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Brian McClellan Books In Order

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Publication Order of Powder Mage Books

Promise of Blood (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl of Hrusch Avenue (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hope's End (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Crimson Campaign (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Forsworn (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Servant of the Crown (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at the Kinnen Hotel (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Return to Honor (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Autumn Republic (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ghosts of the Tristan Basin (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mad Lancers (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Siege of Tilpur (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Chronological Order of Powder Mage Books

Forsworn(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Servant of the Crown(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at the Kinnen Hotel(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hope's End(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl of Hrusch Avenue(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Promise of Blood(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Return to Honor(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Crimson Campaign(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Autumn Republic(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ghosts of the Tristan Basin(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mad Lancers(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Siege of Tilpur(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Powder Mage Collections

In the Field Marshal's Shadow (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Glass Immortals Books

In the Shadow of Lightning (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Gods of Blood and Powder Books

Sins of Empire (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wrath of Empire (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood of Empire (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of War Cry Books

Publication Order of Valkyrie Collections Books

Uncanny Collateral (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood Tally (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

When the Promise of Blood won the Best Fantasy Newcomer, in the 2014 Morningstar Awards, Brian McClellan had initiated, what would eventually be an addictive venture into fictional crime-based dynasties. Incidentally, the award only confirmed what had been predicted four years earlier, when McClellan was mentioned in the 2008 Writers of the Future contest. The Promise of Blood novel introduced the contemporary fantasy reader to a unique yet compelling narrative of an imaginary world of crime and power. Today, McClellan has graduated from being a mere passionate beekeeper in Cleveland, to an American fiction writer with a remarkable edge of creative fantasy.

Although he is mostly known for publishing the best-selling trilogy, Powder Mage, between McClellan has tons of novellas and short stories, which emerged from the learning process of a fantasy author. This article briefly highlights the life and work of Brian McClellan, an American fantasy author, largely focusing on the Powder Mage trilogy. As it emerges, the brutal coup upon which the trilogy is anchored only provides the setting for McClellan’s fantasy of the power game in modern politics.

Biography of a Budding American Author

Residing in Cleveland, Ohio, Brian McClellan is a full-time beekeeper. However, since an early age, McClellan had always nursed a thrill for creative writing. At the age of fifteen for instance, McClellan participated in role-playing, hosted by Wheel of Time websites. His father once stated that when McClellan was not reading during his free time, he was writing stuff’. His parents, particularly his father, always encouraged his interest in writing. He thus entered his teens writing and reading crafty stories for his parents, determined to become a published American fiction author.

This drive to write, defined how McClellan spent his free time, and the dream of a child gradually became a young man’s hobby. Understandably, by the age of nineteen, McClellan had authored numerous short stories and novellas, none of which unfortunately, attracted the mainstream publishers. This however, did not deter the spirit of a budding writer. When McClellan eventually enrolled in Brigham Young University, taking the English Major option and specializing in creative writing, was an obvious choice. It was while at the university, that much of McClellan creative talent was nursed and groomed to be the author he is today.

McClellan’s Early Days of Fiction Writing

At Brigham Young University, McClellan met Brandon Sanderson, a highly reputed American author. He immediately selected and attended all writing classes facilitated by Brandon, who would eventually mentor his writing prowess. It is during these classes that McClellan decided to become a full-time writer, with bias for fantasy fiction. He attended numerous book camps, and participated in many writing competitions, the 2006 literary boot camp by Orson Scott Card being perhaps the most memorable.

As he practiced fiction writing, McClellan authored numerous short stories and novellas. Some of the most famous short stories written during this era were Return to Honor, Forsworn, Girl of Hrusch Avenue, Hope’s End, Servant of the Crown, Face in the Window, and Murder at the Kinnen Hotel. These short stories have been published independently, and era currently available as eBooks and audio books. From this background, McClellan started the journey to be an esteemed American author, named among Writers of the Future by 2008, and the exemplary fiction writer of fantasy in the Powder Mage trilogy.

