Posts Tagged ‘The Powder Mage Trilogy’

Cover Launch: BLOOD OF EMPIRE by Brian McClellan

Brian McClellan’s incredible epic of gods and gunpowder is coming to a close this year in BLOOD OF EMPIRE (US | UK). The enemy have their hands on a godstone, and as the final battle approaches a sellsword, a spy, and a general must find unlikely and dangerous allies in order to turn the tides of war. Blood of Empire publishes this winter, but we’ve already got a sneak peek of the book’s spectacular cover by Thom Tenery and designed by Lauren Panepinto.

Need to catch up before Blood of Empire publishes? Purchase SINS OF EMPRIE (US | UK) and WRATH OF EMPIRE (US | UK) today!

US: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Google Play | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo | Chapters

UK:  Amazon | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo | Waterstones | More Stores

Cover Launch: Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan

When the sins of empire have been revealed, the empire’s wrath will surely follow…

Following the acclaimed release of Brian McClellan’s epic fantasy novel, SINS OF EMPIRE (US | UK | ANZ) comes WRATH OF EMPIRE (US | UK | ANZ). And the cover looks just as epic as we hoped it would. Check out the cover by Thom Tenery and designed by Lauren Panepinto below. And catch up on Brian McClellan’s incredible series before the sequel comes out in March 2018.

Need to catch up? Purchase Sins of Empire today!

US:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Google Play | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo | Chapters

UK: Amazon | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo | Waterstones | More Stores

Five Side Characters I Loved Writing In The Crimson Campaign

THE CRIMSON CAMPAIGN (US | UK | AUS), Book 2 of the Powder Mage Trilogy, releases today! In The Crimson Campaign, all your favorite characters are back (plus a few new faces!), and there will be bloody times ahead for everyone.

If you’re new to the series, check out the beginning of  PROMISE OF BLOOD (US | UK | AUS)—available now in ebook, audio, and tradepaperback formats!

Below, Brian McClellan names his five favorite side characters. We’d love to hear who your favorites are in the comments!

Side characters are often the most fun for me to write. I can give them little quirks and write them with more freedom than point-of-view characters. Their lives are more “off-screen” than those of our heroes, and that can make them more mysterious and interesting to both myself and the reader. Here are five of my favorite side characters from Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign.

Be warned, there will be minor spoilers from Promise of Blood!


A red-headed, freckled “savage” from the distant country of Fatrasta, very little of Ka-poel’s history is known. She uses a sorcery outside the recognized schools of magic in the Nine Nations, and the mystery of her motives and powers are compounded because she was born a mute. She only communicates through hand gestures and facial expressions.

This last bit has proved a challenge to write. It limits what I can do to build her character and has forced me to, quite literally, “show” instead of “tell.” But I love how mysterious her character is and she has turned out to be delightful to write. Ka-poel is an example of a side character who develops into an integral part of the story during the writing process.


Olem and Field Marshal Tamas meet at the beginning of Promise of Blood, when the field marshal is in need of a new bodyguard. They develop an immediate mutual respect for each other, and Olem’s skills as a soldier and his Knack–the ability to go without sleep–make him a natural choice for a bodyguard.

Field Marshal Tamas tends to take himself very seriously. Maybe too seriously. Lucky for us, Olem is there to watch his back and remind him, often in a rather sardonic manner, that there is more to life than pride and duty. Olem is deeply loyal, and while he often stretches the bounds of what would normally be appropriate to say to a field marshal, Tamas tolerates his familiarity for the sake of their friendship.

In The Crimson Campaign, however, we’ll discover that even Olem can go too far with Field Marshal Tamas.


The ex-fiancée of Taniel Two-shot, Vlora is in the awkward position working alongside Taniel’s father. In original drafts of Promise of Blood, she had a lot more screen time that wound up getting cut along the way and it was fun to explore her character in more depth in The Crimson Campaign.

Vlora resonates with readers because she is complicated and conflicted, her most important relationships destroyed by a single mistake just before the start of Promise of Blood. Next to Taniel and Tamas, she is one of the most gifted Powder Mages in the world. In The Crimson Campaign, we get to discover her side of the story and see her in action. (more…)

Great Generals from History

McClellan_PromiseofBlood-TPThe legends of King Arthur sparked my imagination as a young boy. The majesty of his court, the magic, the intrigue, politics, civil war, and immense battles. It was all so interesting and incredible, and I was a very disappointed ten year old when I learned that he wasn’t, in fact, real. As I grew older, I came to learn about historical figures that were just as fascinating as King Arthur, and far more real.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar had a tumultuous life. He was an orator, a politician, and a military man. He survived political purges, being captured by pirates, and was at one point a high priest of Jupiter. He conquered Gaul and invaded Britain. Plutarch claimed that Caesar’s armies killed a million men and enslaved that many again during that campaign—though the number is likely propaganda.

He ignited a civil war in Rome, eventually emerging victorious, and went on to implement much-needed reforms with the goal of strengthening Rome’s central government and reducing corruption. He instituted the new Julian Calendar, which was the basis for the calendar we still use today.

Arthur Wellesley

Arthur Wellesley entered the British army as an ensign at the age of eighteen. Twenty-six years later he was a field marshal and was soon after granted a dukedom, becoming the 1st Duke of Wellington. He fought in wars all around the world, and served as a Prime Minister in Great Britain, earning the nickname of the “Iron Duke” for his political resolve.

He was Napoleon Bonaparte’s greatest enemy in the Peninsular Campaign and led the troops that defeated Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo.

Napoleon Bonaparte

It says interesting things about a man that he could have lost not one but two wars hundreds of years ago and still be known as one of the greatest military commanders of all time. A Corsican, he rose through the ranks of the French army and eventually staged a coup, installing himself as the First Consul and later emperor of France. He was known for his military prowess and often defeated numerically superior armies.

He initiated civil reforms that included advancement by merit and religious freedom, as well as laws written and accessible to the average man—reforms that stayed in place after his ultimate defeat. He had a keen mind for politics and popularity that pandered to the people rather than the established aristocracy.

Most of us live our lives knowing that we won’t have much influence on the grand scheme of things. That’s normal. With so many billions of people on this planet, how could we? Yet there are some people who change everything. These are the movers and the shakers, the great generals and statesmen. Looking back on some of these men and seeing their imprint on history one might believe they were forces of nature.

Field Marshal Tamas, the protagonist of PROMISE OF BLOOD, came about because I wanted to write someone like that. He’s a flawed man who does bad things for good reasons—and he does them on a monumental scale. In most stories, he would be the villain. Tamas is not the villain of this story, but he’s no saint. He doesn’t pretend to be. There’s enough blood on his hands to drown a city and there’ll be more before he’s done.

There is a little bit of each of those three men in Tamas. Like Caesar, he’s loved by his troops and by the people. Like Wellesley, he is a hard-headed man known for his resolve. Like Napoleon, he staged a coup, and both his friends and enemies respect his military prowess. As with all three of them, he shapes the world around him.

Join Brian on reddit/r/fantasy tomorrow for a Q&A or read the first four chapters from PROMISE OF BLOOD (US | UK | AUShere or on Facebook

The Age of Kings is dead, but The Powder Mage Trilogy has just begun!

PROMISE OF BLOOD (US | UK | AUS) is out today in hardcover, ebook, and audio formats. This is the first book of an exciting epic fantasy trilogy by debut author, Brian McClellan. In the video below, Orbit editor Devi Pillai is going to tell you about what’s so great about The Powder Mage Trilogy and why we can’t wait for you to get your hands on it, dear readers. Enjoy!

More Stories: 

Promise of Blood: Book One of t=The Powder Mage TrilogyRead the first four chapters from PROMISE OF BLOOD
Become a fan of The Powder Mage Trilogy on Facebook
Request a signed book plate from Brian McClellan (while supplies last)
The Difficulty of Names
Listen to an audio excerpt from PROMISE OF BLOOD
Researching Realty for a Fantasy World
Download a wallpaper for your computer and favorite electronic devices
Goodreads interviews Brian McClellan
Check out the cover of book 2: THE CRIMSON CAMPAIGN
Learning to Write from Brandon Sanderson
Mark your calendars: on April 23rd Brian will be on reddit/r/fantasy answering your questions.