Library Journal Review
Lady Vlora Flint leads her mercenary company as they attempt to put down Palo uprisings in rural Fatrasta. The ruler of the country summons them to the capital of Landfall where she gives Lady Flint a new assignment: find the elusive head of the Palo rebels. Her local contact is Michel -Bravis, a member of the Blackhat secret police, whose real mission is to identify the culprits who have been distributing "Sins of Empire" pamphlets, which denounce the current government. Meanwhile, an aging legend of earlier wars is rotting in prison until a mysterious stranger offers him freedom if he will spy on Lady Flint. VERDICT This new opener is set in the same world as -McClellan's "Powder Mage War" series. While it features some recurring characters from the earlier books, new readers shouldn't have any trouble jumping in here. Still, the author's skillful worldbuilding and nuanced characters will undoubtedly tempt them to go back to his early work.-MM © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
McClellan (The Autumn Republic) begins his Gods of Blood and Powder series with this tale set in Landfall, a city where mercenary troops and secret police may not be enough to prevent revolution. Michel Bravis is an operative in Landfall's secret police who has been assigned to find who is behind the seditious pamphlet titled Sins of Empire. Gen. Vlora Flint is a powder mage and the commander of the Riflejacks, a mercenary army summoned to Landfall to find Mama Palo, leader of the disaffected Palo minority. Benjamin Styke is the former colonel of the Mad Lancers and still a formidable killer; he's just been released from a work camp and is newly arrived in the city. Each of them runs up against the mysterious figure of Gregious Tampo, an individual who's both dapper and deadly. They must all brave the Palo stronghold of Greenfire Depths, where street thugs are common and legendary Dynize dragonmen lurk. Several characters first appeared in McClellan's Powder Mage trilogy but this work stands well on its own. The combination of fantasy and firearms compares favorably with Brandon Sanderson's work and the milieu recalls Thieves' World. This is a great start to what promises to be a terrific series. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
The first book in the follow-up trilogy to the Powder Mage Trilogy takes place primarily in Landfall, capital city of Fatrasta, a colonial nation ruled by Lady Chancellor Lindet and built on the ruins of the once-sprawling Dynize empire as well as on the brutal suppression of the native Palo people and political dissidents by Lindet's secret police, the Blackhats. A variety of characters explore and discover the secrets of Landfall and Fatrasta, including Vlora Flint, the leader of the Riflejack mercenary company, currently under contract to the Lady Chancellor; Michel Bravis, a Blackhat assigned to investigate rumors of insurrection and sedition; and Ben Styke, a former hero of the Fatrastan war for independence and current prisoner in a labor camp. McClellan continues to expand and build on the interesting and engaging world of his previous trilogy while also providing an exciting and fast-paced new story that even those new to the series will enjoy immensely.--Keep, Alan Copyright 2017 Booklist