Fantasy Fiction in the Powder Mage Trilogy

In 2013, McClellan finally published his first novel, titled Promise of Blood. The epic fantasy book was met with applause from readers and as noted above, it won the Best Fantasy Newcomer, in the 2014 Morningstar Awards. While not initially mentioned, the Promise of Blood introduced a plot that would eventually prompt and trigger a trilogy. As such, the 2013 Promise of Blood novel was soon followed by The Crimson Campaign in 2014 and the Autumn Republic in 2015. It is also important to note that McClellan has authored several short stories set within the context of The Powder Mage trilogy, prior to and after the trilogy was published.

The entire trilogy is initiated by brutal coup in Adro’s monarchy, staged by Field Marshal Tamas by killing all members of the fictional Royal Cabal dynasty. What is however meant as an end to the Royal Cabal, only initiates a series of thrilling consequences, given that when the dying words of every family member of the Royal Cabal if “you cannot break Kresimir’s Promise.” The manhunt of the murderer thus starts, under the eyes of a former police inspector and now private investigator, Adamat. The Powder Mage narrates Tamas’ venture to purge the nobility’s reign over the nation, with a gunpowder-eating son, and an investigator dedicated to trace the source of civil war in a monarchy. This article will briefly review the plot and characters of the first two books in the Powder Mage trilogy.

a) Promise of Blood

The Promise of Blood plot revolves around the bloody business of overthrowing a king, as Field Marshal Tamas engineers a coup to punish corrupt aristocrats. Courtesy of the coup, aristocratic lords are sent to the gallows and the common man can escape the hunger and destitutions formerly bred by corruption. Before the Field Marshal can celebrate victory however, Adro’s monarchy registers a series of violent uprisings. Without warning, royalist fanatics initiate impromptu internal attacks, allies become greedy when sharing power and money, nationalists scramble for self-interest gains, and the neighboring Nine Nations threaten to wage war. Tamas life becomes a never-ending bargain with the mercenary forces, the church, and the workers, as the monarchy gradually descends to civil lawlessness.

Regrettably, Tamas turns for help from his estranged son, Taniel. Taniel often swallows gunpowder to gain superpowers, and is as unreliable and as untrustworthy as he is a brilliant marksman. Tamas even goes to the extent of trusting a former police investigator, regardless of his blackmail trait. Promise of Blood is in a sense, the story of political games, where money and power trigger an interplay that is unreliable, short-lived, and dangerous. The intrigue and the action, is so raw and vivid, and the characters so real, that a reader almost always regrets reading the novel’s last page.

b) The Crimson Campaign

After reading the Promise of Blood, subsequent installments of the storyline became inevitable. In 2014, the Crimson Campaign thus anchored the Powder Mage trilogy as the second of McClellan’s novels. Following on the same plot, the Crimson Campaign narrates how the Field Marshal Tamas faces the reality of what he had initiated with a coup. Adro’s monarchy had gradually become unruly and the citizens were now more likely to trigger civil war, than to sustain peace.

After fighting the royalist fanatics and allies alike, as the mercenary forces, the church, and the workers threaten his authority, the Field Marshall is finally forced to defend the monarch from Kez. The outcomes of the international war worsen by the day, as his army gradually weakens behind enemy lines. As if to affirm the dying words of every family member of the Royal Cabal he had killed, that “you cannot break Kresimir’s Promise,” Tamas then awakes to the horror of an angry god, Kresimir. Kresimir demands for the head of his shooter.

As if that is not enough, Tamas watches as his brigades lose all essential grounds. Tamas, the estranged gunpowder-eating son, eventually becomes the last line of defense between Adro’s monarchy and an army of the most powerful god. As this accrue, the army from Kez matches on against the highly outnumbered men under the command of Tamas. Thus, the novel narrates, about the Crimson Campaign.

In conclusion, the Powder Mage trilogy firmly anchored McClellan as a highly esteemed American author, specialized in fantasy fiction. By the time the third novel in the trilogy was published, the Autumn Republic, the power game in Adro’s monarchy had become famous setting. Among his many other words, the Powder Mage trilogy remains the one true identity of McClellan’s art in fantasy

Book Series In Order » Authors » Brian McClellan

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