Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan. Book Review

WRATH OF EMPIRE by Brian McClellan
Orbit. p/b. 672pp. £9.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

From General to mercenary leader to simultaneously taking command of the Blackhats, the Mad Lancers and a camp full of refugees, life for the infamous powder mage, Vlora Flint, is far from where she thought it would be. Three weeks after the Battle of Landfall it is high time the strangely united crowd moved on; nowhere could sustain this many people in these conditions for long. Olem is still by her side, at least – one circumstance she is more than thankful for.

Even now the Dynize are on their tail with a much greater and a better organised force, and now she hears that Ben Styke, heading up her cavalry, has decided to take them head on. He really is mad, after all.

Elsewhere Ka-poel and Taniel Two Shot are still out there, despite the ongoing rumours of his death, and it seems his bone-eye companion is only just touching the surface of her abilities. And Michel Brevin is on the search for a Gold Rose.

This is another McClellan book which needs little preamble. Picking up where book one in the Gods of Blood and Powder series left off, Michel Brevin, Vlora Flint and Ben Styke present the point of view narratives as the Dynize threat lurks ever closer, not forgetting the tremendous danger each of them already faces from various Privileged, Bone-Eye, enemy gods or Powder Mages.

Once again the narrative is fantastic, the pace excellent, the magic systems tanltalisingly full of seen and unseen promise and the characterisation delivered to perfection. Set in one of the best contemporary fantasy worlds of the recent years, Wrath of Empire is another page turner and a welcome addition to the bookshelf.