Friday, 6 June 2014

FANTASY REVIEW: The Powder Mage Trilogy 2: The Crimson Campaign - Brian McClellan

Release Date: 06/05/14
Publisher:  Orbit


'The hounds at our heels will soon know we are lions.' Tamas's invasion of Kez ends in disaster when a Kez counter-offensive leaves him cut off behind enemy lines with only a fraction of his army, no supplies and no hope of reinforcements. Drastically outnumbered and pursued by the enemy's best, he must lead his men on a reckless march through northern Kez to safety, and back over the mountains so that he can defend his country from an angry god. In Adro, Inspector Adamat only wants to rescue his wife. To do so he must track down and confront the evil Lord Vetas. He has questions for Vetas concerning his enigmatic master, but the answers might come too quickly. With Tamas and his powder cabal presumed dead, Taniel Two-shot finds himself alongside the god Mihali as the last line of defence against Kresimir's advancing army. Tamas's generals bicker among themselves, the brigades lose ground every day beneath the Kez onslaught and Kresimir wants the head of the man who shot him in the eye.


Every so often there’s an author that doesn’t so much arrive as detonates with a story that hasn’t been seen before leaving the reading audience not only gasping for breath but demanding to see what occurs next so much so that they not only have a countdown on their calendar for its arrival but take great pleasure in pestering their bookseller to see how quickly they can get their hands on it. (OK I have to admit I did that.)

SO when I finally got chance to sit back for an epic adventure and having had a pretty shoddy week, I decided that it was time to crack open a bottle of single malt, get my comfy on the sofa and have a lazy night in Brian’s wonderfully inventive world. Whilst the first book is always the entrée, as with meals, it’s the main course (or the second part of a trilogy) that really has to blow them away, and boy, did this one ever.

The danger was immense, the characters not only faced adversity but grew emotionally for the events within and when added to a storyline that must have had a lot of planning within to exact the military precision all round didn’t give the reader time to breath, let alone have a quick sip of their drink. Yes I stayed up way later than my bed time, yes the sun had risen long before I finished that final page, and yes I was caught finishing my drink at breakfast time. But hey, I don’t regret one moment of that time and to tell the truth I’ll be doing it all again for when the third part is out. You really have to read this series, definitely one that deserves to become a modern classic.

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