Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Still Haven’t Read


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books I Still Haven’t Read |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re looking at the books which have been gathering dust on your TBR the longest.

If you’re anything like me, then your to read list is dominated with series that you’ve started and left incomplete. Before you know it, you’ve got a mountain of books tumbling off your shelves in need of reading as you struggle to claw your way out from under them. Such is the life of a fantasy addict.

After rifling through said mountain, I bring to you my Top Ten… Books I Still Haven’t Read – a list comprising some of my all time favourite authors whose work I shame myself in neglecting. Realising you have a problem, they say, is the first step to recovery… so here’s to catching up in 2018!
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| 1. |

Lord of Chaos

Book Six of The Wheel of Time

by Robert Jordanheart

Lord of Chaos, Book Six of The Wheel of Time, has been on my to read list for years. Years. Four whole years and six semi-whole months if we’re being exact and open to the full weight of judgement. I even have the next three books in the series sitting on the shelf next to their predecessor! But, with a list as long as my arm and a mind ever prone to distraction, I still haven’t got round to reading them… 2018 will be the year! I’m sure of it. Honest.
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| 2 |

Half the World

Book Two of Shattered Sea

by Joe Abercrombieheart

I’ve been to see Joe Abercrombie more times than I can count on my hands and have more signed books than is entirely right from an author who has published ten books. This hasn’t stopped me however from relegating Half the World and its successor, Half a War, to the metaphorical mountain of doom! Having read half the book and finding myself moving house in June 2017, it was left behind with so many book friends to keep my parents company until I could furnish my library with bookcases. Eight months later and the problem has only just been rectified. Little steps. 
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| 3 |

The Air War

Book Eight of Shadows of the Apt

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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The Shadows of the Apt series is one of my fantasy favourites and Adrian Tchaikovsky has only gone from strength to strength since its publication. But even with a love as great as this, actually making my way round to reading The Air War has taken considerably longer than expected. With only three books remaining in the series, and with numerous additional offerings from its author, it’s about time Book Eight was dusted off.
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| 4. |

Words of Radiance

Book Two of the Stormlight Archives

by Brandon Sanderson
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No matter how big a Brandon Sanderson tome is, it’s never quite big enough to satisfy my cravings for more. Yet even with an addictive master storyteller like Sanderson I stay true to form; leaving Words of Radiance, the second book in what might be my favourite Sanderson series, gathering cobwebs on my bookshelf. And with Oathbringer now providing familial company to its predecessor, it’s high time Words of Radiance got the attention, and the dust off, it deserves.
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| 5. |

Tower Lord

Book Two of Raven’s Shadow

by Anthony Ryan
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The first book in the Raven’s Shadow series, Blood Song, was a tour de force in the fantasy genre and one of my favourite books of 2015 (yes, it came out in 2012 but I neglected to read it for several years – why change the habit of a lifetime). However, with Tower Lord and Queen of Fire still on my book mountain, and several intermediate short stories, the adventures of Vaelin Al Sorna are, for me, still very much in their infancy. heart

| 6. |

The Crimson Campaign

Book Two of the Powder Mage Trilogy

by Brian McClellan

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Promise of Blood was undoubtedly one of my favourite books of 2016 – to say it blew me away would be an understatement, this series opener was phenomenal. In spite of this unwavering praise and the bloody pedestal upon which Mr. McClellan has now been raised, The Crimson Campaign still remains unopened, unread and appears only as ornament on my overcrowded shelves.
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| 7. |

King of Thorns

Book Two of The Broken Empire

by Mark Lawrence
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King of Thorn, the sequel to Prince of Thorns, has been abandoned to shelfdom for far too long. The excitement following the completion of its predecessor soon gave way to forgetfulness and King of Thorns was doomed to spend year upon year as a top shelf dust collector. But no more! The vacuum has been enlisted, the shelves have been cleaned and the second novel in The Broken Empire trilogy is in sight once more.
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| 8. |

