Wrath of Empire

Brian McClellan. Orbit, $27 (656p) ISBN 978-0-316-40726-7
In this terrific epic fantasy sequel to Sins of Empire, McClellan mixes quest, battle, and espionage plotlines with strong character development and a variety of magics. He does not provide any narrative assistance for new readers, such as a plot summary or cast of characters, but instead launches right in with Ka-Sedial, leader of the invading Dynize forces, tasking six preternatural dragonmen with killing Ben Styke, leader of the Mad Lancers. Ben, powder mage Gen. Vlora Flint, Taniel Two-Shot, the bone-eye sorceress Ka-poel, and their forces seek out the two remaining godstones across the vast continent of Fatrasta, hoping to destroy them before Ka-Sedial can use them to create a new god. In Landfall, the first Fatrastan city that the Dynize captured, Michel Bravis must find a woman he knows only as “Mara” and spirit her from the city on Taniel’s orders, even if that means infiltrating the Dynize occupiers. McClellan ably balances combat, ranging from fistfights and duels on up to pitched battles between armies, with the love, rage, loyalty, and soul-searching of individual characters. This is top-notch epic fantasy fare. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Assoc. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2018
Release date: 05/15/2018
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