Interview with BRIAN McCLELLAN


Brian McClellan’s debut fantasy, Promise of Blood, has caused quite a splash in the SFF community. It blends fast-paced story-telling with a new and interesting world, and a plethora of interesting and engaging characters. Brian has already featured on Civilian Reader a few of times already. He has written two guest posts – on his favourite novel, and also Protagonist Ages in Epic Fantasy – and I have reviewed the novel already, too. He was kind enough to take some time to answer my questions about his fiction, writing practices, and more… Continue reading

Review: PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan (Orbit)

McClellanB-PM1-PromiseOfBloodOne of 2013’s most Hotly-Tipped Fantasy Debuts

“The Age of Kings is dead. And I have killed it.”

Field Marshal Tamas’s coup against his king sends corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brings bread to the starving. But it also provokes war in the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics and greedy scrambling for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers’ unions and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, Tamas relies heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be Tamas’s estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty will be tested to its limit.

Now, amid the chaos, a whispered rumour is spreading. A rumour about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods returning to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing…

But perhaps they should.

I’ve been looking forward to this novel for a good long while. When I was finally able to get my mitts on a copy, I tore into it, and blitzed through it far quicker than I normally do for a 500+ page novel. Bottom line, while there are a few niggles, Promise of Blood is a lot of fun, and the start of something potentially fantastic. Continue reading

Guest Post: “Protagonist Ages in Epic Fantasy” by Brian McClellan


Brian McClellan is the author of the upcoming PROMISE OF BLOOD, the first in the Powder Mage Trilogy (Orbit, April 2013). Here he discusses age conventions in Epic Fantasy…


“Protagonist Ages in Epic Fantasy”

The young farm boy is so common in fiction that it’s become a cliché. I grew up reading about farm boys, or some other young, naive laborer, in the works of David Eddings, Tad Williams, Robert Jordan, or William Goldman. My favorite movie as a kid – Star Wars – centered around a farm boy who, like those in the books I liked, yearned for adventure and then was booted out of his home in a twist of fate and became savior of the nation! Or country. Or world. Or galaxy.

You get the point.

So why the young farm boy? Continue reading