Review: The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan
Series: The Powder Mage Trilogy #3
Also by this author: Promise of Blood
Published by Orbit on February 10, 2015
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Also in this series: Promise of Blood
IN A RICH, DISTINCTIVE WORLD THAT MIXES MAGIC WITH TECHNOLOGY, WHO COULD STAND AGAINST MAGES THAT CONTROL GUNPOWDER AND BULLETS? 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...THE AUTUMN REPUBLIC is the epic conclusion that began with Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign.
The Autumn Republic brings an exciting and tense, yet satisfying conclusion to the Powder Mage Trilogy. It is wrought with subterfuge and political juxtaposition. There are bloody battles both mundane and magical, that bring fear and tension and excitement to the reader. There are unexpected and surprising twists. And underneath it all,there are the relationships and characters that help bring the story to life. This book is not just action and intrigue, there are also touching moments between the people we have spent 3 books with, characters we have grown to love.
I do enjoy getting the different perspectives in this book and series, as there is so much going on politically I don’t think there’s any other way to truly understand the scope of the story. In the first two books I had a clear preference for Taniel’s sections. While I am still quite eager to read them, there is one character that has finally challenged him a bit for my “favorite”. Nila, the laundress turned mysterious Privileged, the one who can draw from the Else without the use of gloves. Despite not having the luxury of formal training sessions, she does start to learn to harness and use her powers and we start to get a glimpse of just what she is (and may be) capable of. And she is awesome.
There is something about Adamat’s chapters that continue to make my interest wane a bit. I just can’t put my finger on why because we get some of the juiciest information in his sections. I do like what his sections bring, so I am happy to read them and I also found I enjoyed his chapters more in this book than the first two, but I still have some level of disconnect with his character for some reason. Not a huge issue though and I know Adamat has plenty of fans out there.
McClellan creates some intriguing secondary characters. Olem and Vlora are two that I kept wishing were featured more, not because I necessarily felt the story required it, but because the glimpses I have of them make me curious. There are many side stories I would love to read more about. Olem and Vlora are just one example. Lady Winclave is another. That said, these glimpses of characters that intrigue you can also make you feel like you are left wanting more. I think this is a positive thing. It leaves avenues to be explored where the reader will have a grain of familiarity to really pull them in.
I’ve decided reviewing the end of a series is hard. Readers are already familiar with the characters, and you don’t really want to give away much of the story to come and most of what you want to discuss is the ending (which, obviously can’t be spoiler free like I do my reviews). But I will say that the ending is incredibly well done. It is emotional and powerful. It gives conclusion and closure to the main story arc for the trilogy, but leaves some obvious openings if McClellan chooses to explore them in future works. Honestly, I can’t help but curious what the next series will bring.