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Brian McClellan (1) (1986–)

Autor(a) de Promise of Blood

Para outros autores com o nome Brian McClellan, ver a página de desambiguação.

27+ Works 5,800 Membros 206 Críticas 3 Favorited


Obras por Brian McClellan

Promise of Blood (2013) 1,838 exemplares
The Crimson Campaign (2014) 845 exemplares
The Autumn Republic (2015) 704 exemplares
Sins of Empire (2017) 590 exemplares
Wrath of Empire (2018) 361 exemplares
Blood of Empire (2019) 237 exemplares
In the Shadow of Lightning (2022) 211 exemplares
Uncanny Collateral (2019) 124 exemplares
Forsworn (2014) 102 exemplares
Servant of the Crown (2014) 89 exemplares
Murder at the Kinnen Hotel (2014) 83 exemplares
The Girl of Hrusch Avenue (2013) 69 exemplares
In the Field Marshal's Shadow (2015) 65 exemplares
Hope's End (2013) 63 exemplares
War Cry (2018) 63 exemplares

Associated Works

Unbound (2015) — Contribuidor — 106 exemplares
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #140 — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Locais de residência
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Brigham Young University
Sanderson, Brandon (professor)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints



While I enjoyed the first Powder Mage book, I was concerned by the near complete lack of women with any real power or agency. Erika was dead but driving the story via Tamas's revenge, Nila was a laundress and was shuffled from place to place as a perpetual victim and temptation for men, Ka-Poel was literally voiceless and basically had as much agency outside of Taniel as one of her wax dolls with no discernible motives besides the ones that Taniel, her male 'translator' assigns to her. Vlora was just something for Taniel to be angry about.

I was told Brian McClellan got better. That he took criticism on this seriously, and added 'more' for women in his next book. So I got to it, eventually, and at first it seemed... okay. Not much had changed. We got more women talking, but that's not the same as having real women as characters with their own stories and narratives alongside their male counterparts. In the end, Vlora sums it up with her rant at Tamas for his unjust rage over her cheating on his son during wartime: It was all about you.

All of the women lack anything like agency. Faye is a victim, Ka-Poel becomes a victim, Nila is rescued but is still a victim for most of the book. Ket and her cadre may as well be genderless for all that they're caricatures of bad villainy -- which is criminal no matter what gender they are, because they're not cunning, clever, or even remotely believable -- and seem to be a hasty 'I'll make this character a woman so we can have some "powerful women" around!' Winslev literally exists as Vetas's conquest, Abraxas and Fell are servants to male power with no real stories of their own, and not a single one of these characters is allowed their own real voice, own real arc, or anything else of the sort. Every one of them is subservient to a male narrative, and in the end, that destroyed my enjoyment of the men's narratives.

When Adamat doesn't understand why Faye can't just overcome her pain and suffering for him and the children, I stopped caring about his character. He wasn't worried about his wife -- he was worried about having his possession back. He wasn't worried about a person, with thoughts and feelings, who gave him NINE CHILDREN, he just wanted the status quo back. He wasn't concerned about what'd been DONE to her to, explicitly because he was involved with Tamas, he just wanted things back to normal, and it was reiterated over and over. His simpering bullshit destroyed my ability to give a shit about him and his arc anymore.

Same for Taniel and Ka-Poel. The 'savage' got beat by five men and was going to be raped while Taniel watched? Is this the same woman who got Taniel out to safety after helping him fight a Gopd, who literally skips among the fields of battle and kills with needles like it's nothing? We're supposed to believe the lowest of the low in Ket's brigade got her without all of them being dead long before Taniel came to get her? I guess her magic powers depend entirely on "how badly does Taniel need a dose of manpain".

So I'm done. Fuck this series. Fuck what this series represents in the safe, coddling notion of what is 'new' in fantasy. Flintlocke's just a wingding tacked on to the drearily boring fantasy of yore - oh you've got magic with GUNS in it! But it's the same old male war fantasy pastiche with the same old male characters aiming at the same old safe demographic. It's been done a thousand times over, and while yes, Brian does it reasonably well, it's still -old- and -tired- and I'm -done to death with this bullshit-.
… (mais)
crowsandprose | 26 outras críticas | May 15, 2024 |
I just didn’t like it. The characters weren’t that interesting or well developed beyond their major plot contributions, the story was very high fantasy in many respects in a way that felt too arbitrary and prone to a lot of deus ex machina, and the story didn’t develop in a particularly compelling way.

Some things explicitly that bothered me:
1. No one (particularly Taniel) seems to think Ka-Poel can protect herself, even though she routinely solves all their problems.
2. Why are we supposed to like or be interested in Tamas/Adamat?
3. Why does Tamas not care that there seems to be a huge war with his main enemy going on in which his side is undermanned and outgunned for what seems like months.
4. Why is there so much unexplained backstory about Tamas that seems random and irrelevant? This reminded me of Mistborn with Kelsier’s wife, but even less fitting (at least his motivations become clearer with time and alluded to early on).
5. Too many characters, none with depth.

I could go on, but it was overall a frustrating read that took me a long time and didn’t feel at all worth it.

… (mais)
mrbearbooks | 67 outras críticas | Apr 22, 2024 |
The Power Mage trilogy is set of books that I've had on my to-read list for a while. Given that I managed to finish Promise of Blood in a week, I would say it was certainly a great read, and there's a lot to like about it.

The setting was one of the things that first brought the series to my attention. Having not read any 'flintlock' fantasy before, and also having a historical interest in the Napoleonic period, I was quite drawn to the backdrop of revolutionary and early-industrial warfare and politics, and I was very intrigued as to how the fantasy genre would fit into this kind of premise. Brian McClellan implements this very well, and I felt he balanced all the various aspects of Adro and its society solidly, weaving together the various branches of the military, the church, the nobles, the merchants, the underground and the people to form quite a vivid and convincing world. Both the battle scenes as well as the clandestine operations are dramatically portrayed, and the direct prose keeps the storytelling focussed and easy to follow.

I noticed that many people seemed to have issues around the pacing. This didn't really impact my enjoyment of the book, as I thought the ebb and flow of the plot was relatively organic, and the movement between the different POVs not only provided good coverage of the overall direction of the story, but also kept me engaged with the various events that were happening on both a micro and macro level. There were a few occasions where the occurrence of multiple perspectives within the same chapter was a little disconcerting, but I did not feel like the progression of the plot stumbled as a result.

The main element of Promise of Blood which did not quite work for me was the magic systems, or rather the magic systems. Like most others have expressed, the concept of powder mages and the way that their abilities work is ingenious and cleverly thought out, and I enjoyed seeing Tamas and Taniel bring their skills to bear the various scenarios, as well as the different talents exhibited amongst the powder mages. However, the magic of the Privileged was rather less satisfactory to me, especially as it was never clear what any of them was really capable of doing or how their magic worked beyond the twiddling of some fingers. I'm not sure whether this is due to the fact that the reader never gets the viewpoint of a Privileged, or whether this remains something to be fleshed out in the remaining books, but the result is that it feels like McClellan couldn't quite decide whether it should be a 'hard' or a 'soft' system and it doesn't really work as either. Similarly, the Knacked also feel a bit like skills that the author wanted certain characters to have, but didn't quite fit within the other forms of magic, so were lumped into a catchall without any real definition. Combine this with the power of potential deities and you are left with quite the confusing conglomeration.

All in all, it must be noted that this is the first novel in trilogy, and a debut novel no less. With this in mind, I found Promise of Blood a very compelling read and was thoroughly impressed with what Brian McClellan has brought to the table. Now to see what the next course entails.
… (mais)
XavierDragnesi | 67 outras críticas | Mar 31, 2024 |
Not sure why I didn't write a review for this one. I did love it.
ragwaine | 13 outras críticas | Mar 15, 2024 |



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Rene Aigner Cover artist
Sunny Morton Copy Editor
Jullena O'Brien Copy Editor
Isaac Stewart Illustrator (maps), Maps
Lauren Panepinto Cover designer
Michael Frost Cover artist
Gene Mollica Cover artist
Thom Tenery Cover artist
Daniel Dorse Narrator
Richard Anderson Cover artist


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