Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan

sins type5Title: Sins of Empire
Series: Gods of Blood and Powder
Author(s): Brian McClellan
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 7th 2017
Pages: 624
Genre(s): Fantasy
ISBN13: 9780316407212

This might actually be the first time I ever set foot in a flintlock fantasy setting in my life and it was truly epic. While I haven’t read Brian McClellan’s original trilogy that actually sets up the world for this book, I am truly astonished by the author’s grasp of his magic system as well as his ability to maneuver his characters through countless loops that always kept me flipping through the pages like a madman. You don’t need to read his Powder Mage trilogy to check out Sins of Empire, but fans will undoubtedly find that this new series is exactly what they have been craving for.

Set ten years after the events that took place in the Powder Mage trilogy, Sins of Empire explores the political landscape of Fatrasta and the rising turmoil bleeding through the suppressed people. Ruled under the heavy thumb of the Lady Chancellor and her secret police, the Blackhats, a mercenary group led by Lady Vlora Flint is tossed into a world of manipulation, conspiracy and secrecy trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Mixed into this chaos is the story behind the giant convicted war criminal Ben Stykes and his forced loyalty to mysterious individuals that put him at the heart of everything dangerous and bound to go wrong.

Sins of Empire also interweaves the point of view of a spy, Michel Bravis, who is tasked to discover the origin of a propagandist document that is slowly eating away at the foundation of Lady Chancellor’s power over Fatrasta, and ingeniously titled after this book, Sins of Empire. It is through the eyes of these three characters that the story unfolds and presents us with a twist-filled, blade-flinging, gun-shooting and blood-dripping adventure like none other before.

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This is easily another spell-binding fantasy series worth every second of my time. Brian McClellan presents us a story that doesn’t live in the shadow of his original trilogy, but rises to be its own thing with great conviction. While his powder mage magic system isn’t new and was first presented in his trilogy, he flawlessly builds it back up from scratch in Sins of Empire for new fans like me to get a great idea of what it entails. Without narrowing his narrative on explaining the finer details, he seamlessly incorporates it into the story in small pieces. In fact, the sorcery is sprinkled throughout the story in manageable doses and teases at the scope of this series as well as where things will go from here on out. While magic is definitely an essential part of the story, blades and guns make up for just as much gore throughout this adventure. Trust me.

The story also finds a really nice balance in character and story development. The twists are present and keeps on pushing the story forward. I loved how they always made my jaw drop as they smoothly put the pieces of the puzzle together without any possibility of foresight for the reader. Just when you think Brian McClellan showed you all the tricks he had under his sleeves, he finds new ways to remind us that he’s the one who pulls the strings here, and that until the very end. His ability to properly develop three different point of views without tripping also highlights his excellent writing skill. Take my word that Sins of Empire is simply addictive, especially with its flawless prose.

Action-packed and creative, Brian McClellan proves himself to be a top tier fantasy writer in our time with Sins of Empire. With the sequel, Wrath of Empire, just around the corner, one can only squeal with excitement and wonder with distress at where things will go and what else he could potentially do in this flintlock fantasy world. I don’t even think it’s a stretch to say that he’s probably the best at blending guns with magic. I mean… How can anyone do better than this?

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Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada and Orbit for sending me a copy for review!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★
Have you read it yet? Do you plan to?
What do you think about Sins of Empire?
Share your thoughts with me!
Till next time,

lashaansignature

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56 comments

  • Oooh, I like when you don’t necessarily have to read the previous trilogy in order to understand the spin off, because if you haven’t been part of the fandom the entire time, it can become such a daunting task to catch up. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much and that the author managed to create such a great world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree. In an ideal world, reading them in the order they were released will always be the best way to approach it, but absolutely nothing stops anyone to jump onto this series first and still be amazed by its quality! Thank you so much for reading, Kat!! Truly appreciate it. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  • Fantastic review! I’ve not read any McClellan but really need to! Glad to hear that you don’t need to have read the previous trilogy to enjoy this one. Will you be jumping straight into the sequel? I’ve got a copy, says the guy who hasn’t read the previous book.😂 Gotta love the publishers, don’t send the first book when it was released last year but send the sequel.😱😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks man! Dude, you have to read his stuff. It’s quality, and you’ll definitely give it a Hell Fcking Yeh. I’ll definitely read the sequel to this one next, and while I wait for the final book in this trilogy, I’ll maybe try and go back to read the original trilogy. It would be the ideal route to take, but man.. We all know how life goes hahaha Nothing goes as planned. 😀 Damn.. Yeh.. that sort of stinks. I wouldn’t recommend jumping into the sequel to this one before reading Sins of Empire hahahaha Hope you find a way to get Sins of Empire though. It’ll be worth it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve read the original trilogy?! I definitely need to check it out as soon as possible myself. But, if you loved the original trilogy, I think you’ll love this new series even more. Based on other readers, Brian McClellan has polished his craft and made things even more irresistible! 😀

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  • Glad to hear that you didn’t need to have read the previous trilogy to get into this. I’m definitely going to be reading this trilogy, once it is all out of course 🙂

    I know that McClellan is a top student of Sanderson’s, so it isn’t a big surprise to me that he’s doing so well.

    I’m about 50/50 with Flintlock Fantasy so far. McClellan’s first trilogy was great, then I had to abandon Wexler’s series due to moral content and I don’t think I’ve tried (or even seen) any other Flintlock. I like the idea though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. It’s sort of like that other series I got into a while back by John Gwynne. It’s nice to see this universe-building writing strategy among authors. I like it and think that fans will always appreciate it in order to come back to the same kind of lore while always having new things to look forward to.

