The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan
Book of the Month
In 2014 I read both of Brian McClellan’s ‘The Powder Mage Trilogy’ books – ‘Promise of Blood’ and ‘The Crimson Campaign’. I loved both of them, though by the end of the second book it had started to lag somewhat. Regardless, that momentary lapse had obviously not stuck with me, as I only just remembered it having checked on my review for it. Instead, I was eagerly awaiting the final book in the trilogy, which was published earlier this year – ‘The Autumn Republic’.
Gosh, even the name is awesome, just like the book itself!
The Autumn Republic takes up immediately following the conclusion of The Crimson Campaign, and does so without any of the “lazy writing” I had commented on therein. In fact, it’s almost go-go-go right to the end, as the many and weaving storylines that have run through the trilogy come to their conclusions.
And in none of them was I disappointed.
No more are characters conveniently separated by distance and accidents, replaced instead by repeated instances of running into one another, so that the story keeps its pace and heightened excitement all the way to the end. Tamas goes after his son, Taniel, who goes after everyone – including an explosive but short-lived battle against a god. Others return from the dead, as some meet their own ends. The election is won, but by no means is anything actually over by that point, and in the end some of the most impressive characters to burst onto the page in decades are able to slink away into the shadows, soon to be forgotten.
The Autumn Republic is exactly how you should conclude a series of books – no matter how lengthy. Most everything is tied up – neatly, maybe, but in some instances “neatly” isn’t always the same as “happily”. But even if the endings aren’t always happy, they are always legitimate endings – endings that are right and leave the reader content.
I actually cried towards the end of the book, real tears as everything finally came to a head. There were no last-minute characterisation changes that I had to explain, no convenient loopholes to ignore, and nothing that left a sour taste in my mouth. There are avenues for Brian McClellan to continue along if he chooses – and in at least two cases, I certainly hope he does – but there are also many closed doors that I don’t feel the need to hang onto a key for.
The characterisations from this series have been impeccable, and leave me with some of the most interesting characters I have read since Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Mistborn’ series. There’s no denying the hype that Brian McClellan receives, but thankfully, there’s no reason to either – it’s entirely deserved.
Make sure you check out the Powder Mage Trilogy, if you haven’t already, as it’s one of the top 10 books to come out this decade.
Joshua S Hill, 9/10
Endings are difficult for me as a reader as I am always hesitant at picking up the last in a series for the simple reason I don’t want the story to finish or my own preconceived ideas regarding the fate of a hero, villain and finale distorted. Pleasantly, The Autumn Republic succeeds in closing off this trilogy in a very satisfying way, even if not the way I had thought it would.
Initially, Tamas returns to Adopest in search of Taniel who is no longer there, but at the war front, requiring him to leave Adopest in the hands of Claremonte and the Brudania-Gurla Trading Company and travel to the battle with Kez. Skirmishes, wins, losses, secrets and death ensue, all told in the superb McClellan style, but what took me by surprise was the introduction of another more powerful God, Brude, brother of Kresimir and Milhali. I did think another God sibling would show up, but definitely not in the way they did. If I could say one thing about The Autumn Republic it would be this - leave your own theories and notions of what is going to happen at the cover and roll with it, because it'll be worth it.
Much like the other books in the trilogy, we are given a story across many characters’ points of view. We have the usual Tamas, Taniel, Adamat POV's and with The Autumn Republic we have the addition of Nila and Borbador. Thankfully, we get a lot of crossover between the individual stories, something I did miss in the other two books, culminating in the final push and take back of Adopest against the Brudania-Gurla Trading Company. The shape and flow of the characters stories and how they are connected and separate has been masterfully woven and unlike others I have read, really excels.
This upgraded P.O.V for Nila and Borbador which includes Adamat, takes up much of the beginning of the book as they search for Taniel, work to discover the Adro military traitor, as well as going into battle against Kez. This amount of attention only leads me to the idea that Nila will have a large part to play in the next trilogy. There are already hints concerning her future state, with an open question surrounding the mystery of why she is able to use magic without gloves, something that is not discussed in any great detail and so we are still left speculating. Being honest, I did not see how the Nila character would play out, I had just assumed she was going to be [Star Trek reference] that crewman on the Star Trek away team who always gets killed off. However, in The Autumn Republic she really begins to shine and come into her own and I look forward to seeing her in the future books, which I am happy to say, will be coming, just not soon enough.
There is a comforting but still creative feeling of what came before as The Autumn Republic cycles back to the core nature of characters. Adamant is on the hunt once more, solving problem and doing his best to stay alive. Tamas, strong, determined and focused, begins to realise that some thing's end and some sacrifices are worth making. There is not a single fault with this character for me, there is the feel of a real personality behind the words, which has grown over the successive books, culminating in this last struggle for freedom. As expected Taniel and Ka-poel struggle, fight to live and cling to the love Taniel is finally able to admit. Personally, I would have liked a little more Ka-poel 'magic' action as her participation felt a little light for my taste. I just hope these two make it back into the next trilogy, maybe with a wee babe in toe to add to the mayhem. Taniel and Tamas finally begin to say the things that have been unsaid for so long, no longer Superior and solider, but father to son.
First and foremost, this is not a conclusion and don’t get me wrong, this is not a downbeat statement. It would be better to say this is an end to one story and a beginning to the next. Certain elements and characters have been lined up in much a way that they are poised to shine in the next series. Question marks still hang over a few of my favourite characters, such as Taniel and his enhanced abilities, Vlora and her duty (you'll see) and maybe Adamat's son (that ones a little iffy), but I can see that McClellan is building a complex and diverse universe which does not centre around only one or two characters, but many.
The Autumn Republic is everything you want, and didn’t want for this story. The writing quality, flow and depth of commitment Brian McClellan has put into this final book in the trilogy is no less than the previous two instalments. I cannot see how you will be disappointed.
Fergus McCartan, 9/10
All reviews for: The Powder Mage Trilogy
Promise of Blood
The Powder Mage Trilogy #1
The alchemy of gunpowder fused with the magic of sorcery. In a time of upheaval, resurgence and corrupted Royalty Privileged, one-man’s love for his lost wife and his...
The Crimson Campaign
The Powder Mage Trilogy #2
When Gods walk the earth and war rages, Tamas suffers his greatest defeat at the hands of Kez. Beaten, but not broken Tamas must fight his way back to Adro and his son. Tan...
The Autumn Republic
The Powder Mage Trilogy #3
Field Marshal Tamas has finally returned to Adopest, only to find the capital in the hands of a foreign power. With his son Taniel presumed dead, Tamas must gather his bele...
Have you read The Autumn Republic?
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.
The Autumn Republic reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
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:
- Recommended high fantasy books/series
- Recommended books/series featuring wizards and magicians
- Recommended books/series featuring royalty, monarchy and empire
Best of 2016
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 prin...
A warrior prince, a talented spy. A quest to free an enslaved people begins.Crown Prince Aven Lanuken wants something more than a trophy for a future wife. He wants a woman wh...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...