Promise of Blood

  • by Brian McClellan
  • Narrated by Christian Rodska
  • 19 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Age of Kings is dead. And I have killed it.
Field Marshal Tamas' coup against his king sends corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brings bread to the starving. But it also provokes war in the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics and greedy scrambling for money and power by Tamas' supposed allies: the Church, workers' unions, and mercenary forces. Stretched to his limit, Tamas relies heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be Tamas' estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty will be tested to its limit.
Now, amid the chaos, a whispered rumour is spreading. A rumour about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods returning to walk the Earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing.... But perhaps they should.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A great mix of fantasy with gunpowder

I read a number of Brian McClellan's short stories before I committed to his main work. I really enjoyed them and had good expectations for this book. I was not let down.

The book is a mix of Napoleonic era war with fantasy magic. The mix worked fairly well, but there was always that nagging feeling if some of these magic users were that powerful, why hadn't they dominated.

The story itself has a little bit of historical warfare, investigation and betrayal, and epic magic battles. There are three main point of view characters, and while these are interesting characters - some of the better ones were the supporting ones (reading the shorts expands on these a little).

One of the short stories focused on Vlora, and I was expecting a lot more of her in this book - she hardly appeared. I felt that this part of the story was weak, and hopefully it will be expanded in the next book.

Sometime I felt a little lost as the book would sometimes jump a little to get to the next portion of the story. Nothing major, just took a couple of chapters for me to work this out.

I listened to the Audiobook. The production was excellent, as I would expect from new releases now. I did feel that some of the characters seemed a little out of place - but that could just be me.
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- GhostMuppet

Fast paced and full of action - a great debut


A great debut from Brandon Sanderson’s pupil, but it still has some areas for improvement.

Story – 4/5

As far as debuts go, this is excellent. The entire story is told smoothly, and there is never any confusion as to what is happening. Considering the story is action packed and full of plot and intrigue, this is quite an achievement.

As Brandon Sanderson’s pupil, it is easy to see some minor influences, especially around the magic system. It is still excellent and unique, but you can tell that BM followed the same set of rules.

The story appears to have been influenced by the French Revolution (late 18th/early 19th centuries), with single shot, gunpowder weaponry, a coup to overthrow the monarchy due to corruption and poverty, and public guillotine executions. It is a shame that this was only really prominent in the opening sequence though.

The largest area for improvement In BM’s writing is in the characterisation. Although the well told epic action more than made up for this element; death, sadness and fear just didn’t have the same devastating impact as it could have.


Performance – 4/5

Christian Rodska is an excellent narrator. His ability to convey the mood of the scenes and voice acting are flawless. Each character had a distinctly recognisable voice, and the female voice acting wasn’t overdone at all.

There were occasions in the production where the chapters and paragraphs didn’t run smoothly into each other. It was only occasionally, and didn’t detract too much, but towards the end when the scenes were switching back and forth, it meant I needed to concentrate a little more.

Overall – 4/5
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- Christopher

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-04-2013
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK