Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan
When I first heard that I would be allowed back into the world of Brian McClellan’s guns and sorcery, I was immediately excited. Upon reading the first few chapters, my excitement grew as I realised I was going to be reunited with old friends. Because some of the revelations that graced the pages were unexpected to me, I’m going to warn of spoilers ahead for anyone who reads this review.
I consume media in a much different way than I used to. Simply put, I no longer read previews, reviews, blurbs, or much news of any sort, so that when I come to a movie, comic, or book, I’m left as spoiler free as possible. Looking at the back-of-the-book blurb for Sins of Empire, my suspicions are further confirmed that part of the excitement of this book is the reveal of who we would be joining along the way.
Warning, spoilers follow.
I didn’t know exactly what I was getting in for when I opened Sins of Empire, and I had an inkling it might be a story set thousands of years away from the previous books Brian McClellan had written. Not the case. In fact, only 10 years has passed since the conclusion of The Autumn Republic, and we join Lady Vlora Flint and Colonel Olem of the Riflejack Mercenary Company. We’re on a different continent than we were last time we saw Vlora and Olem, but the adventure and turmoil are much the same, as they find themselves quickly drawn into a very messy and sticky political situation.
The nation of Fatrasta – for whom the Riflejacks are now working – is a turbulent place, and the native Palo are under the thumb of the Lady Chancellor and her people. The Riflejacks are employed by the Lady Chancellor, so they are unsurprisingly caught in the middle, eventually, of two bad ideas.
Sins of Empire is a wonderful read, because not only do we join old faces, but we are on a new continent where there are a bundle of new faces to meet as well. Michel Bravis is a spy with a secret, and Mad Ben Styke is quickly let loose on the world. Everything goes to hell in a handbasket, until it is then thrown into the pan, and then into the fire. Everything that is set up in the first half of the book begins to pale into insignificance as the second half of the book gets under way, and the stakes that were there all along, but simply hidden, are raised higher and higher.
Unfortunately, the author gets a little sloppy with his writing – losing track of who is supposed to be aware of what, and who is supposed to be out of the loop, and mixing up internal monologues which should know better. There are several times throughout the book which simply don’t make sense – but only once you read further and things are revealed. This was disappointing, because the author himself or an experienced editor should have picked these up.
Nevertheless, these are minor complaints in the larger scale of the grandeur and out-and-out fun of this book. Sins of Empire would make a great jumping on spot for anyone who hasn’t read Brian McClellan’s books before. Similarly, it’s a great continuation of the books that have come before, for us old-hands. Regardless of whether you’ve read Brian McClellan before, Sins of Empire crackles with excitement and adventure on every page, with characters you’ll fall in love, or hate, in equal measure.
This Sins of Empire book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: Gods of Blood and Powder
Sins of Empire
Gods of Blood and Powder
A world on the cusp of a new age… The young nation of Fatrasta is a turbulent place - a frontier destination for criminals, fortune-hunters, brave settlers, and sorc...
Have you read Sins of Empire?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Sins of Empire reader reviews
Vignesh from India
Quality of McClellan's works are increasing book by book. With this new series the author has expanded his world of powder mages and sorcerers. If you liked his powder mage series then you would love this new series.
8/10 from 2 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Magicians series
In a secret world of forbidden knowledge, power comes at a terrible price... Quentin Coldwater's life is changed forever by an apparently chance encounter: when he turn...
In the first age of Andeira, men and dragons brought together the two halves of the elemental magic of the world to create a union through which their magic, and the world,...
The House of Shattered Wings
Aliette de Bodard
Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and...
When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford - Samuel Johnson. In fact, Dr Johnson was only half right. There is in Lo...
Winter Be My Shield
Sierra has a despised and forbidden gift - she raises power from the suffering of others. Enslaved by the king's torturer, Sierra escapes, barely keeping ahead of Raste...
Mark de Jager
Stratus wakes alone, with no memory of his past. All he knows is his name and that he is not human. Possessing immense strength, powerful sorcery and an insatiable hunger, ...
The Dresden Files
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Reasonable rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment. Harry Dresden is the best and technicall...
The Relic Guild
Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us. It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawl...
Alex Verus series
Camden, North London. A tangled, mangled junction of train lines, roads and the canal. Where minor celebrities hang out with minor criminals, where tourists and moody teena...
Rivers of London series
My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Ser...
Cloak of Magic
Somewhere along the line where human nature meets human imagination, myths are created. Somewhere in that space lives the spirit that created and sustains Shehaios, the Fai...
Condemned to four thousand years of loneliness and regret, Ilfayne finds a rare thing in Hilde: a friend. For that, he will do anything to keep her safe. Just as he gathers...
Stranger of Tempest
Lynx is a mercenary with a sense of honour; a dying breed in the Riven Kingdom. Failed by the nation he served and weary of the skirmishes that plague the continent's p...
Arrows of the Queen
Thirteen-year-old Talia longs for a better life, far away from her repressive stepmothers and the village of Sensholding, where books chronicling the adventures of the Hera...
The Wizard of Rainbows
Mark A Cropper
There is a road of darkness and awful peril, a path that shall take you to places beyond the knowledge of men. The Lord-of-Mists has awakened in his dark realm with one pur...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: