Cover Reveal: Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

I met Brian McClellan last year at ConFusion in Detroit, Michigan. He was being shown the ropes by another Orbit author by the name of Brent Weeks. McClellan, a young guy and a former student of Brandon Sanderson’s at Brighan Young University, hadn’t quite yet finalized the details of his contract, so I didn’t get a chance to get much information about the series. But, the elevator pitch, and the author’s demeanor left me very intrigued.

Now, I’m intrigued and excited:


Here’s the blurb:

Field Marshal Tamas has staged a coup against the king of Adro. His powder mages have slaughtered the king’s Privileged cabal of sorcerers and the nobility has been rounded up to face the guillotine with their king. Tamas has brought revolution to his country in one bloody night to save his people and right the wrongs caused by the old regime. Yet his actions have far-reaching consequences of which no reasonable man could have conceived, and the king will prove the easiest obstacle to overcome in his quest to free Adro.

Captain Taniel Two-shot is a powder mage of considerable skill. Gunpowder makes him stronger and faster than other men. He can manipulate its properties to shoot out a man’s eye at twice the length of a battlefield. It makes him perfect for killing the old Privileged sorcerers with their destructive magic. One of those Privileged has escaped Tamas’ cull. The problem is, she’s stronger than any sorcerer Taniel has ever seen, and the mercenaries sent to help him track her are of dubious reliability.

When Adamat is summoned to the palace in the middle of the night, the last thing the veteran investigator expects is to arrive during a regime change. His new employer is none other than the man responsible for overthrowing the current government and he has some unfinished business with the king’s sorcerers. The dying Privileged cabal has left the Field Marshal with a riddle. It could be nothing, but Tamas does not like loose ends. Adamat knows from long experience that one doesn’t ask questions unless one is willing to learn–and believe–the answers. To add to his problems, the Field Marshal isn’t the only one interested in the answer to the dying sorcerers’ riddle. As enemies emerge from the shadows and the investigation takes a disturbing turn, Adamat must decide where his loyalties lie.

“Promise of Blood is a hugely promising debut. Guns, swords, and magic together? What more could you want? How about tense action, memorable characters, rising stakes, and cool, cool magic? Not only the finest flintlock fantasy I’ve read, but also the most fun. Brian McClellan is the real thing.”

–Brent Weeks, author of the Night Angel Trilogy

What do you think? Sound interesting?

Follow Brian on Twitter @briantmclellan or on the web at

Justin Landon

Justin Landon is the Overlord of Staffer's Book Review. When he's not writing things of dubious value to the world, he's at the gym or being a dad. You can follow him on a multitude of social media, which is strongly suggested lest you miss out on vital information that could someday save your life.

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  • Rob B October 15, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Wait, a cool cover about a year from publication and a blurb, is this Dribble of Ink v2? Seriously, sounds very cool and I like the twist on the cover, don’t usually expect to see dude who looks like he just walked of a Revolutionary War re-enactment.

  • Aidan from A Dribble of Ink October 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    This sounds, like… really good. Cover’s rad, too.

  • Jordan October 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    This sounds great! It’ll be cool to see how a Sanderson student handles the genre. Here’s hoping he goes a bit darker than Brandon.

  • Stefan (Civilian Reader) October 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Can. Not. Wait.

  • Mihai A. October 16, 2012 at 5:29 am

    It sounds interesting. Especially since fantasy needs new elements to move the genre forward and gunpowder might be one these steps (I would also like to see develop around other cultures too, but that is another topic ;) ). It has an interesting cover too, although I am not much of the fan of full front characters on book covers, but this one has some appeal. But speaking of Orbit Books and covers I love what they did with Ian Tregillis’ novels. Excellent stuff there. :)

  • Brian McClellan October 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    @Mihai A, I’ve been calling it Muskets and Magic (as opposed to Sword and Sorcery). I would love to pave the way for a new subgenre of epic fantasy. We’ll see if it catches on.

    @Jordan, I think my stuff is a bit darker than Brandon’s. I don’t have graphic sex, but I don’t ignore it altogether, and the violence is somewhere between Brandon and Joe Abercrombie.

    • Joshua Johnson October 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

      It’s great to see authors breaking out with Gunpowder Fantasy. My own novel is a similar combination of magic and mythical creatures with rifles and railroads.

      And that cover is amazing!

    • Paul (@princejvstin) October 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      The vibe I am getting is a bit of the English Civil War in addition to the French Revolution. Tamas as Lord Protector?

  • Bryce October 20, 2012 at 1:24 am

    This is definitely on my list now, thanks.

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