In The Field Marshall's Shadow by Brian McClellan


Journeyed there and back again
This four novella collection is the perfect primer if you are unsure about reading the Powder Mage trilogy by Brian McClellan. I was, and just having read this fast paced collection and learning about the world and the characters and the magic systems, I bought the first book in the trilogy, Promise of Blood. This is a military fantasy, which I didn't know, and there are three, yes three, major magic systems in play, and they all are very powerful. Can't beat that, military epic fantasy with heaping helpings of unique magic. It's set in a pre-industrial world that features strict caste systems and the struggles of the lower classes. Their lives are played against those of the nobility and the stratification also defines the hierarchy of the military. The experienced magic wielders are incredibly powerful and their battles are breathtaking. But again the main underlying theme here is the struggle of the lower classes in a society that demands much from them does not pay them back with anything but toil, service and cannon fodder in horrible battles. But there is hope. Read it for the hope and all the cool magic stuff and you're jake.