Release Date: December 3, 2019
Haven’t read the previous novels? Check out my review of Sins of Empire and Wrath of Empire!
As the final battle approaches a sellsword, a spy, and a general must find unlikely and dangerous allies in order to turn the tides of war in this epic fantasy tale of magic and gunpowder by acclaimed author Brian McClellan.
The Dynize have unlocked the Landfall Godstone, and Michel Bravis is tasked with returning to Greenfire Depths to do whatever he can to prevent them from using its power; from sewing dissension among the enemy ranks to rallying the Palo population.
Ben Styke’s invasion of Dynize is curtailed when a storm scatters his fleet. Coming ashore with just twenty lancers, he is forced to rely on brains rather than brawn – gaining new allies in a strange land on the cusp of its own internal violence.
Bereft of her sorcery and physically and emotionally broken, Lady Vlora Flint now marches on Landfall at the head of an Adran army seeking vengeance against those who have conspired against her. While allied politicians seek to undo her from within, she faces insurmountable odds and Dynize’s greatest general.
Blood of Empire is the third and final novel in the Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy, which is a spinoff of McClellan’s Powder Mage series. I’ve never read the Powder Mage series, so I can say with confidence you do not need to read that series to understand and love the story and characters McClellan presents to reader in Gods of Blood and Powder.
What I enjoyed the most about this trilogy, especially with Blood of Empire, is the balance between the military fantasy elements and magic. I’m not usually a fan of military fantasy since I find battle sequences long and difficult to follow. However, McClellan strikes the perfect balance of military strategy with magic in a way that made the battle scenes so vivid I could almost taste and smell the gunpowder.
As with the previous novels, Blood of Empire continues to follow Ben, Vlora, and Michel as they work in concert across the world to prevent a new god from being formed. Unlike the previous novel, Wrath of Empire, Ben’s chapters were my favorite. He is very much out of his elements for most of the novel, so it was entertaining watching him problem solve and take a less aggressive stance.
Even though Vlora’s chapters were not my favorite, I could an entire series just about her. McClellan’s portrayal of a capable war general dealing with conflicting feelings that happens to be a woman is fantastic. At no point does she feel like an author guessing at how a woman would react. There are a few things McClellan could have made Vlora linger on, but doesn’t. I applaud him immensely for that.
Overall, Blood of Empire is a satisfying conclusion to an explosive story full of war, strategy, political intrigue, and magic. Don’t let the size of these novels intimidate you. They read quickly and easily. There’s no going back once you’ve started.