder mages, Privileges, bone eyes, dragon men, and the great and most illustrious Adran army.

  4. says:

    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 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 got from the library rather than buying since Promise of Blood and I did end up buying Promise of Blood later on My challenge with this series compared to the novellas and the Powder Mage trilogy is I haven t found someone to truly route for I ve somewhat enjoyed Ben Styke, but he doesn t fill my desire for a lead character I m indifferent to Vlora and Michel although I have to admit, they really came alive for me in this final installment Ben, Vlora, and Michel all face significant personal trials in this book They grow from them in a truly organic sense becoming human by the page This was a huge shift for me when it came to Vlora and Michel because they were largely forgettable in the prior two books.In a lot of ways the entire Gods of Blood and Power series felt like a sequel to the Powder Mage trilogy Unfortunately not in a good way A lot of the aspects felt copied from the original series despite being in a new location and having some different abilities I did enjoy it, but just not as much as the first series.As far as Blood of Empire specifically goes, it s pretty even with it s predecessors in this series It s a good book, but not one I imagine finding myself desiring to revisit On top of lacking a truly compelling lead, the book lacks a compelling villain The story describes Ka Sedial being incredibly evil, but he s seen so rarely that he s of a looming danger than an active villain.Blood of Empire was a solid conclusion to the Gods of Blood and Power trilogy.3.5 out of 5 stars

  5. says:

    And yet, another great series that ends horrifically Disappointed is a gross understatement.

  6. says:

    Alas, I think this will go down for me as another series that started off strong, then ended limply Where it all went wrong, I think, was plot and characterization The premise of each viewpoint character s arcs, in and of itself were great Ben Styke and his Mad Lancers are forced to use guile and subterfuge, instead of brute force, Michel Bravis is for once fighting for the side he holds an actual allegiance to, and Vlora is now powder blind and nowhere near peak physical condition, due to her heroics in Wrath of Empire Brian McClellan tossed all the characters into unfamiliar situations, and that can make for an excellent narrative The problem is it didn t really seem to go anywhere, and at points I thought it even felt rushed despite being over 500 pages For starters, Ben Styke s subterfuge doesn t really work and his arc essentially consists of stand around watching people politicking until someone needs to get violently murdered This was essentially, Michel Bravis s arc in the previous book, and there it works since Michel is actually a character whose strengths lie in subterfuge and politicking Ben is not , and will never be that kind of character, so this makes him a glorified observer, for the most part While we do get a look at Dynize culture again, it s not as interesting as when Michel does it simply put, Michel was participating in said culture, Ben was looking from the sidelines As for Michel himself, his chapters and arc felt like your typical freedom fighter encourages the oppressed to rise up narrative It was very bland, there wasn t a lot of interesting stuff to ponder in it, beyond the mob he helps create getting beyond his control It feels like McClellan was trying to talk about something deeper with that, but it never goes anywhere.Vlora s arc however, is probably the one I am most disappointed in Being a depowered powder mage was a really interesting angle, and that coupled with her injuries, I thought, could create a narrative where she shows why she s the true heir to Tamas, and a worthy field marshal in her own right Instead, we kinda get a brooding asshole Vlora who kills Dynize officers out of spite, is sad about not having Olem and being a magical cokehead this will never stop amusing me about powder mages , commits a massacre of enemy troops that s kinda sorta hinted to be a war crime but never actually leads anywhere, and kinda sorta stops being an asshole when he comes back Oh, and her conflict with General Etepali never actually happens.Etepali s non show actually ties into a bigger problem I have with the book There s an implication of things happening either from the end of the previous book, or insinuated in this one that don t actually happen, such as off the top of my head Ka Sedial seemingly takes a crippling injury via sorcerous means from Ka Poel, but beyond a stabbing pain in his head never seems affected He s built up as an enemy, but doesn t show any good reason to be feared his master plan of the Great Household Purge gets exposed by a maid The Dynize emperor is implied to be a puppet, but all we see is some buff tattooed asshole fighting at the end, with no indication of why he s helping Ka Sedial attain godhood beyond earlier implications in that case, how The Mad Lancers armor is supposedly magical, but isn t really shown as being unique beyond some Styke sniffing and bullet protection Lindet is mentioned throughout the entire novel as well as her army, but doesn t actually come into play.All these things, I think, and probably others I ve failed to mention, contribute towards a somewhat unappealing ending to a mostly impressive trilogy for me I was not a fan of the original Powder Mage trilogy, but the Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy really turned it around until this final entry to the series Don t get me wrong, I ve enjoyed reading it all, but it is a shame that it couldn t stick the landing , so to speak

