Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan (The Powder Mage, #1)

Great Idea for a Boring Book – 2 Stars         *Did Not Finish

promiseI gave this one the old college try.  I gave the audiobook 6 hours of my time which was about 30%.  I found the premise of the story to be interesting and unique.  A group of mages whose powers stem from and primarily effect gunpowder, orchestrate a coup to take down the ruling government whilst attempting to destroy the mages or “privileged” of other orders.

Unfortunately the writing and plot development was both unappealing and uninteresting.  The story was written in short choppy sentences.  It gave the novel a jagged and unsettling tempo.  On top of the this, the storyline progressed in a jagged and unsettling manner.  A scene would cut and at the next sentence, several days had passed.  This left me feeling confused on a couple of occasions.  It was especially difficult when I restarted the audiobook.  The pace made it very difficult for me to reorient myself to the story.

I simply did not care about any of the characters.  The seemed flat and one dimensional and at times were simply perplexing.   The plot centred around a coup that had been decades in planning.  Yet on the day that the plan was put into action, the main proponent of the plan was confused, often undeceive and acted as if he had not planned for many contingencies. This simply did not make sense to me.

I gave this book 2 star even though it is a Did Not Finish.  I give some credit to the author for coming up with a new and interesting idea.  While the writing was not horrendous and was not so bad that I would say it was amateurish, it simply was not a book I could appreciate and enjoy.  This was disappointing as I enjoy novels that are in the flintlock rifle era.

Subsribe to Our Posts

If you enjoy our reviews, have each new review delivered straight to your inbox.

Recent Posts


Tim Written by:

Tim is a lawyer, sports fan, parent, husband and book lover. He runs his own legal practice and is the founder of The Literary Lawyer book blog and a contributing writer for Tim loves to share his love of reading by providing reviews to entertain as well as provide information to help you make an informed reading decision.