Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder) by Brian McClellan


Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
Sins of Empire, McCellan's new book (first in his Gods of Blood and Powder series), set in the same world as his Gunpowder Mage trilogy, but 10 or so years after the events.

Not quite done with it, but so far it's hitting all the right bells for me (dark and gritty, lots of action, steampunkish).

A definite read if you liked McClellan's first series or say Sanderson's Alloy of Law. If anything, I like it better than his Gunpowder series.


Journeyed there and back again
Just finished this great book, and fans of the Powder Mage trilogy will be surprised and pleased that Sins of Empire is even better than those books. Many characters from the first series are back, and Vlora and Olem are the stars of this show. The entire tale is set in Landfall, the capital city of Fantrasta. While the major storyline is the search for magical monoliths, almost the entire book focuses on Vlora and Olem, the general and colonel respectively of the Riflejack mercenary company that they formed after the war in the first series. They are hired to aid the government in several tasks and in so doing find themselves in a world of nascent revolution and class warfare, testing their resolve and honor throughout the entire story. It is a complex plot and it involves much military action along with intricate world building in the many layered backdrop of Landfall. Rather than risk any further spoilers, and I don't really think I've done that yet, I will just tell the many fans of Powder Mage that they must read this opening book in the new Gods of Blood and Power series. It can be read without having read Powder Mage. And even though this book came out a few months ago, it has been on sale at Amazon for $2.99 on two occasions already. It's a full five stars book so that surprises me, but it's sure nice to get a great book like this at that price.

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Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
This was the best thing I've read in a long long time. So you got these three perspectives that it keeps jumping back and forth from. Lady Vlora Flint who's a Powder Mage, Ben Styke, a war criminal who is released to spy on Lady Vlora Flint(and dare I say steals the show!) and Michel who gets a job working as a double agent again the the Blackhats, the main enemy force in this storyl. Styke as I said steals the show as the old, battle hardened ex-mad lancer. Almost all of the best fight scenes in the book are done by him, and every time the story focuses on him, you're due for one of the most immersive expereinces ever. You so gotta read this book people!

10/10 one of the best books I've ever read!

Oh, and someone I follow put it much better than this!

Colonel Ben Styke, a decorated war hero of the Fatrastan's war for independence, has been convicted and imprisoned for the past ten years as a war criminal.
Silver Rose Michel Brevis, a governmental spy of Fatrasta, is tasked with the duties of a detective, a job with a required set of skills that he doesn't possess.
Lady Vlora Flint, a General and co-owner of a mercenary company called 'Rifle Jackets', is under contract with the Governor of Fatrasta.
None of them knows each other, and their lives are set on paths that aren't meant to cross. At least not until a professor locates and excavates an ancient artifact of the utmost importance; a legendary Godstone. What, you will ask me, is a goddamn Godstone? Well, what does it sound like it is?

Robson turned to find that the old professor had caugh up.
"Priviled," Cressel wheezed. "What's happening? Are you all right?"
"Yes, yes, I'm fine." Robson waved him off and began striding back toward the camp. Cressel fell in beside him.
"But, sir, you look like you've seen a ghost!"
Robson considered the brief vision, his brow furrowing as he let it hand in his mind for a few moments. "No," he sad. "Not a ghost. I've seen God."

Sins of Empire is set in the same universe as the first trilogy, but in a different continent and time period (approximately ten years after the events of Powder Mage). McClellan was very careful with the re-introducing of the world and magic system, allowing new readers to fully comprehend the various machinations, and keeping his old fans interested without boring them with unnecessary repetitions.

The plot is intriguing and mind-capturing from the very first pages (the prologue, to be exact). The prose is smooth as silk, and the narrative unfolds at a quick pace. All in all, Sins of Empire is one of the best examples of modern fantasy fiction.
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Helped Logen count his fingers
Currently listening to this book for the second time, I feel it is the best of all the Powder Mage universe books so far. Ben Styke in particular is a very engaging character and I've always loved the detective parts of the series. This is continued through Michel and his investigation into the brewing revolution and his role as a double agent. The slightly lower stakes (no gods to kill as of yet) mean there is more attention to regular people and it really fleshes out the world.