Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Book Review - The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan

The capital has fallen...

Field Marshal Tamas returns to his beloved country to find that for the first time in history, the capital city of Adro lies in the hands of a foreign invader. His son is missing, his allies are indistinguishable from his foes, and reinforcements are several weeks away.
An army divided...

With the Kez still bearing down upon them and without clear leadership, the Adran army has turned against itself. Inspector Adamat is drawn into the very heart of this new mutiny with promises of finding his kidnapped son.

All hope rests with one...

And Taniel Two-shot, hunted by men he once thought his friends, must safeguard the only chance Adro has of getting through this war without being destroyed...

Review - 

The Autumn Republic is the epic conclusion of Brian McClellan's Powder Mage trilogy. And boy, what a conclusion it is! Laced with scintillating action, brutal twists, and an extremely addictive narrative, McClellan has arguably produced his finest work to date with this release. The Autumn Republic opens with the Kez invasion worsening, Adro still under occupation by a foreign army, and Taniel and Tamas still missing and presumed dead. From this starting point The Autumn Republic builds up the tension with every page, as events set up in book two continue to spiral out of control as the situation becomes more dire and dangerous. 

There is so much to love about this book. One of McClellan's greatest strengths has always been his ability to write a fast paced and entertaining story. We saw this in Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign, and again it was highlighted in The Autumn Republic. I ripped through this story at such a pace that before I knew it I was finished and feeling like I had just fought ten rounds in a prize fight. Made up of blistering and sprawling battles and insanely action packed moments, The Autumn Republic grabbed hold of me and refused to let go. 

The battle scenes and individual fights in The Autumn Republic are also amongst the best I have ever read. McClellan has a real knack (see what I did there!) for writing cracking and immersive battles, and at times throughout this book I literally felt like I was standing in line with the Grenadiers facing down a cavalry charge or snorting a line of powder to go toe to toe with an opponent. You know a book is good when you stare out of your window and picture the Adran troops facing down a Black Warden charge! 

The character development in this book is also top notch, with McClellan exploring old favourites and new characters in unique and fascinating ways. I loved seeing a different side to Tamas, and I especially adored the growth of Nila and Bo. The insight into how the Privileged live, train, and see the world around them was one of the best parts of this story. Adamat should be mentioned as well, and the twists that plague him as he tries to get to the heart of the mutiny in Adro were also brilliantly written and explored. 

The conclusion to The Autumn Republic was both gut wrenching and moving, and McClellan neatly sews up many different plot threads whilst also leaving some tantalisingly open for the next trilogy (which he has already started!). I was emotionally drained by how things played out, and I will admit to wiping away some tears. My only small criticism would be that I could see what was coming, but that didn't take anything away from how good it was. 

All in all The Autumn Republic is a stunning and epic conclusion to one of the most original and unique trilogies I have ever read. McClellan has gotten better with every book and novella, and I am excited for what the future will bring with his next books. The Powder Mage trilogy takes pride of place on my bookshelves, and I would recommend it to anyone with a beating heart and functional mind. If you haven't read any of McClellan's work yet do yourself a favour and go out and purchase Promise of Blood. You won't be disappointed. 

5 out of 5 stars... and deservedly so!

A review copy was provided. 

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