Promise of Blood

Brian McClellan. Orbit, $23.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-316-21903-7
Borrowing from the French Revolution, McClellan’s debut (the first in a planned trilogy) is a gritty tale of political overthrow complicated by divine retribution. Field Marshal Tamas leads a coup to prevent his country from being handed over to the hated Kez, sending profligate King Manhouch and his nobles to the guillotine. Concerned by their cryptic final oaths about “Kresimir’s Promise,” Tamas hires former inspector Adamat to learn the phrase’s meaning. Tamas’s son, Taniel Two-Shot, meanwhile chases a rogue sorceress to the Kez-besieged Holy City, Kresim Kurga, to stop her from summoning a vengeful deity. McClellan neatly mixes intrigue and action, effectively showing the tensions among uneasy allies (military, church, underworld) in a society where new forces like labor unions, gunpowder-armed soldiers, and explosion-causing “powder mages” clash with traditional magics, mores, and beliefs. While the villains are too obvious, they’re balanced by sympathetic portraits of dutiful folks caught up on both sides of the rebellion. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/18/2013
Release date: 04/16/2013
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 325 pages - 978-0-316-40233-0
Paperback - 560 pages - 978-0-356-50201-4
Open Ebook - 592 pages - 978-0-316-21902-0
Audio Product - 978-1-4055-2773-6
Hardcover - 978-1-61969-670-9
Paperback - 608 pages - 978-0-316-21904-4
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