      I also saw that he was on of his student, and man does that make me want to hunt down every student he ever had or will have. Finding their padawan seems to be a perfect way to never be disappointed. 😛

      Since McClelland didn’t disappoint, I guess it’s safe to say you can trust him until he fails you. 😀 But I totally agree. The idea is awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I really want to read this series, I’ve heard great things about McClellan but I’ve never read any of his books. Now you can go back and read the first series since you loved this! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lashaan😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • You totally need to get around to checking out McClellan’s books. He’s worth any fantasy lover’s time! 😀 And yes, I could, but first I think I’ll read the sequel to Sins of Empire first since it’s coming out this week! And as I wait for the finale, I’ll definitely hunt down his original trilogy. Thanks for reading, Tammy! ❤

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    • Thanks Kim! They’re pretty big books too, so I’d suggest blocking a solid 96 hours of nothing but reading to get through all four of his books (original trilogy + this book). 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s why you got friends like me to show you the way! 😀 You totally need to check his books. They’re worth your time (and all chunky and awesome fantasy stories). Thanks for reading Danielle! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Nicole! ❤ Exactly. It's really cool, especially for long time fans who get to have more of the same universe, yet still have different stories with different characters! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome, Lashaan!💙 I love reading everyones posts especially yours!💜 I kind of do things backwards on blog reading. I go and read them all that I am feeling good vibes with which is crazy and you guys are always included and then I go back and written comments. I know this is strange but I think it’s because my dyslexia acts up sometimes and I get nervous so I rather have time to process it and calm my tits. Once those are calm, I feel more confident in writing without mixing everything up. I don’t know why I just explained this all too you. Lol. I guess because you mentioned reading your posts. Lol.😂 But yes, I love to read your posts, lengthy or not!😀💜📚💯

        Liked by 1 person

        • That was definitely fascinating though. I love when you lose control and start telling us everything without any restraints hahahah I appreciate that you put that much effort into commenting though. Very kind of you. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hahaha! I just can’t control myself sometimes. Lol. Then I feel like it’s too much to delete and then rewrite so I just deal with it. Haha. My bloggy friends are my people so I guess everyone just accepts that I am a rambler! 😵 I’m glad you like me as I am, my friend. 💙 It’s hard to have anyone that accepts you these days and I am so glad that I am accepted especially by you and by the lovely Trang!💜 I know she’s been super busy lately but if you talk to her by chance will you tell her I said she’s missed and I hope she isn’t working herself to death!😀

            Liked by 1 person

    • It is Dani! I’m happy that I can always look forward to checking out his original trilogy and see it as a prequel type of series and still thoroughly enjoy it! Thanks for reading!! ❤

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  • Great review mate! I have to say I’m not really a fan of this sort of fantasy and the genre in general, but I always like to keep an open mind. I’ve often thought about reading something like Robert E. Howard’s original Conan stories, have you read any of those?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Chris! I’ve always wondered how you were such a huge scifi fan yet fantasy seems to be at the bottom of your list. I can’t say I have and when you mention Conan, I only think of Arnold and his movies hahaah I will have to look into this Conan the Cimmerian though! Thanks for reading, my man.

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  • That cover is gorgeous! That sounds like such a fantastic world, and it’s great that you were able to get completely immersed without having read the previous series – it’d be interesting to know if there are many call backs in there that you missed though.

    I like to hear when the balance of story and character development is right. I think that’s quite hard to achieve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is, and I love what the sequel looks like to. Definitely a series that would look good exposed on the shelf! And I was able to spot all the references to the previous series even without having read them. They could be seen as spoilers, but it was written as if they weren’t and made it that much more fun to read. I’ll probably read the previous series and look at it as if it were a prequel and enjoy spotting all the characters and events that were mentioned here hahaha Thanks for reading Lydia. ❤

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  • I love the graphic you made Lashaan! This epic fantasy sounds, well, epic, and full of twists and turns. 😀 It looks super thick too, so idk how well I’d fare with it, haha. But I’m so glad you enjoyed this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh, I appreciate that so much! I definitely don’t consider myself a pro at making graphics, so that definitely puts a smile on my face! 😉 And yes, this is definitely epic and will definitely go down as one of the best trilogy out here too. If you ever feel like you want to embrace its length, go right ahead! I doubt it can disappoint anyone. 😀 Thanks for reading, Aila!!

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  • duuuude, you totally loved this book *hearteyes* hahaha… how brilliant! I am fairly certain I have this author on my tbr list with the trilogy books… but… but… since time is a tricksy bum as it is, one might have to just prioritise the new book over the already published trilogy… otherwise I’d never get to read this book, I fear! 😀 It sounds fantastic and everything that fantasy should be like 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah I absolutely did! So much fun packed into this brick! I’m not surprised to gear you got his Powder Mage trilogy on your TBR. It was on mine too before I even got Sins of Empire 😂 Hopefully you’ll get the chance to try this or that series soon. The sequel to Sins of Empire actually came out on the 15th of May.. so.. it’s getting pretty close to completing the trilogy too hahahah Thanks for reading, Liz!! Hope you’ve been taking care of yourself lately. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  • It’s a great book indeed – and I recommend reading The Powder Mage trilogy as well, as it gives a lot of insight into characters such as Vlora or Olem, or Taniel. And my, Powder Mage had some of my favorite characters of the genre 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely plan on visiting that trilogy. I’ve heard people didn’t like Vlora as much in it though. But I do want to see what Taniel achieved back then. From the sound of it, he’s successfully achieved the impossible. 😂 Your favourite characters weren’t any of those 3? 😱 That definitely has me even more pumped to dive into it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, actually Vlora needs to do some redeeming after the original trilogy 😉 My favorite was definitely Tamas – but I won’t say anymore, just read it! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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