Next Author: Scott McCloud
Previous Author: Geraldine McCaughrean

Brian McClellan

Brian McClellan studied writing under Brandon Sanderson and Orson Scott Card and was an honorable mention in the Writers of the Future Contest. Brian is an avid player of video games and reader of epic novels and history. His hobbies include making homemade jam from local berries and tending to his hive of honeybees. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife, two dogs, and cat.
Click here for more books by Brian McClellan.

Promise of Blood: A flintlock fantasy debut

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Flintlock fantasy is an interesting blend of settings. The use of firearms as a sort of technological off-set to sorcery makes all kinds of sense to me and the idea of there being an equalizer between sorcerer and normal people is intriguing. Promise of Blood is a truly energetic first installment in the POWDER MAGE series by Brian McClellan and it starts off with a bang, no pun intended.

Tamas, a powder mage, is the Field Marshall to Manhouch, the King of Adro. The skill of being able to draw energy and power from ingesting gunpowder makes Tamas a lethal force to be reckoned with. Add to that a strong will and a history of successful leadership in the Army and Tamas is exactly the man any King would rely on to keep his Kingdom safe. But for the King of Adro, this trust has backfired because Tamas has led his forces in the complete overthrow of his Kingdom. Now a great purge is ... Read More

The Crimson Campaign: A wonderful sequel

The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan

War is hell. That is true on many different levels, and each individual copes with it differently. Brian McClellan’s The Crimson Campaign is a journey into hell from four perspectives — each character’s hell no less terrible than the others’.

Tamas is the acknowledged tyrant, military leader,and  instigator of the overthrow on the Kingdom of Andro when his group of crack powder-mages killed the King and his royal cabal of Privileged (extremely powerful users of magic). Tamas has been through hell, fighting war after war until finally the murder/execution of his wife leaves him with just one goal left: revenge. Fighting the armies of Kez is something he knows well, but losing battles to them is not. When a bold, risky maneuver fails and leaves him trapped with an elite but relatively small group of soldiers behind enemy lines, Tamas has to find a way to save them. Watching... Read More

The Autumn Republic: A good but not perfect conclusion

The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan

As a military fantasy fanatic, I found Brian McClellan’s The Autumn Republic to be a good but not perfect conclusion to his POWDER MAGE series. With The Autumn Republic, we follow Taniel’s and Tamas’ journey to save the city of Adro not only from invading armies, but from the gods themselves. General Ket is arrested and General Hilanska is a traitor to Adro.  Although Inspector Adamat wants to retire from his work for Tamas, he is repeatedly dragged headlong into the politics of the capital. Ka-Poel, continuing her fight with the gods, is captured. Will she be able to hold back the deities that desire Adro’s demise? All in all, Brian McClellan’s characters come together to from a compelling and intriguing war story punctuated by political intrigue and godly interference.

The characters have always been a ... Read More

Six POWDER MAGE prequels: A great introduction to McClellan’s world

Six POWDER MAGE prequels by Brian McClellan

After noticing what John and Kevin said about Brian McClellan’s POWDER MAGE trilogy, I was eager to give the books a try, but I thought I’d start with the six short prequels that McClellan has written to introduce his world and its characters. Each of these is available in Kindle and Audible formats, often with the Whispersync deal. For example, the first novella (Forsworn) can be purchased for $2.99 in Kindle format and you can add Audible narration for an additional $1.99. I read all of these stories in audio format. The narrators are Julie Hoverson and Daniel Dorse.

I read the prequels in chronological order:

Forsworn (2 hours long) takes place about 35 years before the events of the first POWDER MAGE novel, ... Read More

Sins of Empire: Familiar characters and fantastic plot in a new setting

Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan

In Sins of Empire, Brian McClellan makes his explosive return to the world of THE POWDER MAGE trilogy with a sequel series called GODS OF BLOOD AND POWDER. Sins of Empire (2017) is the first GODS OF BLOOD AND POWDER novel, so I’d recommend checking out THE POWDER MAGE trilogy first before picking up this book. If you’re curious about McClellan’s work, you can check our reviews here: Promise of Blood, The Crimson Campaign, and ... Read More

SHORTS: Kritzer, Valentine, Robson, McClellan, Reed

Our feature exploring free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we've read that we want to share with readers.

“Field Biology of the Wee Fairies” by Naomi Kritzer (2018, free at Apex Magazine, $2.99 Kindle magazine issue)When Amelia turns fourteen, everyone assures her that she’ll catch her fairy soon. Almost every girl catches a fairy, and the fairy will give you a gift if you promise to let her go. The gift is always something like “beauty or charm or perfect hair or something else that made boys notice you.” What n... Read More