  7. says:

    It s a good book when your only complaint is that it s too short I did not get an advance copy, nor am I related to author

  8. says:

    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 references to various books written by the author, whether they re in the form of existing characters or events, but also discover brand new narratives that add incredible ramifications to an already complex world Epic fantasy author Brian McClellan, having written and completed the Field Marshal Tamas centered Powder Mage trilogy, now looks into wrapping things up once and for all with the final installment in his Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy.What is Blood of Empire about A war is brewing as the Dynize blood sorcerer Ka Sedial pursues his goal to obtain all three godstones and turn himself into a divine entity Meanwhile, our beloved heroes mercenary, spy, and general are off on their own missions to foil Ka Sedial s plans First, Mad Ben Styke and his allies attempt to invade Dynize to get their hands on the third ancient monolith although the odds are against them and the obstacles continue to accumulate throughout their journey Second, Lady Vlora Flint, fatally wounded following the spectacular events in Wrath of Empire, craves vengeance and marches into Landfall with her Adran army Third, ex spy Michel Bravis goes back to his roots and wishes to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of countless Palo As each of these fighters encounters some of their greatest challenges, they all remain a key to taking down an empire from inside out.There s no mistaking author Brian McClellan s ability to tell a vivid and cinematic story Since Sins of Empire, he has continuously proven that he is able to infuse his flintlock fantasy with compelling politics, assuring his fans that his stories will keep them on the edge of their seats Throughout Blood of Empire, he was able to dose incredible action sequences filled with mayhem and chaos while also presenting readers with profound character development that reminds us of the incredible growth underwent by our heroes In fact, Ben Styke, Vlora Flint, and Michel Bravis are worn out by the trials they ve faced since the beginning and showcase incredible wisdom through experience They are also a lot grounded and connected with their emotions this time around as their reputation plays a huge role in their progress, with them realizing that they are than people to others but legends with all that they ve accomplished.With these heroes being taken out of their game, author Brian McClellan offers readers the chance to watch them overcome adversity and transcend their predicaments through wit and intellect, whether it s in the hopes to outplay their enemies through a frontal assault or through sneaky and deceitful strategies The world building thus wasn t the focus of this story arc that looked into tying up loose ends This also forced the author into taking his story in a direction that he didn t much have a choice to go towards, making it difficult for truly innovative subplots to be included and explored This also resulted in a lot fewer plot twists being presented at the cost of much emotional and intimate character development That being said, he still brilliantly utilizes societal conflicts, social stratifications, and politics to constantly shake things up While it remained low fantasy, author Brian McClellan does an excellent job in delivering an ending that could just as well serve as a whole new beginning.Blood of Empire is an epic finale filled with politics, sorcery, and warfare as the clock continues to tick and heroes reflect upon their roles and responsibilities in the grand scheme of things.Thank you to Orbit Books for sending me a copy for review Yours truly,Lashaan Blogger and Book ReviewerOfficial blog

  9. says:

    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 magic.McClellan doesn t overcrowd his narrative with multiple viewpoints, and this helps in increasing the tempo of the plot as well as allowing the characters to grow and develop according to the odds and grim situations they go through We follow the viewpoints of three major characters Vlora Flint, Michel Bravis, and Ben Styke, that lends the story a economy of scope as well as keeping the tension taut I loved the fact that McClellan in this book gave us a picture of the Dynize society, and their internal politics which was fascinating to read.I loved Ka Poel s change at the end here, which was awesome I also loved the fact that McClellan ended the story in an optimistic note which was brilliant in my opinion I only have a slight niggle here, regarding the character of the dragonman Ji Orz, whose fate remained a mystery till the end And, as I said in the beginning, this book has a lot of subtle schemes, maneuvering, that lends the story a sense of escalating threat and danger which imbues the narrative and the characters with urgency and anticipation All said, this was an entertaining romp from beginning to the end.

  10. says:

    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 directly.It is the biggest issue I have with this novel and that s why it s 4 not 5 stars But I still greatly enjoyed reading it.

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