The Skull Throne

Book Four of the Demon Cycle

by Peter V. Brett
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The Daylight War, the third book in Peter V. Brett’s Demon Cycle left us on more than a metaphorical cliffhanger and, following its completion, The Skull Throne took very little time winging its way to me. But this signed hardback has become little more than a decoration as book upon book put it to the back of my mind, if not the back of my shelf. But with the release of The Core last year, The Skull Throne has made it to the head of the queue.
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| 9. |

Calamity

Book Three of The Reckoners

by Brandon Sanderson
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After reading the first two Reckoners novels, I was lucky enough to win a hardcover copy of Calamity through Goodreads; but this fortune still didn’t exempt Calamity from an early life on a pile of books. Now restored to the illustrious rank of the shelved, the third book in The Reckoners series has more than a little chance of being read this year.

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| 10. |

Golden Son

Book Two of Red Rising

by Pierce Brownheart

My natural aversion to Young Adult fiction was overcome by the glowing reviews received by Red Rising. They didn’t exaggerate, I was not disappointed – Red Rising is incredible. But all incredible books should have a successor that remains unread for far too long and Golden Son has no problems in assuming this position. Recommended to friends long before I even remembered to read it, Golden Son is definitely earmarked for 2018.
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Which books have you left to gather dust on your shelves for too longIf you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books On My Reading Wishlist


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


| Top Ten… Books On My Reading Wishlist |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! It’s been a while since I compiled a list of top tens but, one year on, it seemed like an update was in order! From the old, to the new, to the unpublished – here’s my reading wishlist for 2017:
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| 1. |

The Waking Fire

Book One of Draconis Memoria

by Anthony Ryanheart

Claydon Torcreek is a Blood-blessed, able to channel the powers contained in the blood of wild drakes. While his brethren serve as elite spies and assassins, Clay prefers the life of a small-time criminal in the dangerous slums of Carvenport.

Yet war is coming, and it seems Clay is going to end up on the losing side – unless he can track down a legendary drake, whose powerful blood might just be enough to achieve victory. Clay has handled many things in his time (most of them illegal) but nothing as priceless as his nation’s future.

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| 2 |

American Gods

by Neil Gaimanheart

After three years in prison, Shadow has served his time. But as the days and hours until his release tick away, he can feel a storm brewing.

Two days before his release date, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town.

But the storm is about to break . . .

Disturbing, gripping and profoundly strange, Gaiman’s epic novel sees him on the road to the heart of America.heart

| 3 |

Red Sister

Book of the Ancestor – Book One

by Mark Lawrence

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At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

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| 4. |

The Core

Book Five of The Demon Cycle

by Peter V. Brett
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For time out of mind, bloodthirsty demons have stalked the night, culling the human race to scattered remnants dependent on half-forgotten magics to protect them. Then two heroes arose—men as close as brothers, yet divided by bitter betrayal. Arlen Bales became known as the Painted Man, tattooed head to toe with powerful magic symbols that enable him to fight demons in hand-to-hand combat—and emerge victorious. Jardir, armed with magically warded weapons, called himself the Deliverer, a figure prophesied to unite humanity and lead them to triumph in Sharak Ka—the final war against demonkind.

But in their efforts to bring the war to the demons, Arlen and Jardir have set something in motion that may prove the end of everything they hold dear—a Swarm. Now the war is at hand and humanity cannot hope to win it unless Arlen and Jardir, with the help of Arlen’s wife, Renna, can bend a captured demon prince to their will and force the devious creature to lead them to the Core, where the Mother of Demons breeds an inexhaustible army.

Trusting their closest confidantes, Leesha, Inevera, Ragen and Elissa, to rally the fractious people of the Free Cities and lead them against the Swarm, Arlen, Renna, and Jardir set out on a desperate quest into the darkest depths of evil—from which none of them expects to return alive.
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| 5. |

Knight’s Shadow

Book Two of The Greatcoats

by Sebastien de Castell
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The Greatcoats have found the heir to the throne . . . but now they must keep her alive, against all the odds.

Falcio Val Mond has completed the final task given to him by the late King Paelis: he has found the King’s Charoites (well, one at least). But his task isn’t over, and now he, Kest and Brasti must protect the girl from those her want her dead.

That would be simple enough, if it weren’t for the renegade Knights and legendary Dashini assassins, getting in their way, not to mention the Dukes, who are desperate to hold on to their power at any cost, or Trin, the merciless daughter of the ruthless Duke of Rijou and the cruel Duchess of Hervor, who is determined to be Queen of Tristia. Of course, the fact that the heir to the throne is thirteen years old doesn’t help, nor the fact that every day brings Falcio closer to dying from the poison running through his veins.

And then there is the Greatcoats Lament . . .

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| 6. |

Dead Man’s Steel

Book Three of The Grim Company

by Luke Scull

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In the City of Towers, former rebel Sasha and her comrade Davarus Cole struggle to keep the peace between the warring mages who vie for dominion. But when the White Lady sends Davarus south to the Shattered Realms to seek allies among the fallen kingdoms, he finds that his hardest battle may be one fought within. The godly essence now residing within him offers power that could be used against the Fade—but with every death that feeds It, Cole risks losing a part of himself.

An association with a Fade officer grants the Halfmage Eremul a position of privilege among Dorminia’s new masters. He witnesses firsthand the fate that awaits humanity. But with his magic pitiful in the face of the Fade’s advanced technology, the Halfmage must rely on his wits alone to save whom he can…

And in the frozen north, the legendary warrior Brodar Kayne fights a desperate battle for his people. He is running out of time: an ancient evil sealed beneath the mountains is about to break free, an evil that is older than humanity, older than the Fade, older even than the gods—and it will not stop until the entire world is drowned in blood…
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| 7. |

The Crimson Campaign

Book Two of The Powder Mage Trilogy

by Brian McClellan
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Field Marshal Tamas’s invasion of Kez has ended in disaster. Stranded behind enemy lines and hounded by the enemy’s finest, Tamas must lead his remaining men on a reckless retreat through northern Kez to safety.

In Adro, Inspector Adamat wants only to rescue his wife. To do so, he must hunt down and confront the enigmatic Lord Vetus – but the truth he learns is far darker than he could have imagined.

The god Kremsimir wants the head of Tamas’s son, Taniel – the man who shot him in the eye. With Tamas and his powder mages presumed dead, only Taniel can lead the charge against the vengeful god and his invading army.


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| 8. |

Calamity

Book Three of The Reckoners

by Brandon Sanderson
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When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners’ leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back…

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.
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| 9. |

The Blinding Knife

Lightbringer – Book Two

by Brent Weeks
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Gavin Guile is dying.

He’d thought he had five years left—now he has less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son, and an ex-fiancée who may have learned his darkest secret, Gavin has problems on every side. All magic in the world is running wild and threatens to destroy the Seven Satrapies.

Worst of all, the old gods are being reborn, and their army of color wights is unstoppable. The only salvation may be the brother whose freedom and life Gavin stole sixteen years ago.

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| 10. |

Shadow’s Edge

Book Two of The Night Angel

by Brent Weeksheart

Kylar has rejected the assassin’s life. In the wake of the Godking’s violent coup, both his master and his closest friend are dead. His friend was Logan Gyre, heir to Cenaria’s throne, but few of the ruling class survive to mourn his loss. So Kylar is starting over: new city, new companions, and new profession.

But when he learns that Logan might be alive, trapped and in hiding, Kylar faces an impossible choice. He could give up the way of shadows forever, and find peace with his young family. Or Kylar could succumb to his flair for destruction, the years of training, to save his friend and his country – and lose all he holds precious.heart

Which books are on your reading wishlist? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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The Friday Face-Off: Peace is Poor Reading


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


The Powder Mage Trilogy  

vs.

Bloodsounder’s Arc


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers which feature war. Having far too many books to choose from, for this particular battle I’ve decided to do something a little different and pit trilogy against trilogy!… it just so happens it’s also the perfect plot to post as many gorgeous covers as possible!

The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan, which is published by Orbit, and Bloodsounder’s Arc by Jeff Salyards, which is published by Night Shade Books, both feature three amazing covers from a multitude of artists with blood, battles and atmosphere by the cannon-full. So take a look and see which trilogy comes out on top this week!


The Powder Mage Trilogy – Orbit

Promise of Blood

Artwork by Gene Mollica and Michael Frost

Powder Mage 2

The Crimson Campaign

Artwork by Gene Mollica and Michael Frost

Powder Mage 3

The Autumn Republic

Artwork by Gene Mollica and Michael Frost

Bloodsounder’s Arc – Night Shade Books

Scourge of the Betrayer

Artwork by J.K. Woodward

Bloodsounder's Arc 2

Veil of the Deserters

Artwork by Michael C. Hayes

Bloodsounder's Arc 3

Chains of the Heretic

Artwork by Michael C. Hayes


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Bloodsounder’s Arc trilogy features some gorgeous artwork by some very talented artists. With two out of three covers featuring battles, and all three covers featuring weaponry, this trilogy well and truly fits the bill for this week’s Face-Off. With artwork by Michael C. Hayes, the cover for Veil of the Deserters is particularly striking and a definite favourite. The illustrative style is incredibly detailed and the eye-catching pink works surprisingly well to set off the battle scene. All three covers also have a fantastic cohesive typeface which is instantly recognisable across the board. Jeff Salyards most definitely has three covers he can be proud of – and which I’m determined to get my hands on immediately!

Despite the wonderful covers from Night Shade Books, it’s The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan which soars to the top this week. With three photographic illustrations, along with an eye-catching typeface, this trilogy of covers tie together beautifully well. Dark, gritty and distinctive; the smoke and light which surrounds the central figure creates an incredibly evocative atmosphere that plays across each scene – whether on the throne or on the battlefield. Though I love the differences which mark each cover in Salyard’s trilogy, the cohesive style of The Powder Mage Trilogy really captures my imagination and just tips the scales in McClellan’s favour.

Which trilogy of covers wins your vote this week? Do you have a particular favourite?

The Powder Mage Trilogy 

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Bloodsounder’s Arc

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Post LinksNext Friday’s theme is: Metropolis

A cover which features a city

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes

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The Month Ahead: March 2016


In The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I am currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! I will also be sharing any news about features or posts on Books by Proxy, and anything in the book world that has me all excited!


| Currently Reading |

Having not even picked up NOS4R2 or Emma (if only I could find her!) for a considerable amount of time, I still find that I’m quite determined to get them off the currently reading pile! So here they shall remain as yet another reminder of my incomplete monthly goals. I’m sure they’ll magically find themselves read at some point in say… the next year or so. Add to that another three books on the currently reading pile and I’ve already a fair amount to get through! heart


| March Events |

A Local Habitation

A Local Habitation Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Saturday 5th March)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 12th March)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by Lynn’s Books

Week 3 (Saturday 19th March)

Chapters 19-25 – hosted by Books by Proxy (me!)

Week 4 (Saturday 26th March)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

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Following the Read Along for Rosemary and Rue, which turned out to be a wonderful start to this urban fantasy series, we’re forging ahead in March with a Read Along of the second October Daye novel, A Local Habitation. After the success of the first book, I have high hopes for the second so if you would like to join in, go over to Goodreads and sign up!
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Girl Waits With Gun Blog TourGirl Waits With Gun - Cover

Blog Tour: Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

Review scheduled for 09th March 2016

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March into Middle Earth

March into Middle Earth

Hosted by Rinn Reads, March into Middle Earth is a celebration of all things Tolkien. Expect many a Middle Earth related post!

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| Upcoming Events |

|May |

The Between Two Thorns Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – Imyril at OneMore.org

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by Lynn’s Books

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In May we’re going to be enjoying the first book in The Split Worlds series by Emma Newman, Between Two Thorns. I’d never heard of this series before the Read Along cropped up but I’m certain I’m going to enjoy it. If you’re interested in joining in with this read along, go over to the Goodreads group page and sign up!

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| Synopsis |

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

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| March Goals |

To finish NOS4R2 and Emma before the month is out!

Yes, yes another roll over!

Status: 0 of 2 Complete

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Have you picked up any great books lately? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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Review: Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan



Promise of Blood

Book One of the Powder Mage Trilogy

by Brian McClellan

Fantasy | 561 Pages | Published by Hatchette in 2013


| Rating |


Every once in a while a book – and its accompanying author – crosses your path and completely turns your world upside down. Addictive, absorbing and ridiculously thrilling, these are the books which grip you from their opening pages and refuse to let you go even after they’ve come to an end. My addiction is Promise of Blood – a book so good that it’s acquired its own rating.

Promise of Blood is a tour de force; an unyielding whirlwind of explosive action; an unflinching portrayal of a world, in some ways not unlike our own, where magic, chaos and blood threaten to choke the populace as it vies for freedom, equality and glorious revolution. The first novel in the Powder Mage Trilogy is, without a doubt, the best book I’ve read in a long time. Masterfully written. Persistently exhilarating. Bloody brilliant.

The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.

It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king… Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

But when gods are involved… Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should…

In a rich, distinctive world that mixes magic with technology, who could stand against mages that control gunpowder and bullets? PROMISE OF BLOOD is the start of a new epic fantasy series from Brian McClellan.

Promise of Blood opens with a society on the brink of revolution; taxes are high, living standards are low, and the whole of Adro is about to be sold out to the Kez by their incompetent King and his royal cabal. With the palace in the throes of a military coup, the Kez threatening the borders, and the populace in the death grip of starvation and poverty, establishing a new government following the rebellion will be no small task.

But the rebellion controls the power of the powder mages, an elite force of soldiers who can use and magically manipulate gunpowder to their own ends, and one of their most renowned number is leading the revolution. Field Marshal Tamas, a skilled tactician and military leader, will stop at nothing to forge a new society out of the dregs of Adro and will wage bloody war on the streets of Adopest to do so.

As assassins, spies and traitors vie to stop the revolution in its tracks, and powder mages and Privileged, a group of powerful sorcerers loyal to the King, execute one another with deadly efficiency, the list of revolutionary allies begins to wear thin. The narrative follows Tamas, his son Taniel and Adamat, a retired police inspector, in converging storylines as they struggle to outmanoeuvre their enemies both on the battlefield and within their own camp. No easy feat when the gods become involved.

Brian McClellan has created a world caught in the throes of chaos and regime change, a world where bloody battles are fought on the streets, and one which resonates with a chord from our own history. Tense, exciting and exhilarating, Adro is effortlessly fleshed out as the action unfolds. With a diverse landscape and a multitude of warring nations at her borders, Promise of Blood creates a narrative which never isolates itself, which resounds with undeniable realism – even with its fantastic elements – and which promises a clash of destructive and supremely powerful forces in the books to come.

This is a world made up of those without power, and the incredible force of those with it: the powder mages; the Privileged; and those with a knack, a single ‘talent’ or power. With the introduction of the Wardens of Kez in the latter part of the novel,  and hints of power of entirely different kind, Promise of Blood introduces a unique and captivating magic system which drives the narrative and lends more than dose of explosive action to the storyline.

But McClellan’s creative genius doesn’t stop short of incredible worldbuilding and imaginative magic systems. His cast of characters are wonderfully conflicted and imperfect creations which retain a distinctive and real quality throughout the novel. This is a society hacked into bloody existence by grizzled war leaders, sly manipulators, devious negotiators and charming dead-shots; a society where an overwhelming cast of supporting characters slot seamlessly into the plot, shaping the narrative and upping its intrigue factor tenfold.

The protagonists of this novel surprise, amaze and intrigue in equal measure and drive the story forwards at a relentless pace. Tamas is a tactical genius with a singular determination, a man who above all else believes in the right of his actions despite the often grim consequences. He is an honest man, but a deadly one, an uncompromising general carved from his own experiences who is sure to remain at the top of my list of favourite characters for years to come.

His estranged son Taniel is similarly engaging. A charismatic marksman known throughout the land as Taniel Two-Shot, a nicknamed earned for his ability to take two enemies down with one bullet, his charming and often humorous personality remains captivating throughout the narrative despite living under his father’s considerable shadow. With Adamat, the investigator working for Tamas; Ka-Poel, a mysterious and strangely powerful savage; and a whole array of mercenaries, mages and potential traitors, it is the characters and their machinations which give drive to the vast majority of this novel.

McClellan has an effortlessly engaging writing style, putting as much depth into his characters as he does his world. The narrative is a none stop thrill ride from start to finish, and McClellan doesn’t flinch from inflicting pain on his characters. Promise of Blood is an intense, exciting and relentless conflict of blood, power and politics; a novel where death is dealt out with abandon and where even the good and honest struggle to keep their hands clean. A stark portrayal of a regime in its death throes and the subsequent struggle to establish cohesive rule, Promise of Blood is nothing short of genius.Promise of Blood is bloody and brutal novel with an imaginative premise and a wonderful magic system. Brian McClellan strides to the top of my favourite new authors list with this flintlock fantasy which rides a line between the epic and the grimdark in an explosion of guns, gunpowder and grit. For those of you who haven’t yet come across Brian McClellan, there are just three words: Read – This – Book. 


Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

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Teaser Tuesdays: February 09


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Expect a new teaser every week!


| Teaser Tuesdays: February 09 |

Promise of Blood

Book One of The Powder Mage Trilogy

by Brian McClellan

Fantasy | 561 Pages | Published by Hatchette in 2013


Bad place to kill a man, he noted. He paused, correcting himself as he noticed that there was a splash of darkness on the street up ahead.”

~ p. 242, Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan


| Synopsis |

The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.

It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king… Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

But when gods are involved… Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should…

In a rich, distinctive world that mixes magic with technology, who could stand against mages that control gunpowder and bullets? PROMISE OF BLOOD is the start of a new epic fantasy series from Brian McClellan.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

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The Month Ahead: February 2016


The Month Ahead - febIn The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I am currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! I will also be sharing any news about features or posts on Books by Proxy, and anything in the book world that has me all excited!


| Currently Reading |

February promises to be a fantastic month of reading with two amazing books, The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky and The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes, already under my belt (reviews to come!). NOSR2 and Emma are still on the currently reading pile and unfortunately Emma, it its teeny tiny format, has been missing since Christmas! To be located under a monstrous pile of books I assume.

The Copper Promise by Jen Williams and Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan have also made it to the top of my reading pile and have both got off to a brilliant start. I’m finding it increasingly hard to leave one to go to the other and fully expect these two books to become firm favourites. Happy February everyone!

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| Upcoming Events |

I’ve not hopped onto any events yet for February – it will be a month of catching up I think! However, there are a few Read Alongs coming up over the next few months so I’ll announce them now in case anyone is interested in joining in. If you want to find out more just follow the links in title to take you to the Goodreads group page.heart


| March |

A Local Habitation Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Saturday 5th March)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 12th March)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by TBA

Week 3 (Saturday 19th March)

Chapters 19-25 – hosted by TBA

Week 4 (Saturday 26th March)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by TBA

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Following the Read Along for Rosemary and Rue, which turned out to be a wonderful start to this urban fantasy series, we’re forging ahead in March with a Read Along of the second October Daye novel, A Local Habitation. After the success of the first book, I have high hopes for the second so if you would like to join in, go over to Goodreads and sign up!

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| Synopsis |

October “Toby” Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.

Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning—otherwise known as Fremont, CA—to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O’Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment—but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Toby soon discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, whose domain is a buffer between Sylvester’s realm and a scheming rival duchy. If Toby can’t find the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.

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| May |

The Between Two Thorns Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by TBA

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – hosted by TBA

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by TBA

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In May we’re going to be enjoying the first book in The Split Worlds series by Emma Newman, Between Two Thorns. I’d never heard of this series before the Read Along cropped up but I’m certain I’m going to enjoy it. If you’re interested in joining in with this read along, go over to the Goodreads group page and sign up!

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| Synopsis |

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

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| February Goals |

To finish NOS4R2 and Emma before the month is out!

Status: 0 of 2 Complete

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And to really challenge myself to be organised…

To post every day in February

Status: 6 of 29 days Complete

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Have you picked up any great books lately or read any of those mentioned